Your character is actually based on a real person so did you do additional research into that?
Hugo Weaving: "Yes, of course. If your character is based on a real person, you always have to kind of do some research on him. He was in charge of the investigation into the Whitechapel murders which became known as the Jack the Ripper murders. So yeah, I found out all I could about him and even started sporting a strange handlebar moustache that he had. But beyond that really, because this is such a… I mean there were no werewolves in London when he was around, so it’s a departure from reality. There’s only so much you can take from a historical figure."
Was there anything in particular that you did take, besides the facial hair?
Hugo Weaving: "Not a lot, really. Maybe the fact that the Ripper murders were never solved so it kind of gives Aberline a sense that maybe there’s something in the back of his mind that they were not successful. So he would have lived through a great deal of experience and seen a lot of gore, so I kind of think that adds a bit of weight to his experience as a character."
What is the appeal of a werewolf movie? Why do we still like them?
Hugo Weaving: "I think we live in societies, obviously, where we like to think of ourselves as civilized. We have rules and regulations to stop us from doing each other too much harm. And maybe there are aspects in ourselves that are much more animalistic – well, there are – and maybe it’s a desire to kind of be free of the shackles of society a bit. I don’t know."
And The Hobbit – you’re going to come back, right?
Hugo Weaving: "Well, Elrond is in The Hobbit in the book. From what I hear he’s in the movie. I haven’t talked to anyone."
That’s you. It can’t be anyone else.
Hugo Weaving: "I haven’t talked to anyone about it. But I hear from them that, yes… Look, I think it will be happening this year. But I haven’t read any scripts yet or sort of signed any bits of paper yet."
But you want to play him again, right?
Hugo Weaving: "Well, I’d love to go back there. Actually, I’m interested in The Hobbit because it’s kind of a more charming view of that world prior to Lord of the Rings. It’s more a child-like piece of writing. It’s a beautiful tale, so I’m interested with Guillermo del Toro directing what the different slant would be on that world. So, yeah, I’d be good to go back there."
And you’re doing two characters in Guardians of Ga’Hoole?
Hugo Weaving: "Yes."
You’re doing the character who kind of helps them escape, too?
Hugo Weaving: "Yes. Well, one is sort of the father figure narrator, and the other figure is a guy called Grimble – an owl called Grimble – who is conflicted because he’s on the evil owl side. But he’s conflicted and kind of sacrifices himself to save the little kids."
He’s a noble owl.
Hugo Weaving: "A noble owl."