Weaving fights mistreatment.
ACCLAIMED actor Hugo Weaving has agreed to front a new animal rights charity, Voiceless.
Weaving, who appeared in the Lord Of The Rings and Matrix trilogies, and was the voice of Rex the dog in Babe, will launch Voiceless tomorrow.
"I feel a close affinity with animals, and I think most people do," Weaving said.
"It feels like a good time in my life to become involved in something I feel strongly about."
Voiceless is the brainchild of multi-millionaire businessman Brian Sherman and his daughter Ondine. Mr Sherman said: "We went to an animal rights conference in San Diego last year and it brought home to us the fact that animals are getting such a raw deal, and are subject to so much mistreatment."
Each year, Voiceless will distribute grants worth tens of thousands of dollars to established animal rights and welfare groups.
"Governments are not doing enough for animals," Mr Sherman said. "There's little awareness of what is happening to them in factory farms; people don't really want to know."
Sherman, a vegetarian, and Weaving, pointed to battery hens and pigs raised in cramped quarters, along with kangaroo culling, as three key issues.
While Weaving eats meat, his two children, Harry, 15, and Holly, 11, are vegetarian and Weaving feels torn over it.
The NIDA graduate won his first AFI Award in 1991 for Proof and secured his place in Australian movie industry legend with his performance as a drag queen in Priscilla Queen of the Desert.
But Weaving, 44, shot to international fame with his role as the diabolical Agent Smith in the Matrix series.