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Why The Voice Of Megatron In The Transformers Films Thought The Role Was Meaningless

Hugo Weaving has had enough celebrated work in his nearly 40-year career to make any actor jealous, but the Lord of the Rings and Matrix actor says there's one mega role that was "meaningless" to him.

In an interview with Collider, the former V for Vendetta star revealed that lending his voice to Megatron, the core antagonist of the first three films in Michael Bay's blockbuster Transformers franchise, was a less than fulfilling experience. "It was meaningless to me, honestly. I don't mean that in any nasty way," the actor said. "I don't regret doing it, but I very rarely do something if it's meaningless."

Weaving offered up his opinion while answering a question about a potential return to the franchise for its fourth installment. He dismissed the notion, sharing that part of the experience had been something he now thinks twice about. Weaving chalked up those second thoughts to how little investment he had in the project. The actor shared that, initially, he had only spent two hours in a studio bringing to life one of live-action and animation's most recognizable robots. "That's a weird job for me because it honestly was a two-hour voice job, initially. I was doing a play, and I actually didn't have time, anyway," Weaving said. "It was one of the only things I've ever done where I had no knowledge of it, I didn't care about it, I didn't think about it. They wanted me to do it."

Hugo Weaving spent even less time working with director Michael Bay than he did in the studio

While Weaving didn't clarify who "they" were, it's easy to understand why anyone — agent or Bay — may have wanted him on the project. Weaving not only has one of Hollywood's most recognizable looks but a distinctive voice that fans have come to recognize and celebrate. That especially holds true for his more villainous turns like Agent Smith and his Marvel villain, the Red Skull. So it makes perfect sense that Bay might want that kind of dramatic heft behind his rather imposing mega-threat, Megatron.

Unfortunately, according to the actor, Bay and Weaving didn't get much time together while he did voice work for the films. That was also part of why the role didn't leave any particularly distinct impression on him. "My link to that and to Michael Bay is so minimal. I have never met him. I was never on set. I've seen his face on Skype," Weaving said. "I know nothing about him, really. I just went in and did it."

In an even more shocking confession, Weaving told Collider that he also hadn't spent much time with the script before jumping into the recording booth. "I never read the script. I just have my lines, and I don't know what they mean," Weaving said. "That sounds absolutely pathetic! I've never done anything like that in my life. It's hard to say any more about it than that, really."

In the end, Megatron wasn't necessarily a bad role, just not one that was significant for the actor. "It was a two-hour voice job, while I was doing other things," he concluded. "Of course, it's a massive film that's made masses of money. I just happened to be the voice of one of the iconic villainous characters."

Michael Bay wasn't happy with the Megatron voice actor calling his role "meaningless"

When you go on the record with what could be perceived as less than flattering comments about a role, those statements are likely to get back to the source. That held true for the Megatron voice actor, whose feelings about his work on the franchise made their way to Transformers director Michael Bay.

In a blog posted to his website reminiscent of the director's previous clashes with actors, Bay responded to Weaving, implying he was unappreciative of the high-paying jobs he offered them (via Collider). "Do you ever get sick of actors that make $15 million a picture, or even $200,000 for voiceover work that took a brisk one hour and 43 minutes to complete, and then complain about their jobs?" the Armageddon director asked.

Bay went on to complain of "grumbling thespians" who the director believed thought too highly of their "trivial complaints" about a job being "artistic" or "fulfilling" enough. Bay then implied that Weaving lacked personal integrity, which the director defined as someone "who did a job, got paid for their hard work, and just smiled afterward." 

The Transformers director ended his biting take with more name-calling, describing Weaving as a whiner and telling him to "be happy you even have a job – let alone a job that pays you more than 98% of the people in America." He then concluded the post, which he eventually deleted, with a challenge to donate to an elephant resume. "I have a wonderful idea for all those whiners: They can give their 'unhappy job money' to a wonderful Elephant Rescue," Bay reportedly wrote. "It's the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Africa. I will match the funds they donate."

While the role of Megatron may not have left a lasting impression on Weaving, the actor has certainly left an unforgettable impression on his former director.