Everyone in Hollywood apparently had their cranky pills this morning, because it’s not even noon and we’ve already got Michael Bay and Hugo Weaving beefing over voice work in Transformers and Joaquin Phoenix ripping on the Oscars. Let’s get ready to rumble!
Earlier this week, Hugo Weaving made some comments about his work as the voice of Megatron in Bay’s Transformers movies. Check out what he said:
“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. 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. In one way, I regret that bit. I don’t regret doing it, but I very rarely do something if it’s meaningless. It was meaningless to me, honestly. I don’t mean that in any nasty way. I did it. It was a two-hour voice job, while I was doing other things."
So, basically, Weaving is being the traditional “artist” – the guy who really values his craft more than the huge paycheck. We see this a lot in Hollywood – a place where guys swear they’d take roles for free but still cash the $20 million paychecks.
To be fair, Weaving does go out of his way to say he doesn’t mean it in a nasty way – but that’s after he basically says the job was “meaningless” to him.
Naturally, Michael Bay was not thrilled by these comments. He responded with the following:
“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? With all the problems facing our world today, do these grumbling thespians really think people reading the news actually care about trivial complaints that their job wasn’t 'artistic enough' or 'fulfilling enough'? I guess The Hollywood Reporter thinks so.
"What happened to people who had integrity, who did a job, got paid for their hard work, and just smiled afterward? Be happy you even have a job – let alone a job that pays you more than 98% of the people in America.
"I have a wonderful idea for all those whiners: They can give their 'unhappy job money' to a wonderful Elephant Rescue. It’s the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Africa. I will match the funds they donate."
Bay has a point – once you cut through the sarcasm. Both sides do, really. Weaving is wrong to complain about being paid an obscene amount of money for a few hours of work. After all, no one held a gun to his head and forced him to do it. If he was busy or found the project “meaningless” he always had the option to pass. He didn’t – and coming out now and slamming Transformers after the fact (whether intentional or not) wasn’t the right play.
Bay’s wrong too, though. What ever happened to being the bigger guy and just brushing these things off? The return salvo here was uncalled for – and it’s only redeemed by the fact that Bay has turned this into an opportunity to actually raise money for a worthy cause (and kudos for that. This might be the first time I’ve ever praised Michael Bay for something). At the end of the day, though, this whole thing is much ado about nothing. None of the Transformers films will ever be remembered as being “meaningful pieces of cinema,” but Weaving certainly could be a bit more gracious in the future. Needless to say, it seems unlikely that he’ll be back for the next installment. [via Comic Book Movie]
In other cantankerous news, Joaquin Phoenix has decided to tell the Academy exactly what he thinks about the Oscars – which is a pretty ballsy move, since he’s sure to be nominated for his work in The Master.
Speaking to Interview magazine, Phoenix offered up these thoughts:
“I’m just saying that I think it’s bulls—. I think it’s total, utter bulls—, and I don’t want to be a part of it. I don’t believe in it….It’s the stupidest thing in the whole world. It was one of the most uncomfortable periods of my life when Walk the Line was going through all the awards stuff and all that. I never want to have that experience again.”
Wow, tell us how you really feel, Mr. Phoenix.
Now we can all sit back and watch how this plays out next year – will Phoenix’s comments come back to haunt him when voters cast their ballots or was his performance so strong that he’ll win anyway? We kinda hope it’s the latter – we want to hear that acceptance speech.
Do you agree with Phoenix? Are the Oscars “the stupidest thing in the whole world?” Swing by the comment section and let us know.