Carrie-Anne Moss resurrects her role as "Matrix" action hero

Carrie-Anne Moss was 32 when she joined the pantheon of science fiction film legends. Taking her place alongside Sigourney Weaver as El...


Carrie-Anne Moss was 32 when she joined the pantheon of science fiction film legends. Taking her place alongside Sigourney Weaver as Ellen Ripley and Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor, Moss played Trinity in “The matrix”(1999), defying gravity with a martial arts ballet. Supple, pale, clad in tight-fitting leather and PVC, Trinity and Keanu Reeves’s Neo formed two androgynous halves of a heroic whole in a man versus machine story that has become a global cultural obsession.

The film’s hit hit spawned two immediate sequels, “The Matrix Reloaded” and “The Matrix Revolutions” (both released in 2003). Now, almost two decades later, Moss returns to his career defining role of “Matrix resurrections», Written and directed by Lana Wachowski. Arriving in theaters and on HBO Max on December 22, “Resurrections” forced Moss, now 54, to undergo intensive training for weeks before embarking on a demanding shoot that took the cast to San Francisco and Germany, among other places.

Plus, she had to shoulder the enormous weight of expectations – it’s extremely rare for a woman over 50 to be both an action star and the romantic lead role of a big studio movie. “I feel a sense of responsibility to these women who love Trinity and felt ignited by her for being genuine at this age, and not being an elusive idea and perpetuating this myth about what it means to be a woman,” the sympathetic, Moss told me in a recent video interview from his home on the east coast. “I took this with me throughout the process. “

Here are edited excerpts from our conversation:

You wrote an article for The Guardian in 2016 where you mentioned having a “moment of clarity” once you realized you were playing tough but vulnerable women. When did you first become aware?

It happened in an acting class with a teacher, Sandy Marshall – she teaches Meisner. She made this observation about me having strength and vulnerability. It became a powerful pivot for me to accept myself. I’ve always wanted to play characters so different from me, but when she showed it to me, it gave me permission to get into what I was doing well. Trinity arrived shortly after.

It’s a perfect way to describe Trinity. She’s obviously tough, but she has this love for Neo that brings a certain vulnerability. They are a partnership of equals.

I have always seen the [“Matrix”] movies like a love story. My entry into the character and into the movie has always been the love that I felt in the movie, that I felt on Trinity. I found a diary from that time – there’s a point at the end of the first movie where Trinity says to Neo, “The Oracle told me I would know who the One was because I would love him. ” I wrote this story between Trinity and the Oracle [as part of her preparation for the role]. It was like a hidden treasure when I stumbled upon it. I had forgotten that I was keeping this diary. I was going through all my memories of that time. It was such a deep time, shooting the first three films.

What memories do you keep of this period of your life? What was it like living inside that experience, when “The Matrix” just exploded into popular culture?

It was a bit overwhelming at first. I remember the first time I saw “The Matrix” with a crowd – other than a Hollywood crowd. The way people were reacting to certain lines from Trinity, it was so moving for me to feel this crowd cheering him on from the start. Once these films were over, I started to build my family. Sometimes there are dramatic moments that take hold of you. I was watching a movie that had come to me and I was holding my baby in my arms. I thought, at the end of my life, is it important for me to have another movie on my CV or is it important for me that I carry my babies? It was an easy decision. I could spend the rest of my life with a sleeping baby on my chest.

Lately you’ve been working on TV – as an FBI agent in the Scandinavian crime drama “Wisting,” and on “Jessica jones“, playing Jeri Hogarth, the first openly lesbian character in a Marvel TV series.

“Jessica Jones” came to me at a time when I thought I was working more consistently. My children were a little older. I loved the premise and the character. It also helped me see that I could do it, that I could go and that I could work, and that everything could coexist together. “Wisting” This multilingual spectacle intrigued me on several levels. I always wanted to go to Norway and Ireland, and it turned out in Norway and Ireland. I liked people. Sometimes you don’t know what brings you to a role. There are so many different things at play.

In the first “Matrix” films, you hurt your ankle, you broke your leg, you learned to ride a motorcycle. Did you have any concerns about undertaking “Resurrections” knowing what the physical demands might be?

No. Making these movies was so amazing. It doesn’t happen often, so [I was excited] to start over, to be in this creative space with all these incredible artists. I flew to San Francisco for a read with Keanu and Lana and a few other people. I didn’t know anything. We hung out for a bit, I hadn’t seen Keanu for a long time. There he is sitting next to me. It was as if no time had passed.

How did you prepare for the action sequences?

Nothing will make you want to get back in shape faster than knowing that you are going to see yourself on a giant screen. I had to train for months to get strong and fit and to learn fighting, it took a long time. It was important for me to let go of any construction in my mind that I needed to look like I had when I was 30. I find that thought makes despair as a woman, and I didn’t want despair. I knew I wanted to look good, but I didn’t want to do a juice cleanse, I didn’t want to do all of those extreme things. I laugh because sometimes I felt so cool, I have this. Someone would take a little video, and I would watch it and be like, “Oh my God, I don’t look cool at all! I should just constantly relax that part of my brain. I continually chose to know I was going to be sufficient. I could have chosen that pressure, and I chose not to have it.

Does it feel good to be back on the bike?

I like to push, I like to do whatever I can in these movies. When I watch the first, second and third, the moments that are not me [when it’s a stunt performer instead]? It hurts me. But the bike I’m on [in “Resurrections”] is actually too powerful for someone as inexperienced as me. I rode and thank goodness I was talented because this bike was going so fast. Instinct kicked in and I was able to stop it. Otherwise, I would have flown.

Once on set, did you feel like you were playing someone entirely new? Or was it like reuniting with an old friend?

It was like playing with a different person with [Trinity buried somewhere] in there – but can’t we all relate to that? I’m not the same person I was when I was 30. What’s wonderful about making these movies is how much the training creates the character. All this training, all this time with Keanu, everything that gets in there. It was almost like this energy had just passed – it’s not something you can really touch. I like it when you’ve done all that hard work, and then they call “Action”, and you just hope you can catch that wave. For me, too, working across from Keanu is really effortless and has a depth. It feels like connecting our souls in a way that is beyond the intellect. As an artist, I know how rare it is to have this. It was as if you could feel this other living entity that these two characters are.

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