Carrie-Anne Moss was 32 years old when she entered the pantheon of science fiction film legends. Taking his place next to Sigourney weaver as Ellen Ripley and Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor, Moss played Trinity in Matrix (1999), defying gravity with a martial arts ballet. Light, pale, dressed in leather and PVC, Trinity and the Neo of Keanu reeves they formed two androgynous halves of a heroic ensemble in a man versus machine story that became a worldwide cultural obsession.
The film’s box office success spawned two immediate sequels, Matrix Reloaded Y Matrix Revolutions (both released in 2003). Now, nearly two decades later, Moss reprises his career-defining role in Matrix Resurrections, written and directed by Lana Wachowski.
The film, which opened Thursday, required Moss, now 54, weeks of intensive training before embarking on a demanding shoot that took the cast to San Francisco and Germany, among other locations. Plus, she bore the tremendous weight of expectations: It’s rare for a woman over 50 to be an action star and the romantic lead in a major studio film.
On air, with Keanu Reeves, whom he hadn’t seen in a long time. Photo WB
“I feel responsible to the women who love Trinity and who were attracted to her, to be authentic at this age and not be an unattainable idea that perpetuates this myth about what it means to be a woman,” the sympathetic and down-to-earth woman told me Moss in a recent video interview from his home on the East Coast. “I carried that with me throughout the process.”
Tough but vulnerable
-You wrote an article for “The Guardian” in 2016 in which you mentioned having had a “moment of clarity” once you realized that you play women who are tough, but vulnerable. When did you first realize it?
-It happened in an acting class with a teacher, Sandy Marshall, who Meisner teaches. He made the observation that I had a strength and a vulnerability. It became a powerful pivot for me to accept myself. I always wanted to play characters so different from me, but when she showed me that, she gave me permission to get into what I did well. Trinity happened shortly after.
The actress recounts how she felt having to train hard again. Photo WB
-It’s an ideal way to describe Trinity. She’s obviously tough, but she has that love for Neo that comes with a certain kind of vulnerability. They are a pair of equals.
-I always watched the movies (Matrix) as a love story. My entry into character and into the movie was always the love that I felt the movie was about, that I felt Trinity was about. I found a diary from that time: there is a moment at the end of the first movie in which Trinity says to Neo: “The Oracle told me that he would know who the Chosen One was because he would love him.”
He had written that story between Trinity and the Oracle (as part of his preparation for the role). It was like a hidden treasure when I found it. He had forgotten that he had that journal. I was going through all my memories of that time. The filming of the first three films was a very profound time.
In “Matrix Recargado”, the second of the saga, released in 2003. Photo Archive Clarín
-What do you remember from that time in your life? What was it like to live that experience, when “The Matrix” broke into popular culture?
-At first it was a bit overwhelming. I remember the first time that I saw Matrix with a crowd, which was not the Hollywood crowd. The way people reacted to certain lines that Trinity had, it was so moving for me to feel that crowd cheering her on from the start. After those movies, I happened to have my family. Sometimes there are dramatic moments that anchor you.
I was watching a movie that had come to me, and I was holding my baby. I thought, at the end of my life, would I mind having another movie on my résumé or would I mind holding my babies? It was an easy decision. I could spend the rest of my life with a sleeping baby on my chest.
In “The Matrix Resurrections” Carrie-anne plays Trinity … and Tiffany. Photo WB
-You have worked on television lately: as an FBI agent in the Scandinavian crime drama “Wisting”, and in “Jessica Jones”, playing Jeri Hogarth, the first openly lesbian character in a Marvel television series.
–Jessica jones It came to me at a time when I was considering 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 out and work, and that everything could coexist. Wisting I was intrigued on many levels by this multilingual show. I always wanted to go to Norway and Ireland, and it was shot in Norway and Ireland. I loved the people. Sometimes you don’t know what leads to a role. There are so many different things at stake.
In the first three films, she injured her ankle, broke her leg, and learned to ride a motorcycle. Photo Clarín Archive
-In the first “Matrix” movies, you injured your ankle, you broke your leg, you learned to drive a motorcycle. Did you have any fear when undertaking “Resurrections”, knowing what the physical demand could entail?
-No. Making those movies was amazing. It doesn’t happen often, so I was excited to be able to do it again, to be in that creative space with all these amazing artists. I flew to San Francisco for a reading with Keanu and Lana and a few other people. I did not know anything. We went out a bit; I hadn’t seen Keanu in a long time. There he was sitting next to me. It was as if no time had passed.
Moss, today, in civilian clothes … Photo Clarín Archive
-How did you prepare for the action sequences?
-Nothing makes you want to get in shape faster than knowing that you are going to see yourself on a huge screen. I had to train for months to get fit and strong and learn to fight. It was important for me to put aside any construction in my mind that it had to look the same as when I was 30 years old.
I think that thought causes despair as a woman, and I didn’t want any despair, I knew I wanted to look good, but I didn’t want to go on a juice diet, I didn’t want to do all these extreme things. I laugh because sometimes it felt so good … I continually chose to know that it was going to be enough. I could have chosen that pressure, and I chose not to have it.
-Did you feel good when you got back on the bike?
-I like to push, I like to do everything I can in these movies. When I see the first, second and third, the moments when it’s not me (when it’s a voice actor instead)? It hurts me. But the bike that I’m on Resurrections it’s really too powerful for someone inexperienced like me. I got on, and thank God I had some skill, because that bike was going very fast. Instinct made me react and I was able to stop her. If not, it would have flown away.
Moss, Laurence Fishburne and Reeves in “The Matrix Revolutions” (2003). Photo Clarín Archive
-Once in the studio, did you feel like you were playing someone completely new? Or was it like reuniting with an old friend?
-It was like playing a different person with (Trinity buried somewhere), but can’t we all relate to that? I am not the same person I was 30 years old. The wonderful thing about shooting these movies is that all that training creates the character. All that training, all that time with Keanu, all of that leaks out. It is almost as if this energy is transmitted, it is not something that can be touched.
I love it when you did all this work, and they yell “Action” at you, and you just hope you can ride that wave. For me, working alongside Keanu is effortless. It feels like a connection of our souls in a way that goes beyond the intellect. As an artist, I know how rare it is to have that. It was as if you could feel that other living entity that these two characters are.
Translation: Patricia Sar
Reference from clarin