Access Hollywood (US), February 6, 2002

The Matrix Cast Reloads

The Matrix Reloaded is taking over the "land down under" and Access Hollywood visited the three stars on the Australian set where they revealed that making the film is painful business! They also discussed how the first film, released in 1999, has set the bar higher for the sequels they are shooting now.

Laurence Fishburne, reprising his role as Morpheus, says: "Actually I am quite confident in saying that the sequels to The Matrix will be better than the first one."

The precision-choreographed fights that won Oscars and set a new standard in filmmaking are back, but this time the goal for Reloaded is to make them even more elaborate than before.

Also returning is Carrie-Ann Moss as Trinity, who believes that "in every single department, we are all trying to do something better, more fantastic, and I think we are achieving that."

Keanu Reeves reclaims his role as Neo, the computer hacker hailed as 'The One' to lead humans to overthrow machines and reclaim the earth. On the greater sequel intricacies, Keanu says," I know for me, the action aspect of it is much more complex and a little trickier than last time. Before, if I threw one kick, now I'm throwing three kicks, or four, maybe seven. The wire work, the kung fu and the fight scenes are a little more sophisticated and ambitious."

To further expand their abilities, the actors are finding themselves devoting six hours a day, up to six days a week on fight training. Unfortunately, however, with more ambitious fight scenes come more on-the-set injuries. "I would have to say that about 50% of our time is training, 25% is about waiting and the other 25% is about acting," acknowledges Fishburne. "The last time there weren't quite as many injuries. This time, I think, all of me got hurt. I hyper-extended my wrist and just put a lot of strain on it."

The injuries Fishburne sustained were nothing compared to what happened to Carrie-Ann Moss: "I had never had any fear about the apparatus they put us on to do the flips and the running along side the walls, but about two weeks into training, I broke my leg on that wire -- I landed wrong. I had to heal my leg, which took eight weeks, and then I had to get back on the wire."

So far, so good for Reeves, though: "Knock on wood -- so far I haven't broken anything."

You can catch The Matrix Reloaded when it is released in May of next year. The third installment, called The Matrix Revolutions, is slated to debut in December 2003.

Read the rest of what didn't air on Access Hollywood from the Keanu Reeves interview.

Access Hollywood: The Matrix received so much acclaim and success at the Academy Awards®... Do you think the bar has been raised in regards to the sequels?

Keanu Reeves: I hope that people who are fans of the film will enjoy what's being created. The editing and sound and special effects have been great surprises. I'm just really happy for everyone involved. It's been just great.

Access: How has it been filming in Australia? Has it been more laid back?

Keanu: More laid back? Not really. Friday is different. In the States, on Fridays you just keep going. Here, it's very civilized. They go as much as they want earlier in the week, but on Fridays they slow down and get back to their other lives. It's great.

Access: How is it to be filming both sequels at once?

Keanu: I've never filmed two films at once. It feels like we're just doing one story. It really doesn't seem different than making one film -- it's just longer.

Access: Have you ever been in better shape than you are now? Is the training paying off?

Keanu: I don't usually train this much. We've been filming now for ten months. That's the challenge, to film and train at the same time. It means that you come in on the weekends and train at night. It's so- What's the expression in Australia?... 'Full on'. It's pretty full on, which is great.

Access: Carrie-Anne said that you are very dedicated and that you sometimes make her feel like a slacker.

Keanu: That girl is as dedicated as anyone. She's fantastic. As an actress and a person, um - I have more fights than she does, but not many. Trinity kicks some butt.

Access: Tell us about what you had to learn this time around from a martial arts perspective?

Keanu: I'm not really learning martial arts. I'm learning a kind of dance, really. It's movie kung fu - you still have to stretch and you have to kick, but it's not kung fu. It's more like jump, spin, hook, kick. It's dealing with kicking combinations. I also use some weapons in this film. I learn how to use four different weapons, which is great.

Access: So with all of that training, what does your stunt double have to do?

Keanu: My stunt double, Chad, has to do a whole bunch. He's really, in terms of the action, part of the role. He really studies the way I move. He helps train and we really work together. We try and make it consistent so it doesn't appear like there are two people doing it. He also does all of the crashing and bashing and going through walls and stuff.

Access: Is it true that you handed over your profit-sharing points to the special effects and design team?

Keanu: I wish people didn't know about that Yeah, that was something that, uh I'll say yes.

Access: It's a very generous thing.

Keanu: It was just something that I could do which was great.

Access: For this production, is it true that they actually built a freeway?

Keanu: They didn't quite build a working freeway. In Oakland, they put together this replica of a freeway in this abandoned naval yard. I guess it was about a mile and a quarter long. It had two sides with two and three lanes with overpasses. When you flew into San Francisco, you could see it from the sky. It was cool to drive on.

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