Carrie-Anne's Back and Reloaded
by Paul Fischer
Carrie-Anne Moss was looking radiant in her pregnant state. Clearly relishing impending motherhood, the 36-year Matrix star says that she plans on taking it easy and enjoying what she hopes is the first of many. "Not sure how many but one at a time," she says smilingly, adding how much she loves being pregnant. "I never thought it would be quite as hormonally challenging just in terms of emotions," she says laughingly. "So one minute you're happy and then the next what do you mean you don't have chocolate ice cream?" Not quite sure what qualities will make her a good mother, Moss says that "I'm first of all really excited to be one and meet this person that's going to be my close companion for 18 years. I'm also excited about learning from my kids and I hope not to project too much onto them as to whom or what they should be." Having children also affects the actress's professional choices, she admits, including where to make movies. "Now that I've done the hardcore location, being away for two years of your life in Australia, I won't do that again," she admits. Yet she has no regrets about that experience, filming the Matrix trilogy in Sydney. "It was awesome, but I really made a conscious choice to enjoy and experience it. I really created an environment there that was really supportive of my experience, I lived in a great place, surrounded myself with great people, my husband visited and I went home, I had friends visit and family visit and it was incredible. But would I do that again? Well first of all movies don't ask that of you, but you it's like making your commitment, it's your work. It's one thing to make your commitment in your work a few hours a day or 9:00 to 5:00 or a few months if you're an actor but I'm ready to make other things a commitment now," she insists.
It was an unknown Carrie-Anne who audiences took to their hearts as the tough but complex Trinity in the 1999 blockbuster hit. Between The Matrix and its two sequels, the actress has certainly evolved, she says. "I'm much stronger this time around! I really take this experience to make these films in me and I really learn and I'm growing each time I do one. Physically it was challenging and I'm always up for a challenge even so this is hard in this case. It was such an experience to show up everyday for 2 years and to give all I could to Trinity and to the Brothers. It was very intense and a great experience in my life." It was also clear why Moss and her other cast members were eager to return to the Matrix environment, even before reading the scripts for both Reloaded and November's Revolutions. "We love the movies and we'll never be able to articulate to you where that comes from. You'd really have to be part of it to understand it and everyone on the movies were inspired to give everything from the set painters, to the catering, assistants and everything, because of the brothers. They really set the tone and really inspired people to want to show up for them." Moss continued to be drawn to Trinity, because she says that she was able to identify with her on a personal level, such as "believing in things strongly such as faith and strength. If I believe in something or in someone, I'll argue with anyone and yet at the same time I'm really completely the opposite and really soft, squishy, emotional and a big cry-baby." Moss was sent both scripts simultaneously and her response was immediate. "I sat down, I read them and I wept, not only because of the stories but because I was like: Oh my God I'm so lucky that I get to be in this movie that I believe in. For an actor that just doesn't happen very often and it happened to me three times with these movies and these ones had so much more of the philosophy in the films," she says with genuine elation.
But working on the two Matrix sequels was also a painful experience for her. Before the commencement of principal photography she broke her leg during the first week of training in Los Angeles. "I was on the wire, had a bad landing and I broke my leg." The actress says that the accident taught her a painful lesson. "It made me aware that even in a movie you could hurt yourself. I needed to know that in making this movie because it was quite dangerous at times on the set, especially when we were doing the motorcycle and driving." Ironically, it was Moss who ended up riding a motorcycle for one of the film's more hair-raising stunts. Ironic, because unlike either stars Fishburne and Reeves, Moss has always had a deep fear of motorcycles, a fear that she was able to finally confront. "It is wonderful to overcome a fear, to actually do something in spite of your fear. My fear is still there and I wouldn't do it again but I understand loving them, like loving the wind in your hair and the freedom but I prefer to drive fast in a car." Another scary moment in Matrix Reloaded, but on another level, was a hot and heavy sex scene between Moss's Trinity and Reeves' Neo. "It was more the leading up to it that was nerve-wracking, but in the end it was tastefully done and there was no nudity on the screen which was important to me. It's a beautiful scene and it's important for the story, because it was significant to see the deep sense of love between them. But it's easier when you like and respect the person and so doing it with Keanu made the whole thing easier than with a stranger. I had never done a love scene before. I'm nervous about it and it's not something I'm comfortable with", Moss admits.
No wonder that part of her training in Australia involved regular sessions of Pilates, which helped her enhance a different side to Trinity in the process. "I wanted to have a softer energy around the character this time and Pilates gives you an incredible amount of strength in your core, but it doesn't really give you the bulk that weights do. Then when I broke my leg I rehabbed doing Pilates which was great. I'm a huge advocator for it."
At its core, however, the Matrix films are more than an action film. As action-oriented as they are, Carrie-Anne believes that the films' popularity have as much to do with thematic substance. "The morals of the films are that Love conquerors all, destiny, believing in your past, making choices that support your destiny, being responsible for the choices that you make, believing in something that you're willing to fight for that you think is important, believing in good, freedom and believing that unless you have a choice then there's no freedom. Having a choice gives you freedom and then it's being responsible for that choice."
Matrix Reloaded opens on May 15.