(US), May 5, 2003

Jada Pinkett Smith Shares Her 'Matrix' Past

by Vanessa Sibbald

Jada Pinkett Smith, who stars as ship captain Niobe in "The Matrix Reloaded" (opening May 15), had the role tailor-made for her. But that's because she has a history with brothers Andy and Larry Wachowski, writer/directors of "The Matrix" trilogy, thats date back to the first film in 1999.

The actress and her husband, Will Smith, were both approached for the first "Matrix"; Will was offered the lead role of Neo, which was taken by Keanu Reeves, while Jada was considered for the female lead.

"Will knows for an absolute fact that he couldn't have done the job that Keanu did. He knows it would have been a different movie with him in it. He thinks he probably would have ruined it," she tells

Jada, however, was given another chance to be part of "The Matrix" when writer/directors Larry and Andy Wachowski approached her to play Niobe.

"What I loved about Niobe was that she was created for me... I met the Wachowski's for the first 'Matrix' so I really didn't need to read anything when I was told 'They created this character for you.' 'Really? Any nudity?' 'Nope.' 'All right then! Let's get it on!'" she laughs.

Though her husband didn't get another chance to be in the film, Smith says there isn't any jealously between them. Plus, he did get to visit her on the set during the nine months she was shooting the film.

"He's just really happy for me because he knew how much I loved the first one and to be able for it to come back around again and for me to have the opportunities to be involved," she says.

But demands of the film, including the extended time apart from her husband, took its toll on the couple.

"We always said we wouldn't work at the same time, and this one, he actually was doing 'Ali' and then he got nominated for the Oscar," Jada explains. "So this one made it a little difficult -- made it very clear that we cannot work at the same time. We made it work this time, but it's not a pattern that we want to develop."

While Niobe is introduced in "Reloaded," fans will have to wait to really get to know the character.

"You haven't seen her journey yet, her journey is in the video game and the next movie," Smith says, referring to the third film in "The Matrix" trilogy, "The Matrix Revolutions," and the videogame, Enter the Matrix.

Article Focus:

Matrix, The , Matrix Reloaded, The


Matrix, The , Matrix Reloaded, The , Matrix Revolutions, The

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