Matrix a turning point for Carrie-Ann Moss
by Iain Blair
CARRIE-Anne Moss describes 'The Matrix Revolutions' as, "an epic war story that's full of heart." She also notes that the third and final chapter in filmmakers Andy and Larry Wachowski's cyberpunk trilogy has been a "life-changing event" for her. No wonder, as Moss' life and career so far can be divided neatly into two areas: BM—Before Matrix and AM —After Matrix. In her BM mode, the Canadian beauty and ex-model struggled through a variety of straight-to-video roles and projects. Then The Matrix came a-calling in 1999 and Moss found her own true calling —as the tough-as-nails, leather-clad martial artist and rebel fighter Trinity who resurrected Keanu Reeves' Neo with a kiss.
Moss is now back for the eagerly awaited final act, The Matrix Revolutions, in which she again teams with Neo to fight the machines and save Zion from the Sentinel invaders. But the situation, as the ending of The Matrix Reloaded spelled out, is "pretty desperate" at the start of the new film, explains Moss. "Neo is in a coma, I'm watching over him, and meanwhile the machines are getting closer and closer to Zion."
To further complicate matters—and increase the stakes—the rogue program Smith (Hugo Weaving) has also managed to infiltrate the mind of Bane (Ian Bliss), a member of the hovercraft fleet, who is also in a coma next to Neo. When Bane and Neo finally regain consciousness, Bane goes on a murderous rampage while Neo once again seeks out The Oracle (Mary Alice) for guidance in his quest to save mankind.
The Matrix Revolutions—which features such familiar characters as Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne), Niobe (Jada Pinkett Smith), Persephone (Monica Bellucci) and her perverse Matrix power-broker husband Merovingian (Lambert Wilson)—also introduces some new characters, including The Trainman (Bruce Spence), who controls all travel between the Matrix and the Machine world.
So what does it all mean?
"I think it means different things for each person," says Moss. "I think there are so many layers to it, and it's so deep. It definitely makes you think, but ultimately for me, it's all about heart and what it makes you feel. And I think that'll be this film's biggest surprise for audiences—that a movie with so much action and intensity can also have so much heart and emotion."
It's Trinity's heart and love for Neo that causes her to be so proactive in the final chapter, notes Moss. "She's not just going to sit around and see what happens to Neo—she takes matters into her own hands, which is something I could really relate to. There's a lot of Trinity in me."
The actress goes on to say that, from her perspective, casting Reeves as Neo was, "a perfect fit. He's so perfect for the role that I can't imagine anyone else playing the part, and I'm so moved by his journey in this film. People seem to have this image of Keanu as a somewhat mysterious person, but I don't think of him like that at all. To me, he's this very open, warm, complicated man, and working with him on all these films was just a joy."
The Matrix trilogy has been described as "the thinking man's action film." What does Moss think? "I'd say it's the thinking-and-feeling man's action film," she says. "I'm not an intellectual, so I really responded to everything on a gut level. Yes, it's incredibly exciting visually and the special effects will blow people away, but in the end it was the story and the emotions that got me and stayed with me."
The actress, who is married to writer-producer Steven Roy, recently gave birth to their first child, another "life-changing event," she says. "And when I look back on The Matrix now, it's undoubtedly the biggest thing in my career and a great time in my life. It was hard and beautiful, but I wouldn't do it again."
Her next film is Suspect Zero, a thriller with Ben Kingsley and Aaron Eckhart. "It's all about a serial killer and I play an FBI agent," she reports. "The great thing is that I didn't have to train for it. But my real big project is the baby. That's my future."