About.com (US), November 15, 2003

The Matrix Reloaded Movie Premiere

by Rebecca Murray

Hugo Weaving Talks About "The Matrix Reloaded"

To describe the premiere of "The Matrix Reloaded" as surreal would be putting it very mildly. It was a wild, crazy, chaotic scene, with A-list actors mingling with stars from the music world, all while being screamed at by eager fans who had lined up for hours blocking the sidewalks adjacent to the theater. When the stars of "The Matrix Reloaded" arrived, it was all security could do to keep the screaming horde under a semblance of control.

Faced with the packed crowd and a seemingly endless line of reporters, some celebrities took the easy way out and just posed for photos, leaving the task of facing hundreds of microphones up to the braver souls.

I was able to catch a few of "The Matrix Reloaded" stars prior to their hasty retreat into the safe confines of the theater. Here's a sampling of quotes direct from the 'black carpet' event.

HUGO WEAVING ('Agent Smith')

How would you sum up "The Matrix Reloaded?"
It's a titanic struggle between intuition and controlling intellect.

We see hundreds of you in this film. Would you like to be cloned?
No, I don't think so. I sometimes want another twin as long as he didn't really look like me. I'd hate to see hundreds of me (laughing). There are hundreds of 'Smiths,' not hundreds of me. I feel a little different from him.

How did you develop the vocal cadence that this character uses?
We had four or five months training and I was hanging out with Larry and Andy Wachowski, the directors. They sound kind of a little bit similar to him. I wanted him to be not really like a human being, but not really like a robot - something like a newsreader. That's kind of where I was at with him.

When you did the 'Burly Brawl' scene, did you have to each movement 12 times?
Yes, some shots I did, other times there were stuntmen doing those roles, and other times it's CG.

Laurence Fishburne and Clayton Watson Talk About "The Matrix Reloaded"

In "The Matrix Reloaded," critically acclaimed actor Laurence Fishburne returns in the role of Morpheus, the leader of the freedom fighters. This adventure finds Neo (Keanu Reeves), Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) and Morpheus continuing to battle the Machine Army, utilizing their formidable skills and weaponry against the forces of repression and exploitation.

Fishburne describes his character in "Reloaded" as driven by his convictions. "In the first film, Morpheus is a teacher. In 'Reloaded,' he becomes more of a spiritual leader. His belief in Neo and the Oracle’s Prophecy is absolute, and he brings great strength and passion to his increasingly important role in the fight to save Zion. But the truths he encounters along his path put his faith to the test."

Alongside his beautiful wife, actress Gina Torres, Fishburne fielded a few questions from journalists at the Los Angeles Premiere of "The Matrix Reloaded:"


How would you sum up this movie?
Unstoppably watchable.

What did you draw on for inspiration?
The script (laughing).

Who is Morpheus to you now?
Who is he to me now? He is one of my creations, he's one of my children, and he's one of my characters. I added him to my gallery.

What was different filming this "Matrix?"
We had a whole lot more money on this movie.

"The Matrix Reloaded" quotes the Bible, King Arthur, and the Koran. Does that scare you? It's wonderful. The guys that wrote "The Matrix" infused it with all kinds of things from different sources.


How would you describe 'The Kid?'
He's just a kid from Zion. He's just a crazy little (kid) that wants to be a part of the crew. He's too young to join [but] he knows what's going on at all times.

They set it up in this film, and then number three comes out and the kid sort of finds a way to etch himself into the framework and get a part in the big war. (He) proves himself a savior, in a sense.

How hard was it to film two movies at once?
It was pretty fun. There were a lot of jumps. You'd do one scene from two and one scene from three, and then go back and forth. It's just a matter of making sure you know where your character arc is.

What type of training did you go through?
I just did my own gym training. I didn't do any Kung Fu. I do a lot of stuff in quite a large machine. There was a lot of green screen stuff.

Did you have any wirework?
No wirework. I did a lot of hanging upside down and looking up a lot skirts. They say pain is such a personal thing (laughing).

What was your favorite scene to shoot?
My favorite scene was with Keanu, Laurence, Carrie-Anne and Harold Perrineau. You'll see it in this one. It's with the spoon - the old bendy spoon. It was a fantastic scene to do, but I did a lot of great stuff that I really enjoyed in the machine with the green screen that I'm really proud of. There was enjoyment all around.

Neil Rayment and Adrian Rayment Talk About "The Matrix Reloaded"

Playing evil twins, Neil and Adrian Rayment make their feature film debuts in "The Matrix Reloaded." The Rayments are Nidan JKA Black Belt Shotokan Karate instructors, as well as professional fitness consultants. The two also have training in Karate Do, Kuko Schin-Kai, Wu-Tai and Boxing.

When the Rayments found out they'd be coached on the film by master martial artist and wirework specialist Yuen Wo Ping, they were both pleased and honored. "We started doing karate when we were about sixteen," said Neil. "We grew up watching Kung Fu films from Hong Kong, and Wo Ping has always been one of our heroes, not just for his ability as a martial artist, but also as a director."

"To find ourselves suddenly training with him was very intimidating – we're not that worthy! We worked really hard, and every now and again he'd just grin at us out of the blue, which was wonderful – it felt like he'd patted us on the head," added Adrian.


Where'd you find your inspiration for playing evil twins?
Adrian: Growing up with a twin brother (laughing).
Neil: It's time to get all that frustration out.

How would you describe the movie? Can it be summed up in one word?
Neil: Mind-blowing. That's two, but I had to go there.

What was the most challenging moment in making this film?
Adrian: I suppose it was getting the job. Finding out that I have the job and then having to deal with the fact that you're going to be in films two and three.
Neil: That was pretty challenging. To be a big fan of "The Matrix" initially, and then all of a sudden you have this opportunity to be in "Reloaded," that's pretty challenging. You have all these passionate moments and feelings about the thing, and then you want to justify it and do a good job. That's pretty tough.

What was it like working with the special effects?
Adrian: That's something that we just took day by day.
Neil: Yeah, to be an evil bad guy and then all of a sudden to have those kinds of capabilities as well, is great, isn't it?
Adrian: It's a pleasure.

Did you get tired of wearing the suits and wigs?
Neil: It was pretty tough.
Adrian: It was hard work.
Neil: Sometimes you'd be out on a real hot day, and it was a relief sometimes to get that wig off. Sixteen hours in that and it weighed nearly two pounds, you'd get a bit of a headache during the filming.
Adrian: Short hair is low maintenance (laughing).

What's our next project?
Adrian: I can't tell you, but we are working on something at the moment.

Both of you?
Adrian: Yes.
Neil: We are capitalizing on the twin thing.
Adrian: We are used to being cast as twins.

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