(an extended version of the Keanu interview is available here).
Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss and Laurence Fishburne talk to Tribute's Bonnie Laufer-Krebs about the final chapter in the Matrix trilogy in this exclusive Canadian interview.
Is it bittersweet to be sitting here and talking about this final installment of The Matrix?
K.R.: Bittersweet? Where's the bitter part? I had a great time! Some of the best days of my life were making these films and I feel great to have been able to be a part of it. It's really exciting that Revolutions is coming out.
When you look back at it all, what surprised you about yourself and your capabilities to play this character?
K.R.: Oh God, I don't know if I could evaluate it like that.
How did Neo influence you? Here's a character that just pushes it to the brink and you do the same.
K.R.: It's lovely to play an honorable man. He's a man who is conflicted but also Neo is a pretty honorable guy. He's also loved, and to be in love with Trinity is one of the greatest things to play.
What is it like working with Carrie-Anne Moss?
K.R.: Oh, she's absolutely amazing. We kind of partnered up, especially in the first one and she's such a remarkable actress and person. What is so remarkable is the way she looks at life and tries to understand herself and others emotionally. How she lives her life and the joy that she wants to have and her bravery as a person is really inspiring. She's funny and beautiful and talented.
Why do you think the Matrix films are so popular?
K.R.: Because they rock! They totally rock man! There is so much movie on the screen. There's ideas, there's Kung Fu, there's interesting relationships. I think that they are ethical and moral and I enjoy and respect and feel that from the filmmakers. I think that they are fun, I think that they are provocative and I think, cinematically, they're unique. I think the acting and the relationships that you see in the films, the editing and the music, the style and the content is just really unique. They are great! Get some popcorn, sit down and watch The Matrix. You know what I mean? All of them. I think the care that Larry and Andy Wachowski, the writers/directors, what they have put in these movies is just, cool.
Is Revolutions going to satisfy die-hard Matrix fans?
K.R.: I don't know. I hope they dig it.
How bittersweet is it that we are sitting here talking about this final episode?
C-A.M.: I know. It is pretty bittersweet, that's a good word for it, and yet, I have had time to grieve it's passing, (laughs) because it has been a while, and now I am in a celebratory state. I really want to celebrate and talk about what a great film it is and being part of it.
How did this experience change you as a person?
C-A.M.: It changed me completely and I changed within it. In playing her (Trinity) it's a deep question and profound for me. It's my journey of my life. In order to play her, I was asked to do stuff that was really challenging for me and sometimes scary. For instance, riding a motorcycle or hanging on a wire after breaking my leg or just being on a wire in general and pushing myself physically when I didn't want to. In the beginning I went to work every day thinking that I was going to get fired because I was just scared and green. I was like, 'how did I get this job?' I became more confident and what the movie asked of me, created Trinity, and out of that, gave me a sense of myself.
What is so beautiful about this film is the relationship between Trinity and Neo. I am sure you could sit here for an hour and talk about Keanu Reeves and your friendship. Your relationship had to have spilled into your characters.
C-A.M.: I love him. I adore him and he is such a great guy and a great human being. He's special. It's hard to explain someone, especially someone like him because he is beyond words. He is such an interesting and lovely person. He is kind beyond kind, generous beyond generous.
How can you walk away from a friendship like that?
C-A.M.: You don't. You are friends forever. You are friends forever in a different capacity. You don't see each other every day anymore but you know you check in to make sure that the other person is doing well.
I don't think anything could have topped your freeway motorcycle scene in Matrix Reloaded, but in Revolutions you have some shining moments. The Club Hell scene for instance must have been fun to shoot.
C-A.M.: You know, it was interesting because it was the absolute opposite of the Zion scene where the dancing took place. Zion is supposed to be this pure beautiful place with naked bodies dancing and there was love everywhere. Then you go to this hell club and it was just freaky and dark and demented, scary and interesting and beautiful and terrifying at the same time. To come in and do that action sequence was great. It reminded me of the first Matrix and doing the government lobby scene with Keanu. My partners in crime this time were Morpheus and Seraph.
Do you think that die-hard Matrix fans are going to be satisfied with Revolutions?
C-A.M.: I think that it really makes you think even more and it explains so many things from the first one. In the first one I felt like my eyes were open and in this one I feel like my eyes are opened even further and my heart is open watching it.
Morpheus has really evolved from the first movie till now. Can you describe how he's changed?
L.F.: Well, Morpheus is human in this movie. He's dark, mysterious, all-powerful and all-knowing in the first. He's a superhero in thesecond one. In Revolutions, he's just human.
But he keeps the faith.
L.F.: That's what is at the core of his humanity. That is what is central to his humanity in all three movies. The central thing is that he is actually faith in action. He's faith without action in this movie. He doesn't do a lot, but his real thing is to bring us back to the notion of faith. What happens in this movie that is really interesting is that everyone else discovers their faith all around him.
How was it working with Keanu Reeves?
L.F.: Oh man, you know, it's been really quite a journey just working with him and getting to know him and coming to know each other and becoming friends. He is so dear to me and he's funny as hell. His sense of humor is great and it's one of the clearest signs of intelligence. He's one of the funniest people I know and one of the brightest people I know.
This film is a lot about making choices and I was wondering if working on these films has made you think about the choices that you now make?
L.F.: I've always been one to be very thoughtful about my choices. I try to be discerning, so my being involved with this movie is yet again another example of that. This was a choice for me.
The Matrix films are so popular. Everyone was phoning me this morning to find out what this third one was like.
L.F.: Yeah, I know. It's like, listen, you have to tell me! And then you have to make sure you don't tell me this! Yeah, yeah, I get it all the time!
Why do you think they are so popular?
L.F.: Because it's an old myth, or the old story told in a modern context. It transcends culture and class and religion because it goes all the way back to the first story and the first story appears in every culture around the world. So everybody can relate because everyone is familiar with the archetypes and familiar with the mask that is presented through these characters.
So how is this one going to satisfy die-hard Matrix fans?
L.F.: I think this satisfies them in a great way. It leaves it open because every beginning has an end, but nobody wants this to end. There's a world, we have created a world and the world isn't just simple black and white, beginning, middle, end. It is forever. It's eternal because the things that are presented inside the story deal with not just the temporal world but also that which exists outside of that and that which is forever.
So if you got that phone call saying, mmmmm, number four, what do you think?
L.F.: I'd go mmmmm, number four! (laughs)