The Wachowski brothers had always had Keanu Reeves in mind for the role of Neo
The Wachowski brothers had always had Keanu
Reeves in mind for the role of Neo. They explain, "When he
came to meetings with us he had a real appreciation for the script.
We could discuss the film with Keanu in the same way we'd discuss
it between ourselves.
"Keanu has a boyish quality about him that was perfect for
the role, but at the same time he has a maturity that allows his
character to develop and eventually take control of the situation."
Says Reeves, "When I first read the script I thought it was
pretty amazing. It has a great combination of crazy action, extraordinary
characters and some interesting themes. And Larry and Andy are
such good people - very generous, very kind. It all evolved into
something I hadn't seen before in a film: a meeting of heart and
soul, spirit and action.
"I play an interesting character called Thomas Anderson,
known later as Neo. He is someone who is alienated from the world
around him and indeed very suspicious of life itself. He is searching
for something that will somehow make sense of his life, and believes
that Morpheus, Laurence Fishburne's character, has the answers
to all his questions."
Of Fishburne, the Wachowskis assert, "Laurence is a brilliant
actor who brings great presence to his role."
Says Fishburne, "Visually, I thought the style of the film
was very fresh and new - in fact, pretty extraordinary. My character,
Morpheus, is the leader of this band of people and they move in
and out of the 'real' world searching for the one person they
believe can help them in their quest. The broader themes in the
movie have to do with reality versus hyper-reality, and the difference
between what's real and what you perceive to be real."
The character of Trinity was a little more difficult to cast;
as one of the only female member of Morpheus' band of renegades,
she is tough and deeply committed to her cause. Yet she is emotionally
vulnerable to Neo and what he might mean to all of their futures.
The directors saw a number of actors before they found Carrie-Anne
Moss, "but as soon as we saw her in the audition we knew
we'd found Trinity," they say. "We wanted someone audiences
didn't already know very well, so they wouldn't bring their preconceptions
of whether she's supposed to be a 'good guy' or a 'bad guy.' Carrie-Anne
had tremendous intensity and great physical presence. Even though
she wasn't a trained fighter, she looked like she could throw
Comments Moss, "I had really enjoyed seeing 'Bound,' and
knowing Larry and Andy had written 'The Matrix,' I was excited
to have the opportunity to work with them.
"Trinity is a very strong woman who has a real mission and
purpose in her life and will do anything to achieve that mission.
In a sense she's a true warrior. But at the same time she's capable
of real love and compassion, which we see in the love that she
feels for Keanu's character, Neo. So there's a real contrast there.
And she wears some great outfits!"
Larry and Andy found the actor to play Agent Smith in Australia.
They had been impressed by Hugo Weaving's performance in "Priscilla,
Queen Of The Desert" and "Proof" and were eager
to meet with him. "Hugo came out to LA and auditioned for
us. His performance was fantastic and he was willing to undergo
all the fight training that an action part like this would require.
He totally immersed himself in the role."
Says Weaving, "This was ver
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