The Matrix turned Keanu Reeves into an iconic action star, but another actress was almost slow-motion kicking alongside him instead of Carrie-Anne Moss.
While making the publicity rounds for the action comedy sequel The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard, Salma Hayek revealed that she was one of four finalists in consideration for the role of Trinity in The Matrix. So why didn’t she get the part? The Desperado star admitted that she simply couldn’t handle the action and was too lazy to land the part.
During an interview on Red Table Talk at Facebook (via Yahoo), Salma Hayek talked about how she was one of the final four actresses up for the role of Trinity in The Matrix. This was at a time when Hayek’s star had risen rather quickly thanks to Desperado, From Dusk Til Dawn, and Fools Rush In, so Warner Bros. Pictures was sweet on the star.
Unfortunately, she wasn’t cut out for the physical requirements of the part. Hayek explained:
“We’d jumped through many hurdles, screen testing, and many auditions. They brought these stunt coordinators from Asia. It was the physical test. I’m flexible and agile, but I’m lazy. I never really went to the gym, they said, ‘You have to run!’ I go, ‘To where?’ I couldn’t even go around the room once.”
Another Contender Still Ended Up in The Matrix
Joining Hayek in the interview was Jada Pinkett-Smith, who was also in the running for the role of Trinity at the time. And the Nutty Professor actress was much more game for the action than Hayek, who recalled:
“Here comes Jada, a mean, lean, sexy machine! Oh my God! She was so good! It was so embarrassing! She was so fit, she was so focused, she was so disciplined. She was so capable. She was so gracious. And I just looked at this woman and I thought to myself, ‘That’s who I want to be when I grow up.’”
Though Pinkett-Smith didn’t get the role of Trinity, she would go on to land the role of Niobe in the sequels The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions. Coincidentally enough, the same year that The Matrix came out, Hayek would star alongside Will Smith in Wild Wild West, a movie that didn’t require much physical stress, but certainly took a mental toll on those who had to sit through it. Plus, now she’s doing plenty of action in The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard, in theaters now.
The Matrix franchise returns with a fourth installment this winter on December 16, 2021.
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