The Matrix stars Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss reunite for EW's Resurrections cover shoot
Resurrected and it feels so good
Neo and Trinity, back together after 18 years. It's something neither Keanu Reeves nor Carrie-Anne Moss could have predicted, as they speak about their journey to The Matrix Resurrections on the set of EW's January cover shoot.
"I was totally shocked. Didn't see that coming," Moss says of that initial text message from director Lana Wachowski that preceded a phone call. "It's one of those phone calls where, even though you're at home, you stand up," Reeves adds.
Scroll ahead to see more photos of the starry pair.
Life after death
Reeves and Moss became the faces of The Matrix when they debuted as Neo and Trinity in that 1999 genre-redefining sci-fi film, helmed by sibling filmmakers Lana and Lilly Wachowski.
Reeves starred as Thomas Anderson, a computer hacker known by the alias Neo, who's awakened by a man named Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) to a hidden truth: What he perceives as reality isn't actually real. Far in the future, man-made artificial intelligence took over the world and enslaved humanity, turning flesh-and-blood people into food. The Matrix, a simulated reality created by the machines, is projected into humans' minds, making them think they are living out their day to day when really their bodies are lying in pods and harvested for energy.
As Trinity, Moss portrays a member of Morpheus' crew aboard the Nebuchadnezzar space ship, where they hack themselves into the Matrix in order to free as many minds as possible.
The hero's journey
The Matrix sparked two sequels, The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions, both released in 2003. Multiple other supplemental materials, from comic books to video games to the Animatrix anime anthology, further expanded this vast, complex world. Meanwhile, Reeves and Moss were the internationally recognized faces of this sci-fi phenomenon.
"Is it as big as puberty? I don't know," ponders Reeves when thinking about the impact The Matrix has had on his life.
"Maybe life-changing," offers Moss.
"Yeah. Life-changing puberty in The Matrix," her costar jokes.
Déjà vu is usually a bad thing in the context of these films. It signifies "a glitch in the Matrix," meaning the computers changed something in the virtual world — and it usually isn't to the benefits of humans. (Remember the black cat?) But for Moss, déjà vu was calming.
When Wachowski called "action" on the set of The Matrix Resurrections, the actress felt "right back" with Reeves as if they were making the first movies all over again. "Most of my scenes are with Keanu, and it was just a pleasure to sit across from him and do that again," she says.
The power of love
Spoiler warning from the original trilogy: Neo and Trinity seemingly met their end in The Matrix Revolutions. Trinity appeared to die in a ship crash, while Neo sacrificed his body to the machines to end the war against humans. In The Matrix Resurrections, both seem to be alive and well back inside the simulated reality, but they don't appear to have memories of their past lives.
Reeves was surprised to hear from Wachowski about how much the film is "a love story" between these two characters.
"I was moved the most in making this film [by] how much I could feel [Lana's] love for Neo and Trinity and how we get like the opportunity to embody her love," Moss explains. "I've never felt that way before where I could see that I am an extension of her heart in playing this role."
Moss sees how Wachowski found her way back into the world of The Matrix as "master storytelling."
"When I read [the script] for the first time — I was with Keanu reading it at a table — I had no idea how were we going to go back to this world," she recalls. "I fantasized it in my mind, like three different scenarios. I was nowhere close."
A new kind of Matrix
Reeves was struck by how much humor came with the script for Resurrections, which is a bit of a departure from the original trilogy.
"It's throwing down the Matrix gauntlet again," he says. "It's super smart, clever, entertaining, suspenseful, funny. [The] writing is spectacular."
Back in action
Reeves is no stranger to action, having headlined The Matrix, but also all the John Wick movies. He just got back from Jordan, one of the filming locations on the fourth Wick.
"John Wick is very different than Matrix action," Reeves says, though acknowledging that Scott Rogers — the stunt coordinator on those movies — and John Wick director Chad Stahelski were also involved in the making of Resurrections. Stahelski was once Reeves' stunt double on the first Matrix, and now he has a small role in the fourth movie. "It's a beautiful road," Reeves remarks of that journey.
Back to basics
Learning the physical action choreography 20 years ago is not the same as learning it now. Moss said she needed to "respect" how much her body had changed when training for Trinity again. But it was a challenge she was ready for.
"That's why I love being a part of The Matrix: the things that I've had to overcome to show up and be Trinity," she says. "There's no tricks. There's no special effects." At least, none beyond the CG elements.
For more on The Matrix Resurrections, order the January issue of Entertainment Weekly or find it on newsstands beginning Dec. 17. Don't forget to subscribe for more exclusive interviews and photos, only in EW.
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