The cast of 'The Matrix Resurrections' on reviving the popular franchise

Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss discuss the experience of returning to the roles they originated in the 1999 blockbuster.

Video transcript

- He hasn't taken the pill.

- What? There's no time.

- I know, I know. He's having a moment.

- Does he know how hard it was to hack that mirror?

- Still open.

- This-- this can't be real.

ETHAN ALTER: We see Neo at his weakest, both physically and mentally, in this particular movie. What was it like playing such a de-powered version of the character?

KEANU REEVES: Yeah, I don't know if he's weak. I would say that he's in a vulnerable state and trying to make it better. I love suffering in characters and in stories. It's really fun to play. And I think it's something that we can all relate to. It was fun to play Thomas Anderson Neo, in all of his weakness. [CHUCKLES]

ETHAN ALTER: Carrie, conversely, I love that the arc for Trinity in this movie is re-establishing her as one of the strongest, most important characters in the franchise. Was that something you talked about with Lana in bringing her back for "Resurrections?"

CARRIE-ANNE MOSS: We didn't really talk about that. But when I discovered the arc for Trinity, my mind was just like, wow, OK. I love that she reclaims her power. I think everyone can relate to feeling disempowered and claiming one's self.

ETHAN ALTER: Jessica, I love that Bugs is very much the child of both Neo and Trinity in the way she comes across. How did you incorporate Keanu and Carrie-Anne's performances into your portrayal?

JESSICA HENWICK: I didn't think about that at all. [LAUGHS] I mean, it is a part of the story that Bugs knows the legend of the Matrix and Neo and Trinity and kind of idolizes them. But I knew it wasn't my task to do and interpretation of their performances at all, you know?

ETHAN ALTER: [LAUGHS] That moves us right along to Yahya. You're playing the new Morpheus. How did you go about doing that?

YAHYA ABDUL-MATEEN II: I think you start with going back and watching the films and finding out the things that you do love or the opportunities to, you know, steal little characteristics. And then I ask myself, what are the new opportunities that I have to show a different side of this character?

You know, I'm playing a character who is stepping into his own form of personality and reality. And so he gets to, you know, experiment a bit, and that was a bit of what my process was.

ETHAN ALTER: And Jonathan, for you, I feel like we can say same Smith, new face, a little bit. But what was your approach to sort of interpreting Hugo's performance?

JONATHAN GROFF: I was relieved when Lana said she didn't want anything that felt like his performance, that this was new programming. But I still watched him a lot anyway.

- Mr. Anderson, welcome back.

JONATHAN GROFF: And then the other piece was all the fight training to get the brutalistic side of Smith that was familiar from the previous films. It was so fun.

ETHAN ALTER: One of the ideas I really like in "Resurrections" is this idea that we're already so plugged into the Matrix, that people don't want to leave. Do you think the machines have won in our reality in that way? [CHUCKLES]

PRIYANKA CHOPRA JONAS: I don't know if they've won, but I think they're getting closer to it, for sure. I mean, look at our reality and how technology is so embedded in our lives. I think what "The Matrix" was 20 years ago when it came out, we are very close to that now.

CARRIE-ANNE MOSS: A common question that I'm asking myself and I'm asking my family to think about is, how do you remain human in this highly digitized environment that we're in? And I think everyone's gonna have a different answer to that. But I love human beings. I'm the person that calls. And I'll wait 'til I can talk to a person.

KEANU REEVES: Are you sure it's a person you're talking to?

CARRIE-ANNE MOSS: Oh no. I'm just gonna pull out of it. Pull out of the Matrix completely.

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