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Director opens up about sex change
Andy Wachowski (R), the elusive co-director with his brother Larry in 2003. Larry had a sex change operation and is now called Lara. Picture: Reuters/Fred Prouser

Moviemaker Lana Wachowski has spoken for the first time about her sex change, revealing in a candid new interview that she was initially "terrified" of losing her family.

The Matrix director lived as a man called Larry until 2002 and she only publicly confirmed her gender reassignment in July while promoting new Tom Hanks film Cloud Atlas.

Wachowski, who divorced college sweetheart Thea Bloom in 2002 and went on to marry a second wife, tells the New Yorker magazine she suffered many sleepless nights as she contemplated telling her relatives about her sex change plans.

"For years, I couldn't even say the words transgendered or transsexual," she says.

"When I began to admit it to myself, I knew I would eventually have to tell my parents and my brother and my sisters. This fact would inject such terror into me that I would not sleep for days."

Wachowski insists she was overwhelmed by support from family members and now feels happy in her new life.

"I chose to change my exterior to bring it closer into alignment with my interior... My biggest fears were all about losing my family. Once they accepted me, everything else has been a piece of cake."

However, Wachowski is determined to keep some details of her sex change private.

"I know that many people are dying to know if I have a surgically constructed vagina or not, but I prefer to keep this information between my wife and me."