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- British actress
- American actor and singer
The Matrix Resurrections is one of the most highly anticipated movies of the year with newcomers to the series Jessica Henwick and Jonathan Groff making quite the debut in the fourth instalment.
Jessica stars in the film as Bugs, a true believer in the legend of Neo (Keanu Reeves), who assembles a rag-tag group of human Resistance members who never stopped believing he was alive somewhere. With Bugs' help, Neo is found inside the Matrix, living a seemingly normal life as Thomas A. Anderson with a therapist who prescribes him blue pills to counteract the strange 'hallucinations' he occasionally has.
In this version of reality, Thomas meets a woman who appears to be his one true love, Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss), but they do not recognise each other.
Bugs, Neo and the group of rebels must now fight a stronger enemy and find a way for Neo and Trinity to reunite.
Jonathan stars as a new version of Smith, famously played by Hugo Weaving in the original films, who is also Mr Anderson's boss.
Speaking with the pair, Jessica and Jonathan expressed to Yahoo Lifestyle how they were such big fans of the series before signing on for the fourth film, with Jonathan describing the job as "a dream".
"It was like it's so surreal, so exciting," he tells us. "And it even now like now that we're talking about it this week finally and doing press, it's starting to sink in... The movie was under a code name while we were working on it. So, you didn't see like The Matrix or 'This way to The Matrix' or the scripts didn't say, Matrix Four on it. So I'm just sort of now in a way comprehending what we were making the entire time was in the Matrix."
As the film was shrouded in such secrecy, we asked how the pair felt about holding on to such crazy secrets, and it seems as though they had very different ideas of how to keep things under wraps.
"When you go audition for these projects, you sign so many NDAs, which is just your life rights away and any future children that you may have, you know, you just sign them away," Jessica joked, before adding, "I never follow those. I tell everyone! I say, 'Hey, I just auditioned for The Matrix!' I'm like at Starbucks like, 'Yeah, just auditioned for The Matrix, wish me luck!'"
"I love it. You're very open," Jonathan said, to which she responded, "I'm very open, don't tell me secrets!"
On the other hand, Jonathan reveals he is very good at keeping secrets, telling us, "I was in the closet until I was 23, so keeping secrets comes sadly like naturally to me. It's very easy."
Speaking of Smith, Jonathan shared how "thrilling" it was to take on the role.
"It was truly thrilling and still very, very surreal," he said. "There were certain moments that we were consciously paying homage to the former character. And then there were certain moments where [director Lana Wachowski] was looking to go in a totally different direction.
"And the whole experience was a mixture of all of that, but the times that I felt most Smith-esque was definitely shooting the gun. And definitely, the fighting, getting to like really work on like the kind of heavy punching, it was something that didn't come naturally to me. But when I kind of unlocked that in myself, it was it was very cathartic."
The pair don't have that much time onscreen together, but when they were, it was during some kickass action sequences. Speaking about preparing for those kinds of scenes, Jonathan said Jessica was just "a natural" at them.
"For me, it was just getting back into shape," Jessica said. "Because anytime I do an action film, I say 'never again'. And I make a point to stop going to the gym and not work out. Like I'm making a really strong choice. And then I inevitably, like two years later, book an action gig, and I'm like, 'damn it, now I have to get back in shape!' And then I always regret that I let it slip. So yeah, for me, it was just building up my endurance."
But Jonathan wasn't having any of it and the pair argued over who was more of a natural at the fight scenes, but the Mindhunter star pushed, "No, let me give you this compliment. It's like watching a ballerina.
"You know how they, like a really beautiful ballerina, stands in a specific way, like Jess, it's like Carrie-Anne in the original films watching you in this in this movie. You're so intense and powerful and graceful at the same time."
He continued, "And even like I remember one time like there was like you were doing like your side kick... And you were like lifting up your skirt. Do you remember this, by the way? And I was like, 'Jess, that was so amazing' the way that you like work the outfit, and you're incredible!"
Jessica explained, "I did that because I'm such a big fan of Jackie Chan. And he's always using his costume as part of the fight, and I just think it's a really great idea, so I always try and use that."
When pointing out what a compliment it was, Jessica added, "Actually, it's an even bigger compliment because Jonathan knows this – I used to have a crush on him when he was in Glee. So it's a huge compliment!"
"Used to have a crush..." Jonathan said, pretending to be hurt, with Jessica adding, "Oh, no, forever, forever!"
The Matrix Resurrections is out in cinemas on Boxing Day.
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