Although Will Smith turned down the opportunity to star in The Matrix, his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, was eager to participate in the movie. Although she did not get the role of Trinity, she happily joined the sequels as Niobe. However, if it wasn’t for this one person, she never could have starred in either film.
Jada Pinkett Smith auditioned for the role of Trinity in ‘The Matrix’
When Pinkett Smith auditioned for the role of Trinity in The Matrix, she made a lasting impression on the writers and directors. However, she did not get the part because she and Keanu Reeves lacked chemistry together.
“Keanu and I didn’t, uh, really click,” Pinkett Smith said on The Howard Stern Show. “We just didn’t have any chemistry, he and I.”
However, when the directors, The Wachowskis, began writing The Matrix sequels, they thought about how much they loved Pinkett Smith. They created the role of Niobe specifically for her in The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions.
“I do wish [I had been cast as Trinity], but I look at Carrie-Anne [Moss], and I just go, she’s freaking amazing,” Pinkett Smith continued. “There’s no way in the world I would have brought that.”
Pinkett Smith ‘lied’ to the directors to take on the role of Niobe
When the directors called Pinkett Smith to offer her the role in The Matrix Reloaded, she was pregnant with her daughter, Willow Smith. Filming for the movie was set to begin at the end of November, but the baby was due on Nov. 11.
“And I’ll tell you a secret. I lied,” the actor told Vanity Fair. “Because Willow was supposed to be due November 11, but I told them, ‘No worries, the baby’s coming in October, so by the time the end of November comes, I’m going to be ready.’”
Luckily, Willow came early, and she quickly got herself ready for the films.
“Let me tell you, my baby girl came on October 31st,” she continued. “Do you know mama was ready? I was ready. End of November to start The Matrix. Pushed that baby out, got in the gym, and got it together.”
Smith could not have starred in ‘The Matrix Reloaded’ without her mother
During a Facebook Watch Red Table Talk, Pinkett Smith admitted that she could never have filmed the movies without Adrienne Norris-Banfield. The actor became so much closer to her mother when she had Jaden and Willow Smith.
“There was so much healing that happened between you and I through [my children] because I got to see your nurturing side,” Pinkett Smith told her mother during the talk. “I got to see sacrifices that you were making for them that weren’t the same kind of sacrifices you made for me, how you were like ‘I’m going. I’ll be with you in Australia. I know it’s going to be long. My husband is not happy, but I’m gonna be there.’”
The actor told her mother and her fans that Niobe might not have been in The Matrix sequels at all if it wasn’t Norris-Banfield.
“That helped me so much because if I didn’t have you, I wouldn’t have been able to do the Matrix,” she continued. “I wouldn’t be able to keep working. You went with me everywhere. Because of you, I was able to have my children with me, so thank you.”
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