With The Matrix 4 due to arrive in cinemas on December 22nd this year, it is worth remembering that while many of its stars, including Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss, took on roles that would become cemented in history along with the original movie itself, there were many others who were not so lucky when it came to auditioning for the film. One such person was Salma Hayek, who is currently appearing with Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L Jackson in The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard.
While certainly talented and successful in her own right, Salma Hayek remembered her audition for the first movie in The Matrix franchise when she appeared on Red Table Talk, which is hosted by another Matrix auditionee, Jada Pinkett Smith. Mrs. Will Smith auditioned in the same final round for the 1999 introduction to The Matrix. Hayek shared her memories of why she didn’t get through the audition process, in a brutally honest assessment of herself at the time. “We’d jumped through many hurdles, screen testing, and many auditions. They brought these stunt coordinators from Asia. It was the physical test. I’m flexible and agile, but I’m lazy,” she shared.
Hayek was auditioning for the Carrie-Anne Moss character Trinity, who Pinkett Smith had also auditioned for. The actress went on to reveal that she didn’t really believe she was ever in the right shape to be able to complete a lot of the energetic action that was being asked, even though she made it as far as working with the stunt trainers on those final rounds of auditions. She said,
“I never really went to the gym and they said to me, ‘You have to run!’ I go, ‘To where?’ I couldn’t even go around the room once… They never called me again after that day.”
Although it was obviously a disappointment to Hayek, she was more surprised that Pinkett Smith had also failed the audition, remembering her as a “mean, lean, sexy machine” in the audition process. With the grueling process finally leading to Moss getting the role, Pinkett Smith had clearly left the same mark on those making the casting decisions as on Hayek, as she ended up appearing in both The Matrix sequels as Niobe, a role she will also be returning to in the upcoming fourth installment.
Instead of joining The Matrix, Hayek would find herself in Wild Wild West alongside Will Smith, who had apparently turned down the role of Neo in The Matrix at the time. Others to have passed on the lead were Brad Pitt and Nicholas Cage, leaving the door open for Keanu Reeves to make the role his own. I think many would agree that the choices made turned out pretty well all round for everyone concerned.
While The Matrix 4 comes to theaters in December without Hayek, she will be seen in her Marvel Cinematic Universe debut as Ajak in Eternals, so I’m sure that she won’t be too disappointed about where her journey has led her in the end. Everything happens for a reason, and that seems like a pretty good reason to have missed out a role in The Matrix all those years ago. This news comes to us from RedTableTalk.