Salma Hayek lost out on ‘Matrix’ role after struggling with “physical test”

"I’m flexible and agile, but I’m lazy"

Salma Hayek has revealed that she once lost out on a role in The Matrix after struggling with “the physical test”.

Speaking to Jada Pinkett Smith during an episode of her Red Table Talk show, Hayek explained that the first time she and Pinkett Smith met was when they both auditioned for the role of Trinity in the 1999 sci-fi film.

“We were one of the four finalists for The Matrix,” Hayek recalled. “We’d jumped through many hurdles, screen testing, and many auditions. They brought these stunt co-ordinators from Asia. It was the physical test.


“I’m flexible and agile, but I’m lazy. I never really went to the gym, they said, ‘You have to run!’ I go, ‘To where?’ I couldn’t even go around the room once.”

She continued: “Here comes Jada, a mean, lean, sexy machine! Oh my God! She was so good! It was so embarrassing! She was so fit, she was so focused, she was so disciplined. She was so capable. She was so gracious. And I just looked at this woman and I thought to myself, ‘That’s who I want to be when I grow up.'”

The role of Trinity ended up going to Carrie-Anne Moss, who both actors believe was the right person for the job. “I always tell Carrie-Ann that she was perfect for that one,” Pinkett Smith said.

Although she didn’t get the role, Hayek still took something away from the experience. “Every time I’m going to do action [roles], I say, ‘No, I better start getting some stamina and practise the routines, you’ve got to be like Jada!'”

Pinkett Smith would later feature in the franchise after the Wachowskis wrote the role of Niobe in the sequels just for her.


You can watch the Red Table Talk episode featuring Hayek below.

Salma Hayek's Best Advice

Jada’s longtime friend, Oscar-nominated actress and one of the inspirations behind RTT – Salma Hayek – joins the Table for an intimate and revealing conversation about motherhood, menopause and marriage. Jada reveals how Salma’s wise words helped her through the most difficult time in her life.

Posted by Red Table Talk on Tuesday, June 22, 2021

After multiple coronavirus-related delays, The Matrix 4 will now be released in April 2022.

Keanu Reeves will return for the new film in the starring role as Neo, with Moss once again playing Trinity. The pair will also link up with original Matrix director Lana Wachowski. In a recent interview, The Matrix 4 star Jessica Henwick said she believes the new film will “change the industry”, while Reeves described the film as an “inspiring love story”.

Also confirmed to be on board for the new film is Aquaman, The Greatest Showman and Watchmen star Yahya Abdul-Mateen II. As Variety reports, the actor, who also appeared in the Striking Vipers episode of Black Mirror, will play a “lead role” in the film, with some speculating that he will portray a young Morpheus.

Another name that’s been revealed for the Matrix 4 cast is How I Met Your Mother star Neil Patrick Harris. The actor’s specific role is being kept under wraps, but is said to be “significant”.