“Who am I if not Trinity?” Carrie-Anne Moss on the Making of a Film Icon

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In Moss’s room, makeup is strewn all over the table, and the dresser is covered in supplements and tinctures and a special chai tea she brings with her everywhere she goes. This week is all talk-show appearances and Zoom chats, early call times and cast reunions. “I need that coffee,” she says, pointing to the room-service tray. This surprises me, because I’ve been reading the online platform Moss now runs, Annapurna Living, which is focused holistic health and mindfulness. In one post to the site, she swore off coffee.

“One of the things I talk a lot about on Annapurna Living is, you get to change your mind,” Moss says with a smile, sitting down onto the couch and cracking into a hard-boiled egg. “I’m not into dogma!”

I ask Moss what she thinks about this moment of mass-market nostalgia. She doesn’t watch anything (except “Succession,” naturally), but she can’t help but notice the way the past is creeping up on us, and she turns the question back to me. “Why do you think? Is it because it’s comforting for humanity?” she asks. “I don’t know!”

“I remember what was hot when ‘The Matrix’ was out: ‘Friends,’ ‘Sex and the City,’” she continues. “All of us who were watching those things 20 years ago have aged too, so we can feel some comfort in seeing where their lives are now, and looking at where our lives are now and what’s happening with us.”

Moss’s own life has changed enormously—and this hectic week spent in New York is, to use the most obvious possible metaphor, about as far from her typical day-to-day experience as the Matrix is to the real world. Last year, Moss moved her family from Los Angeles to rural New Hampshire, where she spends most of her time taking care of her children, meditating, and sitting by the fire. After the move, while she was unpacking her renovated farmhouse, she started digging through old notebooks, and stumbled through a portal into her past: A journal entry from 22 years ago, written during the making of the original “Matrix” film, at a moment when she was still trying to understand the Trinity character.

“I had written a letter in my journal about my talk with The Oracle,” Moss tells me. While the film took pains to lay out Neo’s backstory as a computer programmer named Thomas Anderson, it gave the audience almost no biographical information about Trinity. We know she had a closet full of impossibly well-fitting latex and leather garments, a killer kung-fu kick, and that she would help Neo embody his powers as The One by falling in love with him. But that was about the extent of the Trinity story.

Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss in The Matrix Resurrections, 2021.Everett Collection / Courtesy of Warner Bros.

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