From her extensive film work to Red Table Talk, Jada Pinkett Smith is one of Hollywood’s most recognizable leading ladies. Her appearance on The Matrix series, starring Keanu Reeves, is among her most profitable work to date. The 50-year-old actress made her debut in 2003’s The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions. Pinkett-Smith also returned for 2021’s fourth installment, The Matrix Resurrections.
In the film, Pinkett-Smith played resistance leader Niobe. “What I loved about Niobe was that she was created for me,” Pinkett Smith said in a 2003 interview with the Chicago Tribune. “I met the Wachowskis for the first ‘The Matrix,’ so I really didn’t have to read anything when I was told, ‘They made this character for you.’ “Really? Any nudity? All right! Let’s do it.”
Part of Niobe’s backstory involved a romantic relationship with Morpheus (Lawrence Fishburne). However, Jada Pinkett appeared on The Howard Stern Show and revealed that she originally auditioned for the role of Keanu Reeve’s love interest Trinity, a role that ultimately went to Carrie Anne Moss. Since then, however, Pinkett-Smith and Reeves have had a long friendship. Here’s a little insight into their relationship.
Jada Pinkett says she and Keanu Reeves had no chemistry
Jada Pinkett Smith’s character Niobe was written for her after her failed audition for the role of Trinity. Turns out, Pinkett Smith and Reeves had no on-screen chemistry. “I don’t think it was his fault. I think it was as much my fault as anyone else,” Pinkett-Smith revealed during an appearance on Howard Stern’s show about BET. “It wasn’t just Ke, it was me too,” she continued. “Keanu and I didn’t click. At this particular time we have not, [but] We became really good friends after I played Niobe.”
Despite losing the key role, Pinkett Smith is proud of Carrie Ann Moss’ portrayal of Trinity. “I wish [I had gotten the part], but I look at Carrie-Anne and just say, ‘She’s amazing. There was no way in the world I would have brought that up.”
And although it’s been nearly two decades since Pinkett-Smith’s failed audition, she has nothing but good things to say about Reeves. During a 2019 interview, an Entertainment Tonight reporter asked her why everyone was “obsessed” with Reeves, and she praised him. “You know, Keanu, he has a riddle, you know. And he’s just — he’s just… cool,” the actor said. “He’s cool and he’s cute, you know. So that’s exactly his special sauce.”
Keanu Reeves sits down at the Red Table
To celebrate the 100th episode of Red Table Talk, Pinkett Smith invited her The Matrix co-stars Keanu Reeves, Carrie Ann Moss and Priyanka Chopra to sit down at the table. Throughout the show, Pinkett Smith and Reeves hugged and laughed sweetly as they recounted their moments together on set. When Pinkett Smith admitted she felt a little weird interviewing her because they spent so much time on set, Reeves replied, “They skipped training together.”
“Right. We’re going to get a kick in the butt,” agreed Pinkett Smith. Later in the show, Reeves was asked to describe how Pinkett-Smith had changed since the first film. He responded that Pinkett Smith was a “spirit warrior” and that watching her journey was inspirational and commendable.
Pointing to the cosmic connection they share, Pinkett Smith said, “I think for us as two virgins, there’s such a thing as this unspoken communication.” fill so much. And he’s one of the few people I can do that with. And I can have the greatest time.” She ended her statement by calling Reeves a “lovely friend” and one of the “most generous guys in Hollywood.”