Other actors were in the running for Trinity, of course. And apparently two of them were Salma Hayek and Jada Pinkett Smith. In an episode of Pinkett Smith’s Facebook Watch series, Red Table Talk, Hayek revealed why she didn’t get the part.
“We’d jumped through many hurdles, screen testing, and many auditions,” Hayek said about the audition process that her and Pinkett Smith’s went through. “They brought these stunt coordinators from Asia. It was the physical test. I’m flexible and agile, but I’m lazy.”
Hayek went on to describe the horror of those trials, something that many former middle school students who had to endure similar tests in phys ed might empathize with. “I never really went to the gym,” she shared. “They said, ‘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.”
Hayek had nothing but praise, however, for Pinkett Smith’s physical prowess: “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.'”
Pinkett Smith ended up in The Matrix sequels as a character named Niobe, who was specifically created by the Wachowskis with her in mind. Hayek never got a part in The Matrix franchise, but grew up to play a slew of memorable roles and will be starring as the near-immortal Ajak in the upcoming MCU film, Eternals. In another version of this simulation we call reality, however, maybe Salma Hayek is also playing a less active version of Trinity.