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The Matrix Revolutions - Laurence Fishburne Q&A



Compiled by: Jack Foley

Q: You obviously play a very central role in The Matrix films. Can you talk a little bit about the sense of conviction your character has, especially in the third film, and how it drives the plot?
A:
Well, I think that Morpheus has been the living embodiment of faith and action for the first and second movie, and in Revolutions, he takes more of a passive role. He's more of a follower than he is a leader but yet his faith is still rock solid and he's still very much of the belief that Neo is the savior and he is the person that's going to bring about the end of the war.

Q: In fact, you share a lot screen time with Niobe and in one of your scenes you say, you're not in the driving seat here. Can you talk about that particular relationship?
A:
What you learn is, that there's great affection that exists between the two and you begin to understand that what drove them apart was really born as a result of their different views about faith. He's somebody who believed the prophecy and she's somebody who didn't.
The prophecy took him down this path and he's fulfilled his obligation with respect to that and now he really has to take a back seat and let Neo really embrace the fullness of his powers. In his relationship with Niobe, you see that there's great affection there.
You understand what held them together, what broke them apart. And you actually witness them put aside their differences and come together for the greater good of the entire human race.

Q: In Revolutions, there are very touching scenes but there are also some very exciting scenes in the film, especially the chase sequences. What kind of special preparation and training did you do for that?
A:
There wasn't a lot of training for those sequences, specifically, but we spent quite a bit of time in a machine called the Gimble, this hydraulic contraption that they built to look like a spaceship cockpit. We were bouncing around looking over here and over there.
It's pretty detailed work, so it took a long time to do and it was fairly challenging in terms of imagining what the terrain was like because we didn't really have any clear idea of what the mechanical pipeline was supposed to be like. But we got through it.

Q: So it was kind of a green screen?
A:
It was pretty much a green screen, myself, Jada and a little set, that we probably shot three or four weeks on.

Q: Now in contrast, you've got the Hells' Club sequence which is action-packed. Did you have any special moves that you had to work on for that?
A:
Not really, just working with the weapons. It was primarily about working with the machine guns and making sure that people were safe, so that nobody got hurt. The real work was done by the stuntmen who did all the stunts suspended from the ceiling.

Q: You've come to the end of this project that you've spent a big chunk of your life working on. What are you feeling? Are you satisfied?
A:
I'm very, very happy with the results. I think the film is beautiful. I'm very pleased with the way that people have received the movie. I'm honored and blessed to have had this opportunity to work on something of this magnitude and to be associated with these movies is a gift.

Q: You've talked about what this character has meant for you. Do you feel at this point that you've gone through a kind of transformation, as an actor and a person?
A:
I'm sure I have, but right now, I don't think I'm able to really describe what it's like. I know that later on in my life, I'll be able to look back on it and accurately describe what the whole process was like, and what the changes were that occurred for me, but at the moment, I'm still a little too close to it.

Q: Does that mean that the choices you're going to make from this point on in your career, you're going to go for the opposite end of the spectrum? Will you be doing more action?
A:
I'll do the things that speak to me. I can't say that I definitely have to do something that's completely different. It's really about what's available to me. And at this point, I feel like everything's possible. I'm open to everything and anything and I have no prerequisite for anything. When it's the right thing, I'll know what it is and that's what I'll do.

Q: Having worked with these two unique filmmakers, the Wachowski Brothers, and having made your own directing debut, is there one thing that you took away from this experience that has helped you with directing?
A:
That remains to be seen. I haven't directed my next picture yet. But you know anytime you work with someone there's an opportunity to learn something. I'm not sure exactly what I've learned at this point but I know that when it's time for me to apply whatever it is, it will turn up.

Q: Another thing that people have talked and talked about is how hard the physical challenges were and we've all heard the stories of you all training. Has that become part of your life now?
A:
Not necessarily. I try to stay in shape a little bit, but I don't obsess about it. I mean, this was akin to training for the Olympics. It wasn't just working out, it was really serious.

Q: Can you give a overview of the friendships you've had with the other cast members?
A:
It's been a real family affair. It's been wonderful working with these folks and getting to know them. Living with them, crying with them, fighting with them, and playing with them, and everything else that families do. Making these films has been one of the most significant events in my life and I think we will all be connected through this experience.

Q: Can you talk specifically about working with Keanu Reeves?
A:
Keanu and I had a great time. He is probably one of the most generous people I know. He's got a great sense of humor, great intelligence and great sensitivity, and it's been an honour and a joy to get to know him, and to become friends with him.

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