“It was so embarrassing,” says Hayek.
The part of Trinity in the “Matrix” films was a career-defining role for star Carrie-Anne Moss — but it sounds like a few other recognizable names were up for the part.
Appearing on this week’s episode of “Red Table Talk,” both host Jada Pinkett Smith and guest Salma Hayek opened up about their failed auditions for the movie as they discussed who they first met.
“We were one of the four finalists for ‘The Matrix,'” said Hayek. “We had jumped through many hurdles and screen testing and many auditions, and they brought these stunt coordinators from Asia, and it was the physical test.”
“Now I’m flexible. I’m agile, but I’m lazy,” the actress continued. “I never really went to the gym and they said to me, ‘You have to run,’ I go, ‘To where?’ ‘Around, you have to run around.’ I couldn’t even go around the room once.”
Then, she recalled, in walked Jada, who Hayek said was a “mean, lean, sexy machine.”
“Oh my god, she was so good. It was so embarrassing,” Salma continued. “She was so focused, she was so disciplined, she was so capable, she was so gracious. I just looked at this woman and I thought to myself, ‘That’s what I want to be when I grow up.”
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When Hayek said she didn’t get the part, Pinkett said she didn’t either, before confirming it was the Trinity role by saying, “I always tell Carrie-Anne she was perfect for that one.”
“They never called me again after that day,” said Hayek, while Jada went on to win the role of Niobe in the two released sequels and the upcoming fourth “Matrix” film.
“Now whenever I’m going to action, I go, ‘No, no, I better start getting a little bit of stamina, practice the routines,” added Hayek, who joked that her personal mantra has become, “You gotta be like Jada!”
Hayek’s full episode of “Red Table Talk” drops Wednesday, June 23 on Facebook Watch.