Jessica Henwick almost quit acting before landing Matrix role

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  • Jessica Henwick
    British actress
  • Rian Johnson
    American screenwriter, film director, film producer and film editor
Jessica Henwick was unsure about her future in movies credit:Bang Showbiz
Jessica Henwick was unsure about her future in movies credit:Bang Showbiz

Jessica Henwick almost quit acting.

The 29-year-old actress revealed that she was in a "weird space" prior to finding stardom and almost gave up on her acting dreams just before taking on the role of Bugs in 'The Matrix Resurrections'.

She said: "I just took a second to think, ‘Am I doing this because I still want to do it and I love it, or am I doing this because it’s what I’m used to?’ And so, I stopped and I decided to get out of town and I bought a one-way ticket to France. And then, I just started walking."

The 'Knives Out 2' star took herself on a 40-day-hike in an effort to clear her head when in-between acting roles, just before receiving the offer to star alongside Keanu Reaves in the latest 'Matrix' movie.

She told /Film: "I just started hiking and I was halfway through a 40-day hike. I turned on my phone, it was near my birthday and I wanted to tell everyone I was alive, and I got an email saying, ‘Would you like to audition for the Matrix?‘ And I just said no, because I hadn’t finished the hike and I hadn’t come to an answer yet of what I wanted to do in my life. I turned it down. [So I] made a self tape, flew to America a couple days later, tested with Yahya [Abdul-Mateen II, who plays a “completely different” version of Morpheus in 'The Matrix Resurrections'], and had the phone call from [director] Lana Wachowski a few days after that."

Meanwhile, Jessica recently revealed she took a part in 'Knives Out 2' so she could study Rian Johnson's filmmaking style.

The screen star will appear in the murder mystery sequel and admits that she was desperate to get his advice as she was helming a short film at the time.

She said: "The main reason I really signed on was because I actually wanted to study him. I was directing a short film ('Bus Girl') at the same time, which he very kindly was able to make a break in the schedule for me to fly home, shoot and then fly back to set.

"So he let me shadow him on and off throughout production, and he gave me directing advice. So it was just the best time."

Jessica explained how she has been a fan of Rian since watching his directorial debut 'Brick' during a film class and revealed that the director was "morally obliged" to cast her in the 'Knives Out' sequel after she was cut from his film 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi'.

The 'Underwater' actress recalled: "When I was a teenager, I watched 'Brick' in school and I loved it. So I wrote (Rian Johnson) a fan email, and he never responded.

"Cut to seven years later, I'm in 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens', and I'm meant to go back to 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi'. But Rian cuts me out of the project!"

Jessica continued: "Cut to this year, I finally got sent this script and I was like, 'Put me in coach. Give me a Zoom. I don't care if I get it. I just want to speak to Rian.'

"So I revealed all of this to him. I was like, 'I have a bone to pick with you!' And of course, he was forced – he was morally obligated – to cast me in 'Knives Out'."

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