Will Smith has revealed in a video uploaded to his official YouTube account, why he regrettably turned down the role of Neo in “The Matrix.”
The mega-hit became one of the most influential sci-fi movies of the ’90s, making over $460 million and spawning two sequels. But during an interview with The Sun in the early-2000s, Smith explained why he turned down the offer to star in the film.
“I didn’t get it when I read it,” he said. “It’s a hard movie to pitch. You know: ‘Everybody lives inside a computer.’ It was only when I saw it that I really got it.”
Despite his regret, Smith admits that Keanu Reeves and Laurence Fishburne were perfect for the film.
“If I had done it because I’m black, then Morpheus wouldn’t have been black cause they were looking at Val Kilmer. So, I probably would have messed The Matrix up, I did y’all a favor,” he says in the video clip above.
The Hollywood icon has also revealed that following “Independence Day,” he initially turned down “Men in Black” because he didn’t want to be the “alien movie guy.” He obviously had a change of heart.
When he was offered “The Matrix” by the Wachowskis, who he described as “geniuses,” Smith also recalled noting how there’s a “fine line in a pitch meeting between genius and what I experienced in the meeting.”
And what exactly did Smith experience in the pitch meeting?
“So, dude, we’re thinking like, imagine you’re in a fight and then you, like, jump. Imagine if you could stop jumping in the middle of the jump. But then, people could see around you…”
Despite his global box office success, there is one film that Smith admits he regrets signing up for… “Wild Wild West.”
“I’m not proud of it,” he said about the film.
Scroll up and hear him tell his tale about refusing the lead role in “The Matrix.”