Jessica Henwick is no stranger to mega franchises after playing Nymeria Sand on HBO’s “Game of Thrones” and Colleen Wing on Netflix’s Marvel series “Iron Fist,” but she’s about to make the leap to the big screen in a huge way with a mysterious supporting role in Lana Wachowski’s “The Matrix Resurrections.” Henwick stars as Bugs, a blue-haired gunslinger who is seen in the trailer offering Keanu Reeves’ Neo help. The actress told Entertainment Weekly that her character serves as “the audience’s eyes” into “Resurrections.” But Henwick joining “The Matrix” franchise almost didn’t happen.
As Entertainment Weekly reports: “Henwick had her own leap of faith to take…she was up for a role in Marvel’s ‘Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’ at the same time she was up for the role of Bugs. Both Disney and Warner Bros. knew about the other offer and gave her an ultimatum: She could audition for their movie only if she forfeited the competing project. Neither role was guaranteed.”
“It was a red-pill/blue-pill moment for me,” said Henwick, referring to one of the more iconic plot elements in “The Matrix” franchise.
Henwick chose Bugs and “The Matrix Resurrections” over the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which some would consider a gamble considering the enduring popularity of the MCU. “Shang-Chi” opened Labor Day weekend and has grossed $431 million at the worldwide box office, making it one of the top earners of the pandemic era. The film grossed $224 million in the U.S., out-earning fellow 2021 Marvel films “Black Widow” and “Eternals.”
Last year, Henwick teased “The Matrix Resurrections” to ComicBook by claiming Lana Wachowski would again change the course of filmmaking just as she did with the original trilogy.
“There are definitely moments on set where Yahya [Abdul-Mateen II] and I look at each other…Those pinch me moments,” Henwick said at the time. “Yeah. Lana [Wachowski] is doing some really interesting things on a technical level in the same way that you know, she created a style back then. I think she’s going to change the industry again with this film. There’s some camera rigs that I’ve never seen before that we’re using. That’s probably all I can say for that.”
“The Matrix Resurrections” opens December 22 in theaters and on HBO Max.