Mexican actress Eréndira Ibarra (Sense8) has taken the red pill and is now part of one of the biggest sci-fi franchises of all time.
“Not in my wildest dreams did I think I would be in the Matrix,” Ibarra told Remezcla during a recent interview. “It would be weird to say this is a dream come true because it’s not. This was nothing I could’ve imagined. I feel grateful and blessed to be there with people I admire on a project that defined me as a person, an activist, and a woman.”
In The Matrix Resurrections, Ibarra stars as Lexy, a character inside the virtual reality system known as the Matrix. Ibarra said Lexy has “lived through a lot of oppression and pain” but found inspiration in the legend of longtime Matrix character Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss).
“[Lexy] finds the strength to wake up and change her reality,” Ibarra said. “She is there to [ask], ‘Is [Neo] the One?’ I love that she is skeptical.”
Ibarra also loves Lexy because she is a diverse character who is “taking the space that [she] deserves.” Lexy is a strong female character like Trinity, who Ibarra has considered a “hero” since the original movie debuted at theaters in 1999.
“I didn’t grow up in the Marvel Universe,” Ibarra said. “I grew up in The Matrix universe. To me, [Trinity] was my Wonder Woman. It’s exciting to have more space for women, Latinas, and diverse people. It’s exciting to think that younger people will see us and will dream what they deserve to dream.”
Although Ibarra was a teenager in 1999, she considered herself an “old soul,” so she understood a lot of the intricate themes the narrative was expressing. She remembers going to the movie theater with her friends in San Jose, California, thinking that she was just going to see a run-of-the-mill action movie.
“I walked out of the movie theater a completely different person,” she said. “I came out thinking that we can change the narrative, and we can change our own reality. We just have to be more daring and take that red pill. [The Matrix] went beyond what any film has done in framing our society. How many people say, ‘There’s a glitch in the Matrix?’”
Along with the experience of starring in a blockbuster film, Ibarra was also thankful she was able to work with filmmaker Lana Wachowski, who co-directed the first three Matrix films with her sister, Lilly. As a bisexual woman and “Latin American feminist,” Ibarra said Wachowski as a trans woman taught her about a lot more than moviemaking.
“[Lana] is the woman that helped me understand how beautiful and important it is to fight for everyone’s rights and to fight for what we believe is true,” Ibarra said. “We’re all going through a very personal revolution that deserves kindness, dignity, and love. [Lana] opened my perspective and heart to the world. She takes visibility and inclusiveness to the max – in front of and behind the camera.”
The Matrix Resurrections is in theaters now.