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Neil Patrick Harris and Jonathan Groff on How The Matrix Resurrections Is a Queer Mindf*ck

Neil Patrick Harris and Jonathan Groff in The Matrix Resurrections

The long anticipated cyberpunk epic The Matrix Resurrections is finally out today. Written and directed by trans filmmaker Lana Wachowski, and starring out actors Neil Patrick Harris and Jonathan Groff — alongside returning alums Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, and Jada Pinkett Smith — the film continues the franchise’s legacy of giving its LGBTQ+ audience the near future dystopian fantasy they love. 

Speaking with Gay Times, Harris and Groff opened up about what it felt like to become part of the mindbending series, and how the queer allegory resonated for them from the beginning. 

“I didn’t quite know what version of myself to be. I was always a little bit, if I’m being honest, insecure as to what was being asked of me,” Harris said. “I wasn’t sure if [Lana wanted] the Matrix version of my ‘character’, or whether she wanted a truthful version of my character, or whether she wanted kind of an ambiguous version of my character, and she’s not the kind of person who would just tell you what she wanted,” Harris explained. “I was a bit of a mindfuck — but so is The Matrix.

For Groff, connecting the innate queerness of The Matrix — which the original film’s co-director, Lilly Wachowski, has confirmed was a trans allegory from the beginning — was more subconscious on first viewing, but has since become a part of his love for the series.

“The Alice in Wonderland element and going through the looking glass and all of that in the first film was speaking to my little gay boy heart,” Groff told Gay Times. “I don’t think I was in touch with myself to truly know what I was resonating with when I saw The Matrix the first time.” It wasn’t until Groff saw Sense8, the Netflix series directed by the Wachowskis, that he really connected to the subtext of their work. “I felt like, ‘oh wow, this is the gayest or queerest show I’ve ever seen, in the most expansive and unexpected ways.’,” he said. It was then that Groff was able to recognize the “weird energy that has slowly come about through the decades.”

According to the film’s logline, The Matrix Resurrections follows Reeves’ character, Neo, as he tries to discover if his reality is physical or a mental construct. “Mr. Anderson, aka Neo, will have to choose to follow the white rabbit once more. If he’s learned anything, it’s that choice, while an illusion, is still the only way out of — or into — the Matrix,” it reads. “Neo already knows what he has to do, but what he doesn’t yet know is that the Matrix is stronger, more secure and far more dangerous than ever before.”

The Matrix Resurrections is available now on HBO Max. Watch the trailer below.

 

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