In 1999, Carrie-Anne Moss zoomed into the mainstream consciousness as The Matrix‘s Trinity after a decade of solid television work. The Wachowskis’ trilogy fueled countless other film appearances for Moss, and these days, she’s largely returned to her TV roots. That would include playing attorney Jeri Hogarth, a gender-flipped version of a Marvel comics character in multiple Netflix MCU series, including Iron Fist and The Defenders but primarily in Jessica Jones. The show about the hard-boozing, superpowered P.I. returns for a third and final round on June 14, and audiences will see the no-nonsense, hardened Hogarth reach a turning point in her relationships not only with others but with herself.
Moss was gracious enough to talk with us not only about Jessica Jones but her other current series, Wisting. She also reflected upon how The Matrix still resonates today and why she views the sci-fi action classic as a documentary.
You once admitted to not being an action or sci-fi fan prior to The Matrix. Were you a comic book fan before taking on the Jeri Hogarth role?
Nooooo. No, not at all.
Was that a big adjustment process?
No, I really looked at the scripts and got an education on Marvel and on all of that, but ultimately, it came down to the scripts and the actual execution. It wasn’t really dependent on being a fan of comics, you know I mean?
Yeah, they’re so mainstream now with the MCU being such a thing.
You got to play the first openly lesbian character of the MCU. How do you think Marvel’s doing on diversity in general?
Pretty amazing, I think. The whole world is exploding right now with the awareness that diversity is vitally important. And I’m pretty proud to be part of it, to play Jeri. Yeah, I think Marvel is doing important work in that regard.
So we found out in season two about Jeri’s medical condition, which led to her reexamining priorities. Where does she stand on that subject now?
Well, in season 3, we really see that Jeri is really alone with her diagnosis and with how she’s feeling. She’s taken her business, and she’s doing it on her own now, and I think we see her in the beginning, really alone and afraid. And as someone who has always controlled everything, she’s struggling with the lack of control that she has. And as she always does, she tries to figure a way out of it. And that’s one of the things I love about playing her. She is so manipulative, right? She wants to get what she wants, and she wants to win, and she’ll do anything. So, it’s pretty interesting to play, and she does exactly that. Trying to make her world feel like it’s working, she manipulates and gets in some trouble.
She reaches out to Jessica Jones with a heartbreaking request. She even called Jessica a friend during that scene. Did that feel out of character?
I think it’s interesting that when things happen, she goes to Jessica, and Jessica is one of the only people she has in her life, which is something that she has to see, and it’s not something that she expected, that she would go to Jessica to ask her for such a heartbreaking thing. But that’s the only person she really has in her life that she can count on. And who has their own feelings of aloneness. They both come together in their aloneness and their isolation.
So is Jeri is getting better at expressing her vulnerability?
Um, in moments — in moments, I believe that it’s very genuine. In other moments, I think that it’s very manipulative. I think she doesn’t know sometimes whether it’s real or not. She just knows that she wants things, and she has to get more real at moments to get what she wants. Because those other ways are no longer working.
One thing I like about Jessica Jones is that not only is it female-directed, but the women (other than Malcolm) are the characters with lasting power. Has that affected your journey while playing Jeri?
I don’t know if I really thought about that too much. You get cast in the first season, and it’s really well-written, and it’s amazing with the experience and the role. And with the second season, they bring all the women in as directors, and that was such an exciting thing to be a part of, and really opened my eyes to how much lack of female directors I had actually been exposed to. And I don’t think I really ever think about the women having the stronger parts because when you’re in it, you don’t see that. It’s not anything I really ever intellectualized. I’m so grateful that it’s so diverse this season. Diversity is the new norm, thank god. And I’m grateful to be part of a show that was standing for that during moments when it really mattered.
Obviously, this is the last season of the series on Netflix, but does Season 3 end on a definitive note, or does it leave room for more?
I think it has a strong ending, but I’m not sure if I can answer that really. In anything, you can open it up [and continue], right? I’m happy for the ending of my character.
You’re also currently starring in Wisting, and it’s a bilingual script. I guess they call it “Scandi-Noir”?
How was the cultural immersion process for you?
Great! I have actually Scandinavian heritage, so I felt quite comfortable in the environment. I love the way that they shot it because it’s really like team playing, and there’s no star system there, so everyone is together, we rehearsed every night in a hotel. It’s very different than American TV, very humble, art-driven, character-driven, and I’m a team player, and I like being part of a team, so it was a really good experience for me, I really enjoyed it.
I know you must constantly be asked about The Matrix, so I apologize, but we’re approaching the 20th anniversary, and the movie is still quite beloved. Why do you think it still resonates?
Well, you don’t have to apologize because I’m proud of it, and I think it’s never been more relevant. I have to try not to say to people, “Oh it’s like The Matrix!” Every day. I just recently watched them all again. I hadn’t watched them in forever, since they came out, really. And I just think they’re just so deep and meaningful and have such relevance to what we’re dealing with right now with the way that we’re being manipulated by our phones and by technology and by the news outlets and the media that I’m reading and the media that you’re reading. And I’m constantly looking at “what are we a slave to?” “Who’s controlling my thoughts and my ideas?” “Am I being used by a system that doesn’t care about me?” And I think The Matrix really stood for that and really opened our eyes to that at a time when we could only think that would happen, and now, we’re actually living it. So, I think about it a lot, and the writing is so powerful and just a really — sometimes I call it a documentary.
Well, Keanu’s still going strong as an action star, and Lawrence Fishburne is in the John Wick movies, too. Are you open to making an appearance in them as well, if called upon?
Oh my gosh, of course. As an actor, you’re open to anything great, and I love working with people I love and care about great roles, and so of course I’d be open to all of it.
Netflix’s final ‘Jessica Jones‘ season arrives on June 14.