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Whatever happened to Carrie-Anne Moss?

In 1999, a groundbreaking sci-fi film took the world by surprise, marrying mind-bending special effects and impeccable fight choreography with a script grounded in philosophy. The Matrix premiered to great reviews, but few likely suspected that it would go on to become one of the most influential action movies in cinematic history. Starring Keanu Reeves as Neo (the prophesied hero capable of influencing the reality of the Matrix itself) and Laurence Fishburne as Morpheus (Neo's mentor who teaches him how to accomplish this seemingly impossible feat), the film not only introduced the world to the "bullet time" effect, but left a lasting impression on the movie landscape and made it clear that a complex, intricate plot wouldn't scare away average moviegoers.

The other star of the film was a lesser-known actress named Carrie-Anne Moss in the role of Trinity, Morpheus' powerful and skilled right hand woman who helps him guide Neo through his journey. A lesser actress might have been pigeonholed by such an iconic role, but since The Matrix, Moss has become a well-regarded actress and lifestyle guru, working to carve out a place for herself in not just Hollywood, but the world at large. Here's what's happened to Carrie-Anne Moss since The Matrix premiered.

A breakout role

The very first scene of The Matrix features Moss front and center, as Trinity races for an escape while dodging "Agents," programs that hunt down humans who know too much about the simulated world to which humanity has been confined. Mostly unknown before The Matrix, Moss had plenty to prove (she even underwent a three-hour physical test during casting), and prove it she did, performing as many of the stunts in the stunning opening sequence as were physically possible.

Trinity is a fearless and determined exile of the Matrix who has devoted herself to Morpheus' cause — specifically, the task of finding "The One." Moss is arguably the backbone of the film, as Trinity helps Neo recognize his full potential and eventually falls in love with him. Moss went on to appear in both of The Matrix's massively successful sequels, The Matrix: Reloaded and The Matrix: Revolutions. Two decades after stepping into the role, Moss still looks back fondly on the film series that made her a star, telling The Guardian that it was a "highlight of [her] life" and that it essentially gave her the career she has today.

Sweet success

One of Moss' biggest roles after the first Matrix was in Chocolat, a French romantic comedy directed by Lasse Hallström and starring Juliette Binoche, Judi Dench, Johnny Depp, and Alfred Molina. Binoche stars as Vianne, a young mother living in a small, repressed French village who seeks a new purpose in life. She opens a chocolate shop that ends up changing her life and those of the people in the village for the better. The film was a success upon its release in 2000, earning five Academy Award nominations, including one for Best Picture.

Moss played Caroline, the daughter of the eccentric and jovial Armande (Dench), who finds herself in conflict with her mother. After losing her husband, Caroline will not let Armande near her son Luc, since the strict and devout Caroline considers Armande a "bad influence." Over time, Caroline realizes that her son needs his grandmother and finds new love with Reynaud (Molina), the town's mayor. By appearing in such an acclaimed film so radically different from The Matrix, Moss cemented herself as a star on the rise… and she didn't stop there.

A memorable follow-up

Moss' next big film, which remains one of the most memorable movies of its decade, was Christopher Nolan's Memento. As Nolan's second feature film, Memento helped launch the future Dark Knight director's career in a big way. Starring Guy Pearce, this non-linear mind-bender tells the story of Leonard Shelby, a man with anterograde amnesia who loses his memory every five minutes. His affliction begins when a mysterious gang attacks him and kills his wife, Natalie (Moss). In an effort to find the murderers, Shelby tattoos clues all over his body to track his progress through a twisting mystery. 

The film itself is told in both color (a non-linear narrative that mimics Shelby's condition) and black and white (a linear narrative that shows the audience what really happened). At the end, the threads come together, solving the mystery for both Shelby and the viewers. The film has been universally praised since its 2000 release, and was even selected to become a part of the National Film Registry in 2017.

Though much of the film is told from Pearce's perspective, the loss of Moss' character is what ultimately drives the action. Cast because Memento's team admired her performance in The Matrix, Moss brought depth and heart to this film, and remains a highlight in it to this day.

Video games and voice work

Moss branched out in the years following Chocolat and Memento, starring in everything from small indies to big blockbusters. In 2012, she took a pivotal role in Silent Hill: Revelation 3D, a sequel to 2006's Silent Hill and an adaptation of the popular video game franchise. Moss played Claudia, the leader of an evil cult called the Order and the film's main antagonist. Unfortunately, it was panned by critics upon its release.

While continuing to work on-screen, Moss took her talents into the recording studio to do some voice work for video games. Naturally, she reprised her role as Trinity in Enter the Matrix, which required a little more than just voice work. Moss, alongside Keanu Reeves and Jada Pinkett-Smith, provided motion capture performance in addition to the voices of their famous characters. In a less physically demanding gig, she took on the role of Aria T'loak, the unelected leader of the space station Omega, in the second and third Mass Effect games.

Stepping onto the small screen

Though she was still best known for her film work, Moss occasionally picked up some high-profile television appearances as well. Her first notable small screen performance was in a four-episode arc during the fifth season of Chuck, the cult favorite 2007-2012 show about an average computer whiz (Zachary Levi) who inadvertently becomes a kind of sleeper agent for the CIA. Moss played Gertrude Verbanski, a former KGB operative whose company, the Verbanski Corporation, is a direct rival to Chuck's organization, Carmichael Industries.

Her next big television role came in 2012 on Vegas, where she played Las Vegas Assistant District Attorney Katherine O'Connell in a series regular role alongside Dennis Quaid and Michael Chiklis. Set in the 1960s, the show found Quaid's Sheriff Ralph Lamb fighting against the mob. Though the series did receive positive reviews from critics, it was canceled after the end of its first season.

A string of duds

Moss' career has had several highlights when it comes to great films, but every actor is bound to end up in some duds from time to time. In 2014 alone, she appeared in a few underperforming films, starting with Pompeii, a historical disaster flick starring Game of Thrones' Kit Harington (who also appeared alongside Moss in Silent Hill: Revelation 3D). Moss played Aurelia, the wife of Pompeii's governor (Mad Men's Jared Harris). The film ultimately received negative reviews and performed poorly at the box office, barely clearing its budget in North America (though it fared better overseas).

Also in 2014, Moss appeared in Elephant Song alongside Bruce Greenwood and Xavier Dolan. Debuting at the Toronto Film Festival, the film told the story of a psychiatrist trying to trying to uncover the truth from a disturbed patient. Elephant Song received negative reviews, with critics describing Moss' role as "thankless" and "pushily self-centered."

Moving into Marvel

Moss struck gold once again in 2015, when she picked up a significant role in Marvel's Netflix series Jessica Jones as Jeri Hogarth, a powerful attorney who hires the title character (Krysten Ritter) as a kind of mercenary, eventually helping her out in return. Though based on a male comic book character, Hogarth was reimagined for the series as a gay woman. Attracted by the cast of strong and nuanced female characters, Moss signed on after reading just two scripts. The series itself premiered to huge acclaim during its first season, which focused on Jones' battle against Kilgrave (David Tennant), a horrifying villain with the power to make anybody do anything he says.

Moss' run as Hogarth was so successful, she got to bring the character to other corners of the Netflix Marvel universe, appearing on Iron Fist, The Defenders, and DaredevilJessica Jones was sadly canceled along with the rest of Marvel's Netflix slate (seemingly in anticipation of the Disney+ streaming service), with the third and final season debuting in June of 2019. 

Annapurna Living

Carrie-Anne Moss might be a talented actress on both the big and small screen, but she also has another venture: Annapurna Living, a lifestyle website that gives fans a glimpse into Moss' everyday life while striving to enhance their well-being.

Online courses are taught by Moss herself on how to live an extremely thoughtful and considerate life, offering a helping hand to people — in particular, women — who are struggling to endure the stresses and pace of the modern world. The site also offers a blog run by Moss about her daily life, tackling topics ranging from the reasons women gather together (and why it's healthy) to how she grounds herself creatively. Another part of the website is the Fierce Grace Collective, a 12-month program that centers on yoga, meditation, and mindfulness through videos, worksheets, and more. By creating a huge, ambitious project completely separate from her acting career, Moss has made sure she's seen as a multidimensional artist and human, rather than just "the woman from The Matrix."

A humanizing performance

Sticking with what works, Moss continued her extensive work in science fiction by appearing in Humans, a British television show aired in the U.S. on AMC. Based on the Swedish sci-fi drama Real Humans, the show investigates the highs and lows of advanced robotics. Central to the series are "synths," super realistic robots who live alongside humans. Assigned to mostly servant roles, the synths are fairly bitter about their relationships with organic people, which causes plenty of conflict and strife in this futuristic world.

Moss joined Humans during its second season in the regular role of Dr. Athena Morrow, a scientist and expert on artificial intelligence who is brought in to reverse the synth's consciousness programs. Though she initially appears hostile toward the robotic characters, it's revealed that Morrow has developed a synth named "V" (after her daughter Virginia) and is nurturing it on her own. Moss said the role allowed her to keep playing parts that are "layered and that [she] can relate to in some way," giving her yet another chance to explore fresh perspectives within the science fiction genre.

Family life

In 1999, Moss married fellow actor Stephen Roy. Though he appeared in a string of major TV series — including Roswell, Angel, 7th Heaven, and JAG — he since seems to have retired from acting (his most recent credit on IMDb is from 2007). Roy and Moss have had three children (two sons and one daughter), and all of them still live in Los Angeles. Moss has remained relatively private as far as her family is concerned, choosing not to reveal her children's names to the media.

However, throughout several interviews, Moss has discussed a few important details about her family. During her first pregnancy, she continued acting, but cut down her projects considerably. Motherhood has been quite important to Moss since the birth of her oldest son, balancing her family life (not to mention protecting her kids from the paparazzi) with her continuing career, making sure that she makes plenty of time for her family while still pursuing her lifelong passions.