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The Transformation Of Carrie-Anne Moss From Childhood To The Matrix

When it comes to modern sci-fi movies, actress Carrie-Anne Moss has played a pivotal role in shaping the genre. To date, she is still best known for playing Trinity, the ever-capable ally and love interest who serves alongside Neo (Keanu Reeves) and Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) in the fight against legions of machines in Lana and Lily Wachowski's "The Matrix" trilogy. Trinity is as tough as they come, and her role as a soldier and companion proves to be an integral part of each installment of the sci-fi action franchise.

Since then, Moss has moved in and out of the public eye, appearing in movies and television shows with varying degrees of success. Since her run in "The Matrix" series, her most notable credits run the gamut from very popular ("Chocolat," "Memento") to very forgettable ("Pompeii," "Silent Hill: Revelation"). But, throughout her career spanning more than 30 years, Moss's most iconic role is still — and perhaps will always be — Trinity.

While 1999's "The Matrix" may have been the first film to catapult her into the limelight in a major way, her journey to stardom began much earlier. From childhood to "The Matrix," Carrie-Anne Moss underwent a serious transformation, going from average Canadian to international superstar before age 35.

Carrie-Anne Moss had a 'really beautiful' childhood

We wish we could show you what Carrie-Anne Moss looked like before acting became her passion, but, for reasons unknown to us, she has rarely spoken in-depth about her childhood. However, "The Matrix" alum has been forthcoming about the fact that her childhood was about as good as they come. In a 2017 interview with Monte Cristo Magazine, she referred to her childhood as "really beautiful, nurturing, [and] simple."

Moss was raised in a very traditional home in Burnaby, located in the Canadian province of British Columbia. She lived with her mother and stepfather — a court reporter and electrician, respectively — and her older brother. It wasn't until the late 1970s (when she was 11), that she decided to pursue a creative outlet. Initially, Moss landed on modeling. The important thing to know is that this simple decision put her on a path towards becoming the famous actress she is today.

She worked as a model, but always wanted to act

During her childhood, Carrie-Anne Moss had a transformative moment during a trip to Los Angeles, where she spotted two attractive strangers.

"These two blond, sort of beauty pageant girls came into the elevator. They were really beautiful. They were dolled up," the actress told Monte Cristo Magazine. "I remember feeling like the air came out of the room, and I got very small, and I just wanted to stare at them because I had never seen anyone that looked like that."

The encounter stuck with her and eventually influenced her decision to act. After high school, the 17-year-old Canadian moved to Pasadena, California, and began studying acting. However, modeling quickly became her profession, with the young Moss getting work in Europe and North America. It would be a long time before her passion for acting was reignited. The trajectory of her life changed after seeing the 1989 film "Field of Dreams."

"I sat in the movie theatre and thought at that moment, 'I'm changing my life right now,' and I did," she shared with Monte Cristo Magazine.

Carrie-Anne Moss got her start in acting with small roles on TV

Few (if any) are lucky enough to start their acting career as a bona fide superstar. Before she became Trinity, Carrie-Anne Moss had supporting roles on a variety of TV shows. Her first credited appearance was on the 1989 television series "The Hitchhiker," where she played a character simply called "Lookalike" (via IMDb).

Once she started acting, Moss came face-to-face with the industry's absurdly high beauty standards. "I [remember] having an acting coach who said I wouldn't make it because my ass was too big," she told Monte Cristo. "And I remember being really offended. But in a way, it lit my fire to go, 'You know what? F*** you. And I'll show you.'" 

Moss spent the following years taking various roles in TV, some more consistent than others. Her first regular role was in the 1991 TV series "Dark Justice." The gig followed a series of one-episode parts, thus elevating her to a new level in her career.

She has starred in more than one project with Matrix in the title

Believe it or not, Carrie-Anne Moss has appeared in more than one project with "Matrix" in the title. Before 1999's "The Matrix," one of the actress's earliest recurring roles was on the 1993 supernatural drama "Matrix." The television show followed a hitman Steve Matrix (Nick Mancuso), who dies and must atone for his sins on Earth to avoid eternal damnation. Moss played Liz Teel, a companion and love interest for the protagonist. Who could have guessed that, just six years later, she would play a somewhat similar role in one of the world's most popular movies?

Unfortunately, "Matrix" only lasted for a single season with 13 episodes total. As we now know, the end of 1993's "Matrix" wouldn't be the end of Moss's acting career. Between 1993 and 1999, she had another string of roles on reputable shows, like "L.A. Law," "Baywatch," "Models Inc.," and "F/X The Series." Additionally, she made her film debut in 1994 with "Flashfire," an action-thriller film starring Billy Zane. From there, her list of film credits continued to grow, eventually culminating in 1999 with "The Matrix" (this time, we mean the one you're thinking about).

1999's The Matrix was a major learning experience for her

Carrie-Anne Moss' life changed a lot after "The Matrix." Apart from becoming one of the biggest rising stars in the industry, the film imparted some new and strange skills. The franchise famously put its actors through the wringer for its fight sequences, putting them through hard training to prep for the movie's kung-fu choreography. Although Moss had always been active, training for "The Matrix" was another beast entirely.

"I have only ever done a karate aerobics class," she shared in a 2012 interview that lives on a now-defunct "The Matrix" official website (via Matrixfans.net). "I think the screen test felt so brutal because I tried so hard, I really went at it 190% so the screen testers would know that I could do it that hard, but afterward, I literally couldn't walk."

She risked life and limb performing her own stunts, even severely injuring her ankle during filming. Despite that, Moss muscled through the pain and continued performing. It paid off, too, as she became synonymous with Trinity through the early '00s. After the release of "The Matrix Revolutions," Moss starred in multiple Marvel series such as "Jessica Jones" and "Iron Fist" as Jeri Hogarth, as well as Christopher Nolan's "Memento" and the horror flick "The Bye Bye Man." Soon, she'll step back into Trinity's shoes with "The Matrix: Resurrections," much to the delight of fans everywhere.