The Matrix Resurrections’ Jada Pinkett Smith Spent A Long Time In The Makeup Chair. Here’s Why She ‘Loved’ It

Jada Pinkett Smith as an older Niobe in The Matrix Resurrections
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

When Jada Pinkett Smith first appeared in The Matrix Trilogy, the cinematic world was a much different place. When we see her character Niobe again in The Matrix Resurrections, it seems as though she is as tough as ever – but looks very different than we might have expected. This change required a lot of time in the make-up chair, but according to Pinkett Smith it was time well spent. 

The most recent trailer for Resurrections revealed some exciting new clues about what fans can expect in the film. From callbacks to the original trilogy to glimpses of fan-favorite characters and new faces, one of the most shocking reveals was the first look at Niobe’s return. In an exchange with Neo, she appears to have aged significantly and appears a bit battle-worn, though no less committed to her fight. Jada Pinkett Smith told CinemaBlend’s sister site Total Film that while the process of becoming a much-older version of her character was arduous, she was happy to go through it (via GamesRadar): 

It was quite an experience, it took about five hours each day to have it put on, and then, to have to sit in it all day was something else. It's just like, ‘Oh my goodness!’ But what I loved about it was that it gave me an opportunity to really immerse myself into another version of Niobe. Not to give too much away, but a woman in that stage of her life, who is still in the position that she's in, it's pretty awesome, it's pretty dope. You don't see that a lot.

Though we don’t yet know exactly what Niobe’s position will be in the new movie, it seems as though she is still as strong and powerful as she was when viewers last saw her embracing Morpheus in The Matrix Revolutions. It’s been more than 15 years since the last Matrix film, but Niobe has aged far more than that within the film’s narrative timeframe. Given the hints we’ve had about time playing a peculiar role in the film, there's likely a compelling explanation for why she is so much older. 

Regardless, it’s no surprise that Jada Pinkett Smith happily embraced the chance to play a powerful older woman. She has been clear that she doesn’t see growing older as a hindrance to enjoying her life or pursuing her passions. Earlier this year, she marked her 50th birthday by shaving her head (with a little inspiration from her daughter Willow), telling fans she feels the next era of her life will be “Divinely lit.” 

We will see exactly what kind of powerful role Niobe plays in The Matrix Resurrections when it hits theaters and HBO Max on December 22. And before you see the film, you can stream the original three movies on the streamer now!

Katherine Webb