The Matrix 4’s Jessica Henwick Shares Disappointment After Not Getting Star Wars Role As Rey

Jessica Henwick in Star Wars

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Being an actor isn't an easy job. The career comes with a ton of rejections, as various performers vie for the same roles. And when it comes to projects within the MCU or Star Wars franchises, the competition is especially stiff. Plenty of young talent auditioned for the role of Rey in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which famously went to Daisy Ridley. But The Matrix 4 and Game of Thrones actress Jessica Henwick also went after the coveted role, and recently spoke to the disappointment of losing out on the gig.

Lana Wachowski assembled a stellar cast for The Matrix 4, with talented newcomers joining the handful of returning actors. Jessica Henwick will once again be participating in some epic action for that long-awaited sequel, following her acclaimed work in projects like Netflix's Iron Fist. But she also participating in the long audition process for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, as she was considered for the role of Rey. Henwick opened up about what that was like, saying:

It was very hard for me when I didn’t get it. But I see why – Daisy did such an incredible job and it was 100 per cent her journey to make. It wasn’t meant for me – my life would have been completely different!

What a great attitude. While Jessica Henwick obviously felt disappointed for getting the chance to play Rey throughout the last three Star Wars movies, she understands why Daisy Ridley ultimately got the role. And as a result, Henwick nabbed her own set of thrilling opportunities-- especially The Matrix 4.

Jessica Henwick's comments to NME helps show what it's really like working as an actor, especially getting so close to the galaxy far, far away. Henwick would have no doubt been an excellent Rey, especially as she's shown her skill with stunt and sword work in Iron Fist and Game of Thrones. But in the end it wasn't meant to be, and those are her own words.

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While she wasn't able to play Rey in The Force Awakens, J.J. Abrams did end up giving Jessica Henwick a small role after her long and disappointing audition process. She played Resistance pilot Jessika Pava, with the role very clearly named after her. And while she was eager to return for The Rise of Skywalker, she character unfortunately only appeared once in live-action.

As for The Matrix 4, there's no telling who or what Jessica Henwick might be playing. Lana Wachowski and company have been keeping the movie's contents close to the chest, as the movie won't hit theaters until next year. But the action has been reportedly wild, and Keanu Reeves has praised the sequel's script, in particular regarding a mysterious love story.

Jessica Henwick is one of the newbies joining the Matrix for the first time in the highly anticipated fourth film. She's joined by notable actors like recent Emmy winner Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Neil Patrick Harris, Hamilton's Jonathan Groff, and Priyanka Chopra. Although all eyes are on what's in store for the likes of Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss. Especially considering their characters died in The Matrix Revolutions.

The Matrix 4 is currently set to arrive in theaters on December 22nd 2021. In the meantime, check out our 2021 release list to pan your trips to the movies next year.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.