‘The Matrix Resurrections’ star almost quit acting before being cast

the matrix resurrections
Image via Village Roadshow Pictures

Jessica Henwick doesn’t even turn 30 until next summer, but the actress has already built up a solid body of work across both film and television, which has in turn seen her regarded as one of the industry’s brightest young talents.

She had an eight-episode stint on Game of Thrones as Nymeria Sand, played Netflix’s Colleen Wing across Iron Fist, Luke Cage and The Defenders, appeared in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Underwater and Love and Monsters, while her upcoming slate includes the Russo brothers’ The Gray Man and Rian Johnson’s Knives Out sequel.

On top of that, Henwick can currently be seen on the big screen and HBO Max as Bugs in The Matrix Resurrections, where she’s one of the blockbuster sequel’s standout performers. However, she admitted in an interview with SlashFilm that she’d considered quitting acting altogether before landing a highly-coveted part in the cyberpunk sci-fi.

“It was my agent. I was in a weird space and I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do. I think I was going through a quarter-life crisis, and basically I’ve been acting for 14 years now and I just took a second to think, ‘Am I doing this because I still want to do it and I love it, or am I doing this because it’s what I’m used to?’ And so, I stopped and I decided to get out of town and I bought a one-way ticket to France.

And then, I just started walking. I just started hiking and I was halfway through a 40-day hike. I turned on my phone, it was near my birthday and I wanted to tell everyone I was alive, and I got an email saying, ‘Would you like to audition for The Matrix?’ And I just said no, because I hadn’t finished the hike and I hadn’t come to an answer yet of what I wanted to do in my life. I turned it down.”

The sky is the limit for Henwick, who even found herself in the position of turning down the chance to play Xiu Xialing in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings in favor of The Matrix Resurrections. Recent Marvel Cinematic Universe developments have made it abundantly clear that the door is by no means closed on Colleen joining Vincent D’Onofrio’s Kingpin and Charlie Cox’s Daredevil in being brought back into the fold, so she could end up with another major franchise on her plate.