Nearly Played: Neo (“The Matrix”)
Will Smith turned down the chance to play The Chosen One himself, Neo, in “The Matrix” films. In an interview with Wired, Smith was asked why he turned down the role.
“You know, ‘The Matrix’ is a difficult concept to pitch. In the pitch, I just didn’t see it,” Smith said. “I watched Keanu’s performance — and very rarely do I say this — but I would have messed it up. I would have absolutely messed up ‘The Matrix.’ At that point I wasn’t smart enough as an actor to let the movie be. Whereas Keanu was smart enough to just let it be. Let the movie and the director tell the story, and don’t try and perform every moment.”