Why The Matrix's Lilly Wachowski walked away from Hollywood

Gregory Wakeman
PARK CITY, UTAH - JANUARY 26: Lilly Wachowski attends the Planned Parenthood's Sex, Politics, Film, & TV Reception At Sundance on January 26, 2020 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)

Lilly Wachowski, the co-director of The Matrix trilogy alongside her sister Lana Wachowski, has opened up about walking away from Hollywood in recent years, admitting that she has lost interest in the creative process. 

Between 1999 and 2015, Wachowski worked on all three Matrix films, the spin-off anthology films, V For Vendetta, Speed Racer, Ninja Assassin, Cloud Atlas, and Jupiter Ascending, as well as creating the TV series Sense8.

But Wachowksi told The Hollywood Reporter that she grew tired of the constant interference from studios and marketers. "I got in when film was at its peak, before boards and marketers found a way to wrangle movies.”

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“Eventually, all those people and institutions ended up in the room with you and specifically behind the typewriter and behind the lens and behind the Avid. It created a bit of tension for me personally. I got to this breaking point and I had to walk away.”

Lily Wachowski also discusses the subtext of The Matrix trilogy. (Image by Warner Bros)

This was especially tough for Wachowski, as The Matrix was “born out of a lot of anger and a lot of rage [towards] capitalism and corporatised structure and forms of oppression." 

At the same time, Wachowski admits that she was also dealing with a "bubbling, seething rage” within herself abut her “own oppression” as she was forcing herself “to remain in the closet.”

In 2016, Wachowski came out as a transgender woman, but she insists that a lot of the subtext of The Matrix franchise is about the spectrum of gender and experience of being trans. Something that many of its legion of fans regularly discuss with her. 

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"Now that I'm out and a living example of someone who can grow old being a trans woman, [trans people] can see those films through the lens of my transness and their transness.”

“They're able to go, 'Oh my God, these films were such an important part of my coming out and my own journey.' I'm extraordinarily grateful that I could offer that to people."