WIRED: What do you remember first Matrix?
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II: I could be 14 years old. I remember trying to lean forward, trying to move where I slipped bullets — trying to raise a hundred arms and walk so fast and so fast that I became a few people.
Bullet time. Easily one of the coolest moments in the film.
For me, it was about the possibilities in my mind, the different ways I could go out and fight, the different strengths I could think I had.
Neo was able to do this because he was in a familiar world – “neural interactive simulation,” as Morpheus puts it. Do you find the truth to be false?
[Laughs.] Yes, father. We have just come out of a terrible plague. One of the things that makes reality seem strange – such as environmental change – is evolution.
What is an example?
One is how we interact with technology, how we communicate with other people, the feeling that we can be in multiple locations at the same time. It opened up these other conversations that people are having about what is real and what is not real, which is important for them to realize real. The more we associate with this, the greater the risk that it may become a dream or a reality.
Do you think it’s possible to make things meaningful, to have a meaningful life if the world doesn’t feel like it?
Absolutely. Not only is it possible but it is important to find meaning in everything. You know, it usually takes something, a dream world or some other event, to help you get to your “real world”. As long as the mind and heart are open, then you will find meaning in every country that your mind allows you to live in.
Sounds like you have a lot of technical ideas.
I am a hypocrite. I love it when it helps me, and I hate it when it doesn’t. Social Media, that’s the only real thing. It is a real creation. People spend a lot of time there – it’s funny I say “there,” because it turns out to be a real place – just like they do in the real world.
Is it healthy?
You must respect that truth. One does not want to be left behind, but the other does not want to be eaten up by another country, and the world of technology, in order to be stable in this. Many things are still important in this country – touch and relationships and real dialogue and insecurity. The technology is designed to be simple. It was made to be simple, to make life comfortable. But we need to be healthy. We need unhealthy growth.
In a sense, it is the message of the first Matrix trilogy. Mr. Wachowskis showed us a world especially unpopular of people who, despite being oppressed, are fighting for a better tomorrow. People who do not want to be described by the way culture describes them. What is your interpretation of the future they were trying to imagine?