Interview with Thomas Scott (Neo Stand-In) from The Matrix (1999)

By Paul Martin March 1st, 2012, in Official Interviews, The Matrix

Archival interview with Thomas Scott from the official Matrix website.

MATRIX: How did you get involved in ‘The Matrix’?

THOMAS: I was very fortunate in that I had my photograph with Liz Mullinar’s casting and Tim Littleton, who was doing the casting, found my photograph and gave me a call. So I went in for the casting, he liked me, took some photographs, he looked at some other people, and fortunately for me, he decided to go with me.

MATRIX: So you have been on set since the beginning?

THOMAS: In mid March (1998) we started filming, so from then.

MATRIX: What has been your general impression of cast and crew now that it is almost over?

THOMAS: It has been fun. I personally enjoyed it. From what I gather it has been a long shoot compared to other films. It has been a very good crew and a very good cast, everybody got along well as far as I could see.

MATRIX: You have worked as a stand in for the last couple of months… what exactly does a stand in do?

THOMAS: Basically he stands in for the actor while they are setting up the scene, setting up the cameras, setting up the lights, focusing the cameras; just setting out how the set looks with the lights and the cameras. When it is all done, they kick you out and bring the real guys in to do it. It can get a bit frustrating when you are doing a complicated scene and you are doing certain moves from one particular side of the room to another, and you get really tight and think: I’m ready now for my take… and then they kick you out.

MATRIX: Have you worked with the insert units at all?

THOMAS: I have worked with second unit, you get a better chance of getting on camera with them.

MATRIX: What kind of scenes have you done with them?

THOMAS: In Neo’s apartment when he wakes up in front of the computer and he starts typing on it, I am the double for his fingers. In the elevator shaft, as they climb up through the elevator to the top part of it and hook some clamps onto wires to explode the elevator, those are my hands. And I believe my arm and back will be in the infirmary scene, just after they have dished Neo out of the sewers and are putting him back together again.

MATRIX: So you are covered in needles?

THOMAS: Yes, covered with prosthetics and stuck with pins and needles. They are actually acupuncture needles.

MATRIX: How were your dealings with the principal actors?

THOMAS: The actors have been really good. Keanu has been very quiet.

MATRIX: You have been Keanu’s stand in, Have you had much contact with Keanu?

THOMAS: Pretty minimal. He keeps to himself. I personally don’t talk to him before he goes on. There are different things for different actors, some actors don’t want to talk because they are in their character, they want to get into their role and if you talk to them you disturb their train of thought. It depends on the actor, and he seems to be a really intense sort of person. And when he is finished he is either off sitting with the other actors, or in his trailer. The other actors are more accessible in that they come around and say hello, they joke with you and talk to you, so you feel comfortable with them because you get to talk to them and to know them better. Hugo Weaving is really nice, he comes over and sits and talks to you.

MATRIX: What’s your take on the story?

THOMAS: It’s an adventure film really, a science fiction action film. It looks very similar to everyday life which we can relate to, but you go a bit beyond that and it is a totally different concept altogether, which is a bit hard to grasp. I think it will be a bit hard to grasp when you actually see the film because everything isn’t real, it is all in the mind, all in the computer which no one knows about. Once you get to understand that, you get to understand what they are trying to do, in the sense that they want to free everyone so they realize what is actually happening. Try to recreate the life that was, instead of what is.

MATRIX: Thanks Thomas.

Interviews by Spencer Lamm

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