‘Cypher’ talks Matrix sequels

Journal Sentinel recently posted an article about Joe Pantoliano talking about the upcoming “Matrix 2.”

You may not be able to spell Joe Pantoliano’s name, but the versatile character actor turns up in a wide range of mainstream and independent films, from “The Fugitive” to “Bound.” The latter was directed by Andy and Larry Wachowski, who hired Pantoliano for their next film, “The Matrix.” But Pantoliano does not appear in the two “Matrix” sequels, starring Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss, now being prepared. He does, however, co-star with Moss and Guy Pearce in the taut and tangled noirish thriller “Memento,” about a man with no short-term memory who’s trying to solve the murder of his wife. “Memento” was shown at the festival here. As a character actor in a studio film, Pantoliano is “the fourth or fifth guy going through the door” in a film in which he has to “breathe life into underwritten roles and one-dimensional characters.” In independent films, Pantoliano gets far less money but better-written parts, like in “Memento.” If the cast “had asked for what we usually get, this movie doesn’t get made,” he said. “Something like this is a labor of love. We were invested emotionally and financially in this movie.” As for “The Matrix” sequels, the Wachowskis didn’t ask him to return. “They killed me and they kept me dead,” Pantoliano said of the original. “But they’re great guys, and they’ve been too good for me to bum-rap them.”