The Tony Award-winning actor is the new Agent Smith in The Matrix Resurrections. He meets with GQ for a workout, a beer, and a wide-ranging conversation about his attempts to connect with the world around him. Check out the photoshoot in our gallery and read the interview below:
“You can quit at any time,” Jonathan Groff informs me with the paternal kindness of a guidance counsellor, and I am at least 80 per cent serious when I inform him that I will never quit. A proud correspondent of GQ always wants to be up for an adventure, even if that adventure is only “going to the gym,” and specifically “going to the gym with the new Agent Smith, to learn firsthand how he trained to fight Keanu Reeves for The Matrix Resurrections, the latest iteration of the iconic action franchise.” Groff’s nickname on set was ‘The Savage’, owing to the intensity with which he embraced the physicality of the fight scenes. He’s always looked like a cartoon prince, but Matrix prep has blessed him with core strength. Meanwhile, this correspondent has the muscle tone of a candy cane, and a pathological allergy to bicep curls.
Nevertheless, here we are within the well-lit expanse of Manhattan’s Chelsea Piers Fitness gym, changing side by side in the locker rooms and preparing for what a publicist has described as a quick workout but in reality is three sets of four circuits comprising three separate routines, which in conjunction will unlock the latent potential of muscles and tendons I didn’t know existed. Groff is the expert here, though he’d never weight trained before he landed his part in the Matrix sequel. He’d never filmed any kind of fight scene, period, and was mildly stunned when director Lana Wachowski offered him the role of Smith, one of action cinema’s more indelible villains and also a peerless ass-kicker. “It seemed so far from what I had done or what I was – I couldn’t understand why she asked me to do this, really,” he says. Read the Full Interview @ GQ