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‘Matrix’ star Harry Lennix on how studying to be a priest improved his acting

Harry Lenix is ​​a veteran actor of film, television and the stage with a career spanning nearly four decades, but his path to the profession was far from conventional.

The 57-year-old told Fox News Digital that he was originally called to become a Catholic priest In Dominican order. However, his plans took a turn when he began acting in plays while studying to join the pastors at Quigley Preparatory Seminary South in Chicago.

“It was during that time, when I was very seriously interested in becoming a priest, that I really became aware of the career prospects in acting,” he told Fox News Digital.

He continued, “I was told I was good at it, and I was encouraged to pursue it, even by the priests of the time. Father Robert Bridges was the one who gave me my first professional plays. And it really started encouraging me that I had a future in this.”

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Lenix also admitted that he was not initially motivated to participate in school plays because of his interest in acting.

“I have to admit that my interest first peaked upon seeing a bunch of pretty girls,” he recalled with a laugh. “I was in an all-boys high school.”

The “Justice League” and “Man of Steel” star said, “So the girls used to come there only when there was cheerleading or something like that.” “Then I started seeing these girls when it wasn’t cheerleading season. And it turned out they were there to audition for the play. So I thought to myself, why not audition for the play?”

After graduating from Quigley South, Lenix majored in theater at Northwestern University and began his acting career in the late 1980s.

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However, he credits his years of religious study with preparing him for his eventual career, pointing out the similarities between the interpretation of scriptures and the acting of a dramatic script.

“I think that interpretation or hermeneutics or examination of text, sometimes the Holy Scriptures in the case of the Bible, of course, it does not differ from the way in which the Bible is written. For example, much in Shakespeare Equals, much cohesiveness. The ability to take a piece of literature and shock it, to bring it to life, to get the word out of the page, so to speak.”

He continued, “And it’s something that both clothes people, clothes men and women, and actors are capable of doing. I think we’re trained for it. And yes, I think a lot about it.” The greater difference is to highlight a dramatic text and a sacred one.”

Harry Lenix had originally planned to become a priest before pursuing a career in acting.  Lenix' latest project sees him starring as Coach Russell Banks in the new Pure Flix faith-based sports drama "Nothing is impossible."

Harry Lenix had originally planned to become a priest before pursuing a career in acting. Lenix’ latest project sees him starring as Coach Russell Banks in the new Pure Flix faith-based sports drama “Nothing Is Impossible.”
(pure flicks)

Throughout his career, Lenix has demonstrated his versatility as an actor in projects across multiple genres. He first rose to prominence for his portrayal of bass singer Terrence “Dresser” Williams in Robert Townsend’s 1991 musical drama “The Five Heartbeats”.

Some of his best-known roles include Boyd Langton in the Fox science-fiction series “Dollhouse”, Commander Jason Locke in “The Matrix Reloaded” and “Matrix Revolution” and Harold Cooper on the crime thriller “The Blacklist”.

Lenix’ latest project sees him starring as Coach Russell Banks in the new Pure Flix faith-based sports drama “Nothing Is Impossible.” The film follows middle-aged high-school janitor Scott Beck (David. AR White), who is given a second chance to win the heart of a former flame and achieve his dreams of playing in the NBA.

Lenix told Fox News Digital that he was grateful for the opportunity to participate in a film with an inspiring message about the transformative power of faith.

“As a believer, it is important for me to contribute in this way.”

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“My faith means the world to me,” he said. “Indeed, it means so much more to the world. And these opportunities don’t happen every day.”

He continued, “But today was the occasion to give me a good message, a good message, words that are lessons and principles that we learn from scripture. It is important to me that I can contribute as a person of faith.” . like that.”

Lenix went on to say that he believes that many of the ills of society today are due to a declining belief in God and the secularization of culture. “In today’s world, people seem to be running away from their faith. I can’t remember what the statistics are, but 20% fewer people believe in God now or believe they even said 20 years ago, a generation ago,” he said.

The film follows middle-aged high-school janitor Scott Beck (David. AR White), who is given a second chance at achieving his dreams in love and life.

The film follows middle-aged high-school janitor Scott Beck (David. AR White), who is given a second chance at achieving his dreams in love and life.
(courtesy of Pure Flix)

“I think we have begun to rely on what some philosophers, modern commentators, call “scientism”, believing that we can discover that the world is just a physical place and that “no real kind Has no supernatural power, no intention, no guiding hand.”

He continued, “And I think that played a huge role in the way things are around us now. That sense of chaos, of despair, of cynicism, of doubt, I think that’s what we pay attention to. , reflected in that. I think we have become a scattered and inattentive nation, self-obsessed, built into our whole world style, our whole ecosystem of personalities behind a screen now.”

“And as it got worse, I think our quality of life has gone too. And I think that’s when you start trusting the secular and stop believing that There is something, someone above that has an intention and purpose for us.”

Nadia Björlin, Steven Bauer, Harry Lenox in "Nothing is impossible."

Nadia Björlin, Steven Bauer, Harry Lenin in “Nothing Is Impossible”.
(courtesy of Pure Flix)

In April, Lenix made waves when he wrote an op-ed for Variety in which he weighed on The infamous incident in which Chris Rock was slapped by Will Smith during the 2022 Academy Awards ceremony.

As a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Lenix said that Smith should give back his Best Actor Oscar to restore the awards’ dignity. He also criticized Smith’s reference to a higher power in his acceptance speech, who he said was a “puppy”. While he said he stood by his opinion, he told Fox News Digital that he was “not surprised” that Smith did not return the award.

“My intention was that I wanted it to be helpful advice or constructive criticism. But that said, it probably wasn’t received that way,” Lenix said.

“If they want me, I’m all there.”

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Earlier this month, Apple announced that it had given Smith’s historical action thriller “Imensions” December release date, which would qualify the film for the 2023 awards season. As Smith’s performance is generating early awards buzz, the actor may be in the running for another Oscar statuette.

Lenix told Fox News Digital that he did not turn down another award to Smith and said it could provide him with an opportunity, echoing the theme of “Nothing Is Impossible”.

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“I wish him well. God bless him. I hope he gets whatever reward or reward he is getting from this,” he said.

“And maybe he could have used it to clarify that situation, make it better,” Lenix said. “Maybe it will work to his advantage. It’s really about the movie ‘Nothing Is Impossible.’ We don’t always know what the long-term story is.”

In addition to starring in “Nothing Is Impossible,” the “Blacklist” star has several other projects in the works.

lenix stars "blacklist," Which recently filmed its 200th episode.

Lenix starred in “The Blacklist,” which recently filmed its 200th episode.
(Photo by: Scott Gries/NBC via Getty Images)

He was recently awarded a $26 million grant from the state of Illinois to build the Lillian Marcy Center for the Performing Arts, a theater and museum on Chicago’s South Side.

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Linux also has several scripts in development. One project he said he’s particularly excited about is titled “Godless.”

“It’s a fascinating story, a very timely tale in view of the whole Roe vs. Wade Recent decisions, where the bishop of a diocese clashes with a Catholic governor, the first lady [Catholic] Governor, and his confidence comes up,” he said.

“You see that a lot of times people ask Catholic legislators, presidents, etc. What are they going to do about this issue?”

He continued, “Our faith in the Catholic Church strongly condemns abortion. It’s a moral issue. It’s a matter of dogma. So it’s a very interesting play about this encounter.”

Lenix told Fox News Digital that he would also be on board to reprise his role in a possible fifth installment of “The Matrix” franchise.

“Absolutely,” he said, “you know, my character didn’t die at the end of “The Matrix.”

He continued, “So there’s a chance, you know? If they want me, I’m there.”

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