‘The Matrix’ Re-Roasted: Gabrielle Union Details An Awkward Audition When She Impersonated Janet Jackson

Great minds think alike… sometimes too much alike and things can get awkward, according to Gabrielle Union.

Source: Kevin Mazur / Getty


The “You Got Anything Stronger?” author recently appeared on The Late Late Show With James Corden, where she recalled a funny story about her audition for The Matrix. Apparently “everyone and their mother” was attempting to snag a role in the film prior to its release in 1999 and for her audition, she wanted to channel a certain superstar songstress.

“I went to audition. To me, I needed to feel like the most powerful, beautiful, and amazing woman in the world, so of course, I wanted to channel Janet Jackson,” Union explained.

The star said she went on a mission to achieve Janet’s fierce look.

“I [went] to Extensions Plus…the Mecca of waves. I wanted to get the good hair, the Janet hair, from the weave emporium. I literally [found] the exact outfit from her album cover. I [drew] in the damn mole. I [was] fully committed.”

Union got to the audition “early” and fully prepared, however as she was channeling her inner Ms. Jackson, Janet actually walked into the audition room. Turns out the “Rythm Nation” singer was coincidentally auditioning for the same role—and it got weird.

“…I’m cosplaying as Janet, with a weird drawn-on mole,” Union recalled of the funny incident. “I think we canceled each other out. I’m pretty sure there was a restraining order of sorts,” she joked.

Gabby was devasted when she learned that she had failed the audition.

The Being Mary Jane actress took to the club with her then-boyfriend Jermaine Dupri to dance the heartbreaking experience away. However, she ran into Jackson…again, but this time, the Grammy-award-winning artist was interested in speaking with her. Dupri formally introduced Union to the singer, but as she approached the music icon, she began to cry uncontrollably.

“I’m balling. I start balling in the club like snot bubbles, the whole thing,” the Flawless founder said. “I don’t know what’s about to happen, and I get there, and she jumps up and gives me a hug and says, ‘I’m so proud of you,’” Union recalled. “More snot bubbles.”

Turns out neither Union nor Janet landed the role, but according to Union, the two stars are still friends until this day…. despite her strange impersonation.

How’s that for an odd exchange?

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