Matrix director Larry Wachowski ilsa
Matrix director Lana Wachowski lived in fear prior to sex change in case family would reject her
'I dreamt of dying every day': Matrix director Lana Wachowski lived in fear prior to sex change in case family would reject her
By Daniel Bates
Published: | Updated:
Lana Wachowski has revealed that her self-loathing over her gender was so bad that she dreamed about dying every single day.
The Matrix director, who was a man called Larry until 2002, said that she would go swimming in the mornings half in the hope that she would get eaten by a shark or hit by a boat.
The former carpenter also opened up about the moment she told her mother she was transgender with the words: 'I'm a girl' - and was overwhelmed with her support.
Surprised: Lana Wachowski grew up in terror before telling her parents that was wanted to be a girl
Miss Wachowski, who is notoriously coy about her private life, now has what their father jokingly calls a 'marriage' with brother Andy, who co-directed the Matrix series with her.
She is also married to her second wife having gone through a bitter divorce with college sweetheart Thea Bloom who she left in 2003 for a blonde dominatrix called Ilsa Strix.
The bizarre story became the subject of tabloid gossip when Bloom took her to court to try and win control of the millions that had been made from the Matrix trilogy.
She also alleged that Miss Wachowski had been 'extremely dishonest with me in our personal life' during their nine years together.
Questions have remained over Miss Wachowski’s identity until last month when she gave interviews for her forthcoming film Cloud Atlas in which she appeared to have completed her transition with dyed pink hair styled in small dreadlocks.
Hard at work: The Wachowski Brothers directed the Matrix trilogy together
In the New Yorker magazine, the 47-year-old spoke candidly for the first time about what it was like to undergo a gender reassignment in the full glare of the public eye.
She said: 'For years, I couldn't even say the words "transgendered" or "transsexual".
'When I began to admit it to myself, I knew I would eventually have to tell my parents and my brother and my sisters.
'This fact would inject such terror into me that I would not sleep for days.'
The original plan was to tell her mother and father over three or five years, but sensing something was wrong Lynne got on a plane to see her.
Miss Wachowski said that, as Larry, she told her: 'I'm transgender. I'm a girl 'to which her mother was confused and replied:' I was there when you were born. '
Successful: Talented Lana has just co-directed Cloud Atlas, starring Tom Hanks and Halle Berry
Miss Wachowski added: 'There's a part of me that is a girl.'
Immediately she got nothing but love from her mother who said that rather than losing a son she had 'found out there is more of you'.
Her father Ron also flew out to be with her and offered his support. The next day she started calling herself Lana and has done so ever since.
Whilst still a man called Larry, Miss Wachowski looked like a classic nerd - big round glasses, oversized jeans and baggy T-shirts with earrings in both ears.
Changing over time: The image of the siblings, captured in 2003, highlights the early stage of Lana's transformation
Her transition to Lana began by wearing bandanas before switching to vest tops, contact lenses, blonde dyes, and now her pink hair.
Miss Wachowski said: 'I chose to change my exterior to bring it closer into alignment with my interior.
'My biggest fears were all about losing my family. Once they accepted me, everything else has been a piece of cake.
'I know that many people are dying to know if I have a surgically constructed vagina or not, but I prefer to keep this information between my wife and me.'
Miss Wachowski and her brother grew up in a middle class neighborhood in Chicago with their father a businessman and their mother a nurse.
She said that it was when she transferred to a Catholic school where the girls and boys wear different uniforms that she started to feel uneasy about her gender.
Often bullied, she would found 'found tremendous solace in books, vastly preferring imagined worlds to this world'.
She said: 'I have a formative memory of walking through the girls' line and hesitating, knowing that my clothes didn't match.
'But as I continued on I felt I did not belong in the other line, so I just stopped in between them. I stood for a long moment with everyone staring at me, including the nun.
'She told me to get in line. I was stuck - I couldn't move. I think some unconscious part of me figured I was exactly where I belonged: betwixt. '
By 1996 when their lesbian drama Bound was released, Andy Wachowski, 44, was already suspicious about his brother, but when she 'came out' he made sure to support her.
In fact, he said that since Larry became Lana things have actually improved and that his sister is 'easier to work with' than his brother was because she was not projecting her issues onto him.
As their father Ron put it: 'They have the best marriage I have ever seen.'
Good working relationship: Larry and Andy's father joked his sons have a good 'marriage'
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