The 54-year-old actress was one of four finalists for the part of Trinity in the 1999 sci-fi film - but Salma admitted she wasn't fit enough to get through the "physical test."
Speaking to Jada Pinkett Smith on the new episode of her webs series "Red Table Talk", she said, "We were one of the four finalists for The Matrix. We'd jumped through many hurdles, screen testing, and many auditions. They brought these stunt coordinators from Asia. It was the physical test. I'm flexible and agile, but I'm lazy."
"I never really went to the gym, they said, 'You have to run!' I go, 'To where?' I couldn't even go around the room once."
Jada was also one of the four finalists alongside Carrie-Anne Moss - who later landed the part - but her physical ability left Salma feeling embarrassed about herself.
"Here comes Jada, a mean, lean, sexy machine!" she said. "Oh my God! She was so good! It was so embarrassing! She was so fit, she was so focused, she was so disciplined. She was so capable. She was so gracious. And I just looked at this woman and I thought to myself, 'That's who I want to be when I grow up.' "
Now, "The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard" star looks to Jada for motivation before she starts shooting a film.
"Every time I'm going to do action, I say, no, I better start getting some stamina and practice the routines, you've got to be like Jada!" she explained.
However, the pair both admit that Carrie-Anne was perfect for the role of Trinity and Jada is happy she lost the role to the actress.
She previously said, "I thought Carrie-Anne was the perfect Trinity, and there was no way I could do what she did. And that's the only time in my career I've said that about losing a role."