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INT: Milla Jovovich

08.10.2007by: Matt Withers

So the easy highlight of the RESIDENT EVIL: EXTINCTION set visit was the sit down with Milla Jovovich. She's got enough energy to power a city block (or more), and she was still in costume which meant I had a supermodel in a thin white tee and no bra sitting two feet from me. Tough to stay focused as you can imagine, but I did my best for you guys!

Milla Jovovich

[Talking before she even takes her seat] Let me just say that itís really too bad that you guys came on the one really boring day. Before we were doing all this wire work and stuff. It was crazy. I canít even imagine what you guys are gonna write about. Itís like, "She got a coffee!"

Did you design your own outfit for this?

Well, yeah, me and my partner, Jovovich-Hawk our clothing line actually designed it. Itís fun.

Any other looks?

No, no, no. Sheís kind of a loner, living by herself in the desert so she doesnít change much.

Weíve heard that Alice is sort of a Charles Bronson-type character out of a Sergio Leone western. Would you agree with that?

I would like to see more of a Clint Eastwood thing honestly. Itís always just trying to keep it real.

Did you have any input on the script as it was being written?

Um, a little bit. When [Paul Anderson] finished the script he sent it to me, and I had a few comments, but I really liked the script. I thought it was really interesting and a real departure. All three movies are like 360 degrees from each other, which is great. Different look, different characters. I think more than anything [Alice] started fairly innocent, and now sheís - not bad or defeated but - this is life, there is no future.

Were you able to utilize any of the martial arts you learned for Ultraviolet in this movie?

Yeah, it was great, because I have to do a lot of blade work with these two knives. Since I already knew how to use swords and police sticks, itís sort of the same movements just with a knife. So I didnít have to do a six month rehearsal process.

Was the script set at the start of filming or were there re-writes?

Always re-writes, but less on this than any of the others for sure. This was the strongest script. On the first one we had major re-writes. The ending and all that. And on the second one there were things we ended up re-shooting and changing. So small things to fill up space, or ďwould my character really do that?Ē, but nothing like changing direction, or changing the ending.

Speaking of the ending, we already know this one has a cliffhanger. Can you tell us a little about that?

Well I donít die in this one. Although even if I did, thereís like a hundred clones of me in this movie so it wouldnít really matter. Thereís a whole scene where theyíre dumping these clones. Theyíve got her DNA so theyíre trying to get the real Alice again, but one thatís cooperative.

So they have selective memory choices. They send her through the glass corridor to try and escape the laser grid. They send her on kind of the same steps that she took in the first one, but each time the clone dies. So they dump all of them in this pit. Itís really cool.

So how does it feel to see a mass grave filled with yourself?

I havenít actually seen that yet.

Do you get to fight yourself at some point.

[sounding unconvincing] No, no, no.

Is that a real no?

Yes, it is a real no. Itís just a really good idea, and Iím like "change the script, change the ending".

Can you talk about Aliceís new powers?

She gets very psychic. Not Carrie, Iím trying not to do the Carrie-thing. Just my own little thing. But yeah, she bursts everything into fire and stuff. Itís really cool. Itís great for me because I didnít have to do stuff. Itís really useful against the birds and such.

So were the powers given to her by Umbrella?

No. In the last movie her metabolism bonded with the T-Virus so she sort of adjusted to the sickness and her abilities come from that.

Is there any romantic interest in this movie?

Not at all. And I think the movie just wouldnít be interesting if there was. Can you just imagine Alice having a baby and cooking? Like, "Yeah, I used to work for Umbrella and I had these crazy powers. I still have them but I keep them under wraps." Itíd be like Bewitched. But with knives.

Can you talk about working with [director] Russell Mulcahy?

Russell is just a really fun guy and has a lot of energy. Super frantic, super panicky, always in ten different places. We always have to be like, "Russell, go back to the monitor OK." Heís very sweet, and very cute. The dailies look gorgeous - the way heís shooting everything is so cool. The way heís taking advantage of the desert. It looks different, I think the camera work is much better in this one than either of the first two.

He brings an energy. A lot of directors, in my experience, they kind of tell you what youíre doing in the scene, but they donít remind you where you just came from, or where youíre going. So Iíd go to do ADR and think, "I wish I was more like this because I just came from a fight with my boyfriend, or zombies, and it doesnít look like it". But heís always there getting you into the moment. And thatís really important. One of the problems with these kind of movies is when people just walk through it. They kind of cash it in, and weíre trying to feel the reality of it.

How do you keep from just walking through it the third time around? How do you keep the energy and passion up?

Well listen, with me itís hard to keep it down [laughs]. Itís a movie for Godís sake, I mean itís exciting.

I heard you didnít really like how the second one turned out.

I think the second one, for whatever reason, just wasnít my favorite. I liked the first one better. Plus I did some really dangerous stunts that I felt like you didnít really see what was happening. Like what we did was insane, and then when I saw the frickiní shot Iím like, you canít even tell that itís me. You canít tell how high I am. So Iím telling everybody, "Look, I jumped off a six story building and Iím running down it,". So whatever, I had my own little problems with the second one.

Saying that, as part of a trilogy I think itís an exciting film. You know after I saw it and they changed a lot in the dubbing. That was one of my biggest problems with the director. I just felt like he wasnít there for us. One of my scenes I just started talking in my normal voice, "Carlos, the T-Virus has bonded with my DNA", and at the time I was just being real, but when I look back I sound like a Valley Girl talking about the T-Virus.

Itíll be like Mission Impossible where the trilogy is good, but the second one sucks.

You think? I think this particular film Iím very excited for.

Whatís the future hold for you since youíre sort of the screen action heroine of our time?

Well, my next film Iím playing an upper class woman from the Second Empire and itís a Russian part. Unfortunately for me, the action films are the biggest films I do. Everything else is tiny, and God knows when itís gonna come out. Or how itís going to be distributed.

[The action films] are the films that people see. These are the ones that make it overseas, that have a lot of money put into their publicity. For me one of the most depressing things, and why I have a clothing line and why I do other things, is that you have to do so many movies to have one that youíre happy with, or that comes out and is genius.

So many things can go wrong. I canít tell you how many times Iíve felt I gave the performance of a lifetime, and then I see the movie and Iím like, "Oh my God, how did that happen? Why did they pick that and not this". So you just have to keep churning them out as much as you can to get that one that just works. Itís the nature of the beast.

Picking up with that concept, the last Iíd heard Kurt Wimmer had not seen Ultraviolet and was not at all happy with where it went. Have you spoken with him at all?

All I can tell you is that I was completely blocked from the editing room. Which is unfortunate because I was promised that I wouldnít be. He was a real cad who reneged on his promises. I mean, I donít want to step on your toes, but there are certain things that I did that I would remember.

Like remember that scene, in take three thereís a thing I did with my eyes that would be cool on the close-up. See how that works. Thatís a perfect example of a movie I spent a year of my life preparing for and shooting, and then, OK onto the next!

And with that turn of phrase the publicist deftly stepped in and ended the interview. It's really impossible to describe what it's like being in Jovovich's presence; you have to experience it. You go in thinking that her overwhelming hotness is what's going to screw you up, but it ends up just being a fight to hang on to her runaway train of thought. The woman's got moxie, and it was a blast to get a taste of it!



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