Everyone's favorite zombie-hunter, Milla Jovovich, returns to action this week for Resident Evil: Extinction, the third chapter of the surprisingly enduring video game-based franchise. While lesser spin-offs like Doom, Alone in the Dark, Bloodrayne and Tomb Raider have come and gone with little fanfare, Alice and her merry band of scantily-clad, post-apocalyptic commandos keep chuggin' along, riding wave after wave of bloody zombie appendages to box office glory.
A few months ago, a bubbly, very pregnant Jovovich stopped by the 2007 Comic-Con to talk about super zombies, undead birds and other fascinating aspects of Resident Evil: Extinction.
How enjoyable is it to revisit the same character again and again?
It’s really interesting because I never expected at the beginning when we did the first movie that we’d be here sitting talking about a third film. It’s been amazing, just to be able to really live with this character. As I change, she changes, too. I love the fact that the story continues because it’s something that before we did the second or third movie, we’d talk about things like, "What happened then?" and "What would have happened if it would have gone on?" So it’s been so fun to be able to just see something kind of develop over the years and get more and more complicated, with more subtext and subplots.
How intense was your training for this film?
Action films are definitely a lot of training and I do a lot of my own stunts, so I definitely am in there for the long haul for the training process. But I love it. Martial arts is something I’ve always loved doing. It’s the only form of exercise that I can deal with. Everything else is really boring and mind-numbing. So for me it’s just really fun. I love to sort of feel like a superhero in that sense, to be able to fly through the air and to be on wires. It just makes me feel like I’m in Magic Mountain or something. I love it.
What’s in this movie that we haven’t seen in the previous Resident Evil films?
I think what’s really cool about this franchise is that each film is so different, because we have different directors on each one. It really gives each film its own world, its own world visually and story-wise -- this film especially. It’s like a whole new world. We had the first one, which is very dark and claustrophobic and underground the whole time. And then the second one you have this much bigger scope and the city at night, trying to escape the city. And here it’s really like the end of the world and it’s all shot in daytime. It’s all these very epic scenes. You’ve got these incredible desert sequences. It’s got a completely different look, a completely different feeling. It’s just very cool because we have these super zombies now who are super fast, super tough, and they’re smart, too. They know how to use a camera and a telephone. And now like undead birds, which is really cool. There’s just a lot of new stuff that you wouldn’t expect to see in the Resident Evil films. It’s really whole new world and there’s lots of really great stuff. I don’t want to give it all away. [laughs]
You've voiced a bit of dismay about how Resident Evil 2 turned out. Do you have a better feeling about Resident Evil: Extinction?
Definitely, definitely. I just think everything about this film is so much tighter and more together. I think the script is so much better, the idea is so much more precise and has these really great storylines going. It’s just interesting. You’ve got like a few different worlds within one movie. It’s really cool to see the contrast between the Umbrella Corporation with all its slick lines and then the desert, which is totally natural and soft and smooth. It’s the end of the world, you know, so it’s really intense in that sense. I had a really great time doing it. I haven’t seen the whole movie together with all the special effects, but even without the special effects I was like, "This is rad!" I loved it. I just was with the characters more. I don’t know, somehow I connected with the story better. I think what my character goes through is just really intense in this movie. Again, I don’t want to give it away, but it just is. Trust me. [laughs]
You have some new weaponry in this film.
I used these really incredible knives called "khukuris" in the film and they were used by Tibetan monks hundreds of years ago, but one-handed because they were really little, the Tibetan monks, and these knives are really big so they give them like another foot and a half of reach. I use two, which is pretty vicious because they were never really intended to be used that way. They’re really incredible because they’re sharp all through the knife, up and over, so you can do lots of different things with them. You can stab and slash and hack and stuff, all in one knife. It's like, they need to market this. It's really great.
Market them to whom? Zombie hunters?
No! You could use them to bone a chicken, slice cucumbers, spread your mayo, slice a pie with it and kill zombies, all in one day.
Are we going to be seeing you on an infomercial?
Listen, I love infomercials. I’ve always thought that I could do a really good infomercial because I have a lot of great ideas with things. I just never actually have the time to patent them, like everybody else with great ideas. One person takes the time to do it and the rest of us to keep talking about it.
Why are zombies always so hostile? How come there aren't ever any nice zombies?
I don't know. Probably because they're nasty and stinky and kind of decrepit. Like, I wouldn't feel very nice.
Maybe you shouldn't be so mean to them.
I know. They're just really kind of falling apart and decayed and stuff, but that's all right, you know what I mean? Like, I shouldn't be mean about that. They can't do anything it. [laughs] I think that would be really good for Shaun of the Dead 2, to have like really nice zombies, you know?
Your character gets cloned in this film. How challenging was it to play different versions of yourself?
It was really interesting. I mean, definitely, I played it very different from how I play Alice today. It was kind of much more who Alice was in the first movie, I think. Just a bit more innocent and a bit more of a child in a way. She was jus kind of born so she doesn’t really understand and know everything that Alice knows about herself, so she has all that to find out.
What was it like returning to the old sets and your original wardrobe?
Really cool. I mean, it was just really crazy to put on that whole outfit again and it was weird. But I really loved it, too, because I just thought it really gave the movie such an interesting feeling. It’s crazy. I’ve never actually really died before, to have to die like multiple times. It’s really crazy. They filmed all the clones in the pit and stuff and having to be like, "What do you think? Does this look weird enough? Is this like a really screwed up position?" And, "This looks nasty, right?" Like they just threw me down in some weird way. And then with all the makeup. We had fun pouring blood all over. At one point I had like two huge slashes across my face and burns.
Do you have any plans to go back to your music career?
I actually did a couple of shows a few months ago. I did a show in Paris and a show in Moscow. I love to play and I love to record. It’s just like as a profession, I haven’t really gone after it in a business way very much. But I love to record. I love to release demos. On my website people can download them for free and stuff. It’s kind of a personal thing I love to do, but my friends will get me to do stuff on soundtracks and things. But I just haven’t really tried to do the whole tour thing, like promotions. I think because it gets a little tough, and music for me is something I prefer to keep away form the whole business part of my life. I feel like everything I do, in a way, has some sort of business around it. So with my music I can have my privacy. If people don’t have to pay for it then I think they can be a little more open to new ideas. It’s hard because I was very lucky with my record to get great reviews and stuff. But still, it’s hard. I just think things that are that personal it’s really hard to deal with the outside world with having opinions.
Resident Evil: Extinction opens nationwide this Friday, September 21, 2007.
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