Milla Jovovich Talks Blood Stickers and Stunts in Resident Evil: Retribution and Never Listening to "Naysayers"
07.22.12 by BJSprecher
When Resident Evil: Retribution hits theaters this September, it will be franchise star Milla Jovovich's fifth movie as amnesic zombie killer Alice, propelling her past Sigourney Weaver's four-movie run as Ripley in the Alien franchise to become the new queen of sci-fi/action movies. While Jovovich is aware that "it's a big deal" for Resident Evil to be a successful "female driven" franchise, she doesn't rest on her laurels, continually striving to satisfy the fans by doing as many of the stunts required of her butt-kicking character as possible. But, even when the car she is in is set on fire or she's hung from the ceiling by cables to give her an extra boost during fight scenes, Jovovich finds that it's hard to think of portraying Alice as "work" because she's "hanging out with people that are really wonderful" and she's "having so much fun."
During a recent roundtable interview session to promote Resident Evil: Retribution, Jovovich helped to pull back the curtain on the "corridor of light" sequence (pictured), revealing that stickers were used for some of the blood spatter on the walls and how the set was rigged to allow her to do her stunts. Jovovich also explained why she and her husband, writer-director Paul W.S. Anderson, don't take message boards very seriously and advised young actresses who are told that they can't be action heroes to not "listen to naysayers."
Here are some highlights from the interview:
0:00 — We had some really cool stuff where they actually set the car on fire while we were in it so Boris [Kodjoe] was filming it and, you know, it got really big and we said, "But, you said a little bit of fire, like, in the front of the car and you were gonna kind of shoot through there." But then they ended up setting the whole car on fire and I felt like I was back in the L.A. riots again — which I was. I mean, I didn’t steal anything. I was just a sightseer, just driving by.
4:57 — For the "corridor of light," the art department ended up realizing the that amount of time it would take to not only spray blood and then wipe it off and then to match it would be a nightmare. So they made these amazing stickers. … They’re kind of like see-through sheets of red stuff and they come on a piece of see-through paper.
6:14 — Stunts are always tough. I mean, like, I think I was even tweeting right before one of them and I remember feeling this nervous … because I know there was this big flip I that had to do and knock the guys while I’m in the air. And the set — because the way we shot, I think we could only afford to have, like, 15 feet max for the "corridor of light" and one side was open so we could shoot in profile, but then it was designed in a way so you could pretty much shoot from any angle and it would look the same. So, for that particular stunt … we’re going up and down and now we had to turn so that the cameras going up-and-down and we’re turned vertically, so the stunt guy is at the very edge of the corridor and the other guy is behind me and I was so nervous ... I got really scared that he was going to go over the edge of the set, you know. And, you know, when you finally get to the set and do it, it’s so different from rehearsal because in rehearsal you’re in a room and you’ve got your sweats on, but now with the costume … suddenly, like, all of these things come into play that you don’t expect, especially when it comes to costumes, and our costumes are always crazy, so, you pay the price.
9:00 — Listen, when you start listening to people on message boards, you gotta be super careful because, I mean, they could act like they’re a 100,000, but if there’s, like, eleven of them, you’re gonna be lucky. And these eleven people spend days and give huge essays on why you suck, pretty much, and why you’re the worst thing to ever happen to mankind. I’ve read it before, Paul’s read it. I mean, it’s hilarious. And, I would get really upset because I would read these things. And then Paul’s like, "But, did you look at the names? Because you’ll see them repeating themselves." And it usually is. There could be a group of them, but it’s usually the same people pretty much regurgitating the same stuff over and over. And when you go, like, a franchise that’s done this well, female driven, you know, it’s a big deal. It’s amazing. So, it’s really hard for me to listen to, like, the few guys who don’t agree.
10:14 — There’s never been a better time for women to be in action films, I feel, you know. You can’t listen to naysayers. I mean, if I listened to naysayers, I wouldn’t have done anything except be a model because that’s what they told me when I was a kid, "You’re a model. Why are you acting? Why are you trying to cross over? Why are you trying to do anything?"
Joining Jovovich in Resident Evil: Retribution are Sienna Guillory as Jill Valentine, Oded Fehr as Carlos Olivera, Colin Salmon as One, Boris Kodjoe as Luther West, Kevin Durand as Barry Burton, Johann Urb as Leon S. Kennedy, Oded Fehr as Carlos Olivera, Li Bingbing as Ada Wong, and Colin Salmon as One.