Ada Wong is one of the most popular characters in the Resident Evil video game universe. However, while she’s been in a large percentage of the games, she’s never made an appearance in any of the movies. But that’s all about to change. That’s because when writer-director Paul W.S. Anderson was coming up with the idea for Resident Evil: Retribution, one of the things he really wanted to do was bring in some of the characters that the fans have been waiting to see. So if you’ve been waiting to see Leon Kennedy, Ada Wong, and Barry Burton, on September 14, you’ll get your chance.
Last month when visiting the set of Resident Evil: Retribution I got to participate in a group interview with Li Bingbing (she’s playing Ada Wong). During the interview she talked about playing such a fan favorite character, wearing the outfit, the relationship between Ada and Leon, how she got cast, and a lot more. Hit the jump to either read or listen to what she had to say.
Before going any further, here’s the official synopsis from Retribution and the just released teaser trailer:
The Umbrella Corporation’s deadly T-virus continues to ravage the Earth, transforming the global population into legions of the flesh eating Undead. The human race’s last and only hope, ALICE (Milla Jovovich), awakens in the heart of Umbrella’s most clandestine operations facility and unveils more of her mysterious past as she delves further into the complex. Without a safe haven, Alice continues to hunt those responsible for the outbreak; a chase that takes her from Tokyo to New York, Washington, D.C. and Moscow, culminating in a mind-blowing revelation that will force her to rethink everything that she once thought to be true. Aided by newfound allies and familiar friends, Alice must fight to survive long enough to escape a hostile world on the brink of oblivion. The countdown has begun.
As usual, I’m offering two ways to get this interview: you can either click here for the audio, or the full transcript is below. Resident Evil: Retribution opens September 14.
Li Bingbing: I don’t know Ada Wong very well.
Did you know there was a big fanbase?
Bing: Yes. I know ‘Resident Evil’ is a very famous game. A lot of game fans follow this ‘Resident Evil’. And I know Ada Wong is a very famous character in the game. So there’s a lot of fan for Ada Wong in China, so when I got this news from Paul, they invited me to play Ada Wong, everyone feels so excited. And I feel so excited like I’m going to be Ada Wong.
What did it feel like putting on that red dress for the first time?
Bing: [Laughs] Um, you know what, the red dress is look like I walk at the red carpet. But the different thing is that when I wear the gun holster, it looks like totally different. It’s like [unintelligible], cool and sexy and mysterious.
Like the games, is there kind of a love connection between Ada and Leon in this movie?
Bing: Uh, in this movie I think Paul still loved to keep the relationship, the emotion between Leon and me, and I didn’t know – did you, at the set? – Leon at the end catch me to the helicopter. You guys saw the scene in the morning so…it’s very subtle between us.
They said you had not shot a gun before.
Bing: Yeah, this is the first time.
But they said you did great.
Bing: You know what, actually for me, I really love to do action movie. You know, most people, they know, they thought that I am a martial artist. I don’t know why, but I love to do kung fu movie, you know? And in this movie, we have a part, when the first time I meet Milla, in the control room, oh, that was amazing, that scene. I did a flip in the air with wires. It’s fantastic. I was so excited with that. And when I shoot a gun on the first time – you know what, I used to do gun training. The crew gave me gun training before we start to shoot the movie. And the first time when I shoot the gun on set, I feel so, so, so – how you say? – it’s not nervous, it’s like just excited and totally different. It’s a real gun, and you shoot just on set like real sassy, and just don’t care anyone…’I am the most…powerful one and I have to protect the little girl and I have to give the space and time to Alice, let her to do the other things’. Something make me feel so excited.
How did you get the role? Did you audition? Can you talk about how you got the part?
Bing: I am not really sure how I got this role, but I did the audition. But after a very few days, they gave me the reply. They said, ‘we loved you, invite you to be Ada Wong’. So I feel so, you know like, surprised. It’s very fast to give me the reply after I sent my audition.
Bing: It’s a wig. It’s not a real…it’s not my hair. [Laughs] I’m a big liar. You know what? It’s very funny. Our crew, everyone thought this is my hair, my own hair. They didn’t even, you know, recognize this as the wig, fake hair. My hair is long to here. Yeah, this is a very expensive wig. It’s like $7,500. So it’s really expensive. So everything be done because we want to make perfect Ada Wong here. So I love it.
Now, are you always in the dress in the whole movie? Even when you’re running around in the snow, and doing flips, and everything else?
Bing: [Laughs] I came here twice. The first time I came here, I thought ‘woah!’ It’s also the first time I came to Canada. Toronto, also. And I feel ‘wow, it’s so cold here!’ That time it’s October. What about November, December? I start to scared the cold. And then the second time when I came back, it’s November. And the first day when I shoot on set…what kind of street? New York street scene. I mean, the real street in Toronto…yes, that street, how do you call the name?…Oh, I don’t know how to call it…how do you say it? [interpreter says it was 13 degrees in Toronto]…And I meant it. Oh! I thank god. How to [unintelligible] on me the first time when I come back, oh, it’s really, really cold!But the wind make me so cool in the street. You know what? The wind…[interpreter says it blew her dress up]…It’s amazing! So…[says something in Chinese to interpreter, interpreter tells us she’s saying, ‘to be beautiful I have to feel the pain’]…[Laughter] I have to accept everything. But it’s amazing. I can’t wait to watch the movie, and especially when the movie be released in China.
Can you talk about some of the zombies or the monsters that you have to fight in the film?
Bing: I don’t have to fight with the monsters this time. I only need to fight with the Jill and Michelle, those parts.
What was it like working with some of these cast members, just interacting with them and being in this English language movie?
Bing: In this movie, I worked with Milla very much, all of my scenes. So we’re very close. I’m so touched from her. She treat me very, very nice. Very good, and very considerate. You know, because when we shoot outside it’s very cold. And every time she’d make sure the wardrobe, they ask me to put my warm jacket on first, and then hers. So everyone treat me very good. And the other actors like Michelle, like Sienna, and lovely Ariana, Colin, Oded, Johann. You know what, at the beginning, I feel shy to open my mouth to speak in English. I just thought, ‘If I don’t open my mouth, I won’t make any mistakes with anyone.’ So I just keep silent, and just use my eyes to…[Laughter] But everyone thought, ‘This girl is like very cool.’ But you know, over time, we getting closer and we know each other, we get familiar each other, and everyone kidding or playing together, we communicate like experience stories. We getting closer, we know each other more and more. And then I dare to open my mouth to speak more English. And nobody just like laughed or laugh at my English. They said, ‘oh, your English is amazing!’ I know everyone just encourage me, but everyone treat me very nice. Like make me feel I was in a very cozy family. Everyone very good here.
Bing: Of course, absolutely.
We’ve heard that there’s gonna be another movie after this one, another ‘Resident Evil’ movie. Has anyone spoken to you about that, and given you any indication whether you’ll be back for the next movie?
Bing: You know what, Paul said, next ‘Resident Evil’ he will ask Milla to speak Chinese. [Laughter] It’s joke, because, you know, when I was on set, sometime I was…stuck, and he just encouraged me and give me more confidence and ‘next time I will ask Milla to speak Chinese!’ And next movie nobody know. Next, you mean ‘Resident Evil 6’?
Bing: Nobody know. Ask Paul. [Laughter]
When you got cast, did it give you an excuse to play all the Resident Evil games? Did you end up playing any of them?
Bing: I watched, I watch the game, it’s like a movie online, when I was in China. It’s like homework what I did.
What did you learn about the game? What surprised you?
Bing: Um, in the game it’s very, you know, before I don’t know it very well, but after I watch it I feel…I love Ada Wong. And I love the relationship between those characters, like Ada with Leon. And I know something about Ada, her character…her personality. And I recognized actually Ada, Ada Wong, the character, the personality of Ada Wong is closer to me…very much like mine. So…
When you started acting back home in China, was it always your ambition to come to America to make films?
When you started acting at home, was it always your ambition to come over to the American side to make films?
[Interpreter says she’d like to answer in Chinese]
Interpreter: [Translating] Sometimes we don’t have to think about what we’re gonna do next. I think a lot of things are given by fate.
Bing: But there’s one…[begins speaking in Chinese again]
Interpreter: [Translating] But there’s a philosophy that I live by, if God gives you a big cake, he first has to torture you a little bit.
Have you found the American fight scenes to be more difficult or easier than in China?
Bing: Mmm…it’s different. I…[Begins speaking in Chinese]
Interpreter: [Translating] There’s a lot of techy things that are happening here that don’t exist over there…for example, how they cut the shots. How they divide up…how the shots are taken, from what angle, etc…but in China they stress more of an ability to fight, rather than cutting and making it look like they can fight.
For more on Resident Evil: Retribution: