While at Comic-Con for a presentation in Hall H, actress Milla Jovovich spoke with the press about the fifth installment in the popular Resident Evil franchise. In Resident Evil: Retribution, which resurrects Michelle Rodriguez’s character from the first film, Alice (Jovovich) fights alongside a resistance movement in the continuing battle against the Umbrella Corporation and the undead. During the interview, Jovovich talked about where things pick up with this film, the bigger nature of the story, the biggest challenge with this movie, and the possibility of a sixth and final film. She also talked about the Ice Cats book she wrote when she was seven years old, that strongly resembled ThunderCats, and her preference for action figures over Barbie dolls. Check out what she had to say after the jump.
Question: Where do things pick up, with this film?
MILLA JOVOVICH: In this film, we are in the belly of the beast. I don’t want to give too much away, but this is where Alice’s world gets completely turned upside down, in so many crazy ways that even she doesn’t understand. By the time she’s aware of it, it’s just overwhelming, what the Umbrella Corporation can do and what they’ve become. For the audience, that’s awesome because it means there’s going to be a whole lot more crazy stuff happening. It’s really exciting because we’re able to go all around the globe. It’s a really interesting concept that (director) Paul [W.S. Anderson] came up with. It was really funny because I’d been asking him about this idea for a long time, and then when he pitched Resident Evil 5, we were on vacation. I asked him, “Do you have ideas for the next script?,” and he said, “Actually, I do and I’ve been thinking about it a lot, and I’d love to pitch it to you.”
And then, he started describing it to me and I recognized this idea that he kind of had for something else that he had thought about, and I remembered that the concept was really cool. When he started pitching it, I was like, “Oh, my god, that’s that idea that you had!” And he said, “Yes, but in this way.” It’s incredible because the way you see the world in this new movie is like you’ve never seen it before. The ramifications are quite intense and quite insane. It’s hard to explain, but it’s very exciting. In simpler terms, it’s just a really fun movie with bigger and better everything – action and story.
Is this even more epic?
JOVOVICH: Yeah, I guess so. We’ve always taken it one movie at a time. Paul has never written two scripts and said, “Yes, we’re going to do another one!” But, this time he did also pitch me a number six idea, and what was really interesting about that was that he said number six is the end, for real. He really wanted to take it back to the first movie, how it was very small and very contained and very claustrophobic. That’s all he told me. So, I don’t know what number six is about, but I know that he wants to take it back to being in this really tight, enclosed space, which I thought was really interesting because we’ve been going bigger and badder and crazier. To actually really get back to the original claustrophobia is quite exciting. I’m like, “Hmm, I wonder if we’ll ever get to make that movie?” We’ll see.
What was the biggest challenge with this movie?
JOVOVICH: The biggest challenge, for me, was actually Alice playing a victim, at one point. She’s not the fighter. She’s just a normal person, in this horrific situation. I had to literally scream and be like, “Look out, oh my god!,” for a week. By the end of each day, I would have a headache and my voice would be so swore, and I would just be exhausted. I said, “Enough of being the victim!” It’s so much easier to be the strong female with the big gun who shoots something. You’re cool. You can do a flip and be out of there. I said, “Never again!” It was challenging to just be normal. To be a normal person in a Resident Evil movie was the most challenging thing.
So, what is Ice Cats?
JOVOVICH: No copyright infringement there, at all. My friends, from when I was little, came to our wedding. I’ve known them since I was seven and, as a wedding gift, they brought me this little book that I had made, when I was seven years old, called Ice Cats. I was reading it with Paul and I was like, “This is kind of amazing! I had it all – the castle and all the characters, and there were little storylines.” He was like, “There’s something vaguely familiar about it.” I said, “No, we were just into cats. That was our thing.” He was like, “Really?! Somehow, I find something vaguely familiar about this.” Then, he was like, “Does ThunderCats ring a bell.” It was completely erased from my head, as if it never happened. And then, suddenly, I saw the beginning with the planet and the sign, and I was like, “Oh, my god, ThunderCats! Cheetara! Yes!” He was like, “I love how you changed the characters just enough to not get sued.”
I knew, at seven, that I was doing something vaguely wrong, but I didn’t know exactly what. The funniest part is that all the girls have all these talents. It wasn’t Cheetara, it was Cheetra. She was the best gymnast and jumper, and she knew how to use a sword, and she had special spikes on her whip that had poison in them and they would poison you. And then, you get to the guys, and I drew these big guy cats and said, “This is Tomcat. He is strong.” All the girls had these backstories, and then all the guys just had nothing. I don’t think that’s nice. I guess I wasn’t very interested in the backstories of the supermen. I was only interested in the super-ladies. Paul was dying of laughter and like, “Oh, my god, this is beyond funny! You already had this in you, at seven years old.”
Did you have a lot of nightmares when you were young?
JOVOVICH: Are you kidding? I’ve always been a very existential person, since I was a kid. My daughter is exactly the same way. It’s creepy. I grew up, at this time in the mid to late ‘80s, when She-Ra and ThunderCats were popular. In ‘85 or ‘86, it was all about strong female cartoon characters. Because of the fact that I was also an only child and my father really wanted a son – he’s from that generation – it was always about kung-fu theater on Sundays and boxing games on the weekend. I was the only one that wanted to watch it with him. My mom was like, “See you later! I’m going out with my girlfriends.” I’d be stuck at home, and we’d watch a lot of violence on the weekends, but cool violence. It’s not like he would sit me down and we would watch Rambo, or anything like that. But, something in me, for sure, was able to relate to that person. All I would play with, when I was a kid, were action figures that were always the princess with the sword who could defend herself and wasn’t just the pink pretty girl. I was never into Barbie. I remember that me and my friends were always like, “Yeah, whatever!,” about Barbie dolls. We just thought it was much cooler to be into G.I. Joe and She-Ra.