Movies

End game? Milla Jovovich plays Alice for the final time

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter star Milla Jovovich has played Alice in six movies over 15 years

Resident Evil is coming to an end after six films over 15 years, thrilling fans of Capcom's original video game and action/sci-fi movie audiences alike.

Aptly titled The Final Chapter, the billion-dollar franchise sees Milla Jovovich's Alice returning to the iconic origins of the T-virus in Raccoon City where she will attempt to stop the zombie infection once and for all.

The movie, opening here tomorrow, is again helmed by British director Paul W S Anderson, Jovovich's husband of seven years, and it also stars Iain Glen, Ruby Rose and Lee Joon Gi.

Here, the 41-year-old actress and mother of two, talks about her character's evolution, being a role model and having her daughter Ever taking on a role in the movie.

Can you talk about what Alice goes through in Resident Evil: The Final Chapter?

Well, she definitely goes through hell once again!

This is Alice at her most powerful. She doesn't have superpowers, but she has a mission. Alice is on the clock - it's a real countdown - and she's got a lot of personal strength in this movie.

And she's on her own a lot too; so you go back to film number three, Resident Evil: Extinction (2007), in that sense, where she's wandering on her own, but still kicking some serious butt.

When we made the first film I never expected to do a second one. The truth is that each one has really been its own entity Milla Jovovich on the Resident Evil movie franchise, which started as a video game

There are amazing action sequences here that are just really beautifully done.

What does she discover in this final film of the series?

She makes some pretty major discoveries about who she is and where she came from in this one, and I have to play a 90-year-old me, which is fun.

The whole journey with the movies and the franchise has been about Alice trying to figure out who she is and what her place is within the evil Umbrella Corporation.

Could you ever have imagined when you shot the first Resident Evil 15 years ago that it would become this worldwide franchise?

Never! And we have been very humble in the sense that every movie to us is the last.

When we made the first film I never expected to do a second one. The truth is that each one has really been its own entity.

So every film took us by surprise and was made with a pure inspiration, especially on Paul's end, as he writes, produces and directs them.

Alice has inspired other strong female roles.

It's funny, because when my mum came on the set one day when we were in a tunnel at 2 in the morning and it was freezing, she said, "How could we have imagined when you were little that this is what you would be doing?"

And it's true! Playing strong female characters found me in a way, as it's not what I set out to do in the beginning.

But, at the same time, I feel that you kind of find your destiny naturally. You can steer the car however you want, but the road leads you to wherever you're going regardless of how you handle it.

So these roles came to you as a bit of a surprise then?

I've done so many things in my life, but the things my fans really love and the roles people tend to remember more are the strong female characters.

It's a great privilege that I was able to portray believably on screen whatever was inside me about Alice, because I never considered myself to be a strong woman growing up.

I was always really goofy and crazy when I was younger, and didn't really feel like much of a role model.

But how does it feel now to know that women from all over the world look up to you?

I meet young women all over the world who are very emotional about where they came from - like conservative backgrounds or countries that are very suppressive - and say things like, "I was watching your movies and they inspired me to be strong and to leave the country where I was not being allowed to go to school or pass my test to get into college."

They are really intelligent and incredible young women, and their stories are heartbreaking sometimes.

So it makes me feel amazing to think that I may have had a little bit to do with inspiring another woman to take control of her life and ride that car into her own personal horizon.

There has always been a lot of action in these movies. Do you enjoy that aspect of the shoot?

I love it! When I did The Fifth Element in 1997 I really found an affinity to action films and doing stunts, which is one of the things I like about the Resident Evil franchise.

I don't care if people think that I may be stereotyping myself, because I see it as a job that has also given me the incredible opportunity to find out some things about who I am too.

So what have been the biggest challenges for you in portraying Alice during these years?

The challenges have been more on a physical level for the most part, as you get beat up and end up doing some dangerous things.

Then there are the emotional challenges that came when I started to have children, which are the same that any parent who works has.

Luckily, Paul and I travel together and bring our kids with us, but the hours can be challenging.

How does it feel to have your daughter in the film?

My daughter Ever loves this TV show called Jessie. Then out of the blue she tells us one day that she wants to be in a show like that, and I think, "Okay, whatever..."

But as she insists, I answer that first she has to learn to read, and she did. Afterwards I explained that she had to go to acting classes, which she also did and was phenomenal at it. She just lights up the screen!

Paul and I are in shock because she's a natural and then she says she really wants to be in the movie. So I tell her that she can be the young Alice, even though there is no dialogue there for her.

But then she also ended up playing the key role of the Red Queen...

Paul was looking at little girls to play the Red Queen, but was having trouble finding the right person. Then he suggested that Ever should play her. So she's the Red Queen in the movie, and also the young me, which gives you a lot of things to think about...

Funnily enough she's got pretty much 90 per cent of the dialogue in Resident Evil: The Final Chapter because the Red Queen talks a lot! It's amazing to see her work and her performance is going to be a really exciting part of the film.

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