Talks about about her action hero status, being a mum, and more
Wearing a skin-tight blue dress, Christian Louboutin heels, her hair styled in an up-do, with has flawless makeup, this 36 year old Ukrainian model turned actress is still a stunner. Starring in Resident Evil 3, directed by her (third) husband, Paul W. S. Anderson, with whom she is raising their 4 year old daughter, Ever, they are one of Hollywood’s rare happy couples. Today, she jokes about her action hero status, being a mum, cringing over her old television interviews she did at age 14 year while promoting Blue Lagoon, and why she’ll never let her daughter act while she’s a child.
Q: So what was it like getting back together with Michelle (Rodgriguez) and how has she changed from when you last worked with her? Is she kicking your ass more than she did before?
What are you trying to say? That she ever kicked my ass? (laughs) She’s just as fun as ever. I think the thing I love about Michelle now is that she’s much more relaxed, much more confident and comfortable with who she is. When I first met her, she was wild and crazy and trying to be like the old way we were in our 20s, and I can see she’s chilled out now. We talk about books together. When we first met, we were just clubbing all the time, our relationship was pretty much working and going to clubs. And now it’s like, after work, she’ll go home and read a book and I’ll go home and play with my daughter and go to sleep. So, clubs have been replaced with books and children.
Q: How is it to be a top assassin and then go home and feed your kid dinner and be a soft person again?
Well because I’m not an assassin, I’m an actress. (laughs) I’m not a real assassin! I’m pretending!
Q: But to tough and the badass queen?
Well, the toughest part is putting on that frickin’ body suit and keeping it up. The gag reel is going to be hilarious.
Q: But does your daughter understand what you do?
Oh yeah. She’s complete set baby. She’s understood that when papa says “action”, or any director for that matter, like if she comes on a commercial with me, you don’t talk until they say “cut”, she’s known that for years. She knew that on the last one when she was one and a half, two, but one this one, she actually met zombies. (laughs) Because on the last one, I don’t know what genius put this floor plan together, but they had my trailer right across from the zombie makeup trailer on Afterlife, or whatever the last Resident Evil movie I did was called. (laughs) And literally, I come in, I’m seeing zombies walking in and out right in front of my trailer, I said to the AD, “Are you having a laugh, mate?” Like seriously, I have a one and a half year old child, that’s going to be coming in about an hour and a half to eat lunch with me and I’ve got zombies walking in front of my trailer? But then Arianna, who is this little actress in the movie, became really good friends with her. Then she went to find Arianna who was in the makeup trailer with the zombies and she saw that her friend wasn’t scared, so she was fine. And now she’s scaring them, chasing them around. It was so cute; I mean she is definitely, probably the only four year old in the world that is not scared of zombies.
Q: She’s going to be scared of puppies and kittens.
Dude, she was scared of a My Little Pony cartoon the other day, (laughter) she was like, “why is the pony so scary?” (laughter) Zombies are fine, but My Little Pony got scary.
Q: She’s a little fighter.
She is a fighter. We are all fighters. I mean, I come from a long line of revolutionaries and jailbirds, on both sides of the family. We’ve got the Russian Revolution on one side, we got Tito and my grandfather’s crazy Communist crazy thoughts on the other, a pretty crazy history. So she’s one of us, thank God for Paul. (laughs) Cheers, he can add a little bit civilization into the barbarism that I come from. (laughs)
Q: Do you remember the moment when you realized you were a public figure?
I think probably when Blue Lagoon came out. Because that was like the first time I did a movie that I had to go on a big promotion tour when I was 14 years old. It was horrible. It was horrible flying every day, waking up at six o’clock to get hair and makeup done, no offense, but to do interviews all day for a fourteen year old, I mean, it was not fun. And then reading really bad reviews of yourself, because of course at 14 you are like, what are they saying? (laughs) Oh. What did they say? Oh. (fakes crying) I don’t want to do this anymore. And then my mom going, ‘Look, you better toughen up kid, because if you don’t have a tough skin, you will never survive in any business. I don’t care if you want to be an actress or not, but you better stop feeling sorry for yourself, and move on and keep going.’ And this too shall pass. (laughter)
Q: Do you remember when you felt validated for the first time?
Yeah, when I started writing music. For me it was something I could control, which was the guitar, and the words coming out of my mouth, which came from my brain obviously, we don’t have to go into all the workings of that. But it was amazing, because to be able to actually go and start a band, and perform, and even though it was scary to have that feeling of ‘Oh, this is mine and this is something that I do all separate from my acting,’ but feeling that audience reaction of people really loving the music and being very taken aback too by it at the time.
I felt like, as an artist, my first time that I felt like, ‘I have something to give, I’m not just a useless little whatever fluff they called me in The Blue Lagoon.’ And then of course, The 5th Element, that was the part that made me go, ‘Oh, I see, this is what it is to be an actor.’ The light bulb above the head moment of like oh, just going, because when you are Leeloo you don’t have time to think and with that language, with everything, if I was scared to look stupid, I would never have been able to make that movie. Luc (Besson) put me through so much stupid shit to prepare for Leeloo, so that by the time I would get on set, the acting coach who had me doing the stupidest stuff in public places, so that I would lose all inhibitions of looking like an idiot on set. Because he knew that with the language and what he would ask me to do, usually you would be embarrassed to be like (speaks gibberish). It sounds crazy, so my acting coach had me at the zoo pretending to be a monkey, (laughs) and all the people are looking at me. But you know, just to not be scared and make a fool of yourself, because I think as an actor, if you are scared to make a fool of yourself, you should just quit because you will look stupid. No matter how good you are, at some point, you’ll do something that is really embarrassing and really over the top, or really stupid.
Q: And you never regretted it?
No, not with work. I love it, because for me, I actually make an effort at script readings and things to read badly, to just read the lines like this in monotone, so that I feel what it is to lie. I feel what it is to be bad. So then I have something to compare it to, (laughs) so it makes me recognize, ‘Oh, that’s fake, now I know what fake feels real.’
Q: Is there something in this movie that makes you look stupid?
Absolutely not, are you kidding me? (laughs) My husband directed this movie, do you think I would make him look stupid? No, Alice can’t look stupid, she’s a superhero, she got to be super cool, but the gag reel is hilarious. I mean, there’s some stupid stuff in there.
Q: But you have an alter-ego right?
I have many alter-egos. Which one would you like to speak to right now? (laughter)
Q: The director?
No. Listen, I love to write, I love to play, I love to create. So for me, drawing or designing, that’s part of the medium where I am the most at peace in a sense. Like to actually do what my husband does. I had to work really hard to learn to do interviews because when I was a kid, I was the most stupidest actress, it’s the most mortifying thing in the world to see interviews of myself from13 to 16. I am such an asshole, I mean, it’s mortifying to watch, I’m like, I can’t believe I just said that. I’m like 13, and the question is, so how would you describe yourself? And I’d say, ‘Well, I’m sort of like sensual, (laughs) and innocent….’ You’d be watching it, and be like, ‘Who is this Eastern European hooker?’ It was horrible. I thought I was the coolest person ever. And then I think I hit sixteen, and I saw one of those interviews, and my friends started laughing, and I was like ‘Oh, okay, that’s not who I want to be. I have to change.’
Q: Do you read those articles, do you have them at home?
You know, you can find some on YouTube actually. The articles aren’t as embarrassing as the TV appearances. I mean, my God, it was really gross to see a 13 year old, as poised as I am, with the stuff coming out of my mouth, I sound so like pseudo-intellectual, like, ‘I’m 13 and I love Dostoevsky. Oh, you’ve never read Dostoevsky, how strange. I’ve already finished three of his books.’ (laughs) It was so horrible. (laughter)
Q: What would be funny is when your daughter is older and she sees that. (laughter)
All I know is that our daughter is not going to start working young because I’ll tell you what, a fifteen year old who makes their own money, you don’t want that in your house. Like when I was 15, and I was making my own money, that’s when all the problems started. I was like, ‘I work, I have my own money, why do I need to live here? Why do I need to listen to you?’ How do you talk to your parents that way? I’m like no, my daughter is going to be a little girl, and when she’s fifteen, she’s going to ask me for 20 dollars, and I’m going to go, here you go honey. (laughs) Have fun! (laughs)