Milla Jovovich: "Escaping from the Norm"
ShockTillYouDrop.com: This is a difficult movie to talk about because of all the twists and turns and things you want people to find out about only as they watch the movie.
Well, it’s definitely a character-based thriller and it’s very old school in the sense of a real whodunit, because the characters have so many different dimensions to them that takes a turn in the end.
Shock: Did someone send you the script and you got interested in it? And did you have a choice of character you could play before you chose Cydney?
The director David Twohy contacted my agent and was interested in me in the role of Cydney. When I read the script, I think apart from the fact that it’s a thriller, what really actually made me interested was because I get to play a nice, normal girl for most of the film which I don’t normally get a chance to do very often. I was very attracted to that because I felt like–okay, it takes it’s own turn at the end–but for most of the movie I get to just be myself or just not completely myself, but at the same time I get to show more of my nice, normal parts in this movie.
Shock: Which we don’t see very often.
(Laughs) Unfortunately not, not yet.
Shock: What did he tell you about your character? Did you know her entire backstory including some of the things she says that might or might not be true?
What’s in the script is what’s in the script and then as an actor you sort of take it back for yourself and go, “Okay, how would this person get here and what kind of family does she have? What kind of relationship does she get in? Who is this person to her? Why was she attracted to him?” That’s all kind of an actors’ job to sort of personalize it for yourself, but he script is pretty much the script. We changed the ending because in the first script my character sort of gets picked up by the helicopter and that’s it, but I thought it would be really nice for her to have some closure in the movie too because I think towards the end you have sort of committed yourself to these people and you relate to these people and I felt like people needed to see what she was gonna do about it rather than leaving it too open.
Shock: Now was any of the appeal for this just going to Hawaii and shooting there?
Well, we shot in Puerto Rico.
Shock: Yeah, but you see a script and it takes place all over Hawaii, so was that part of the appeal? I guess a lot of your other movies have been on sets rather than on location.
I’ve worked actually a lot on location. It’s actually very rare that I work on a set. But I don’t know, I mean, I really don’t care where we shoot. That’s just my job. It’s like, to go wherever you need to go. It’s just lucky this time it was a beautiful location and I got to take my babies to the beach.
Shock: Were any of the places where you had to shoot as dangerous as they look?
No, that was all movie stuff and they’re not really gonna put us in a dangerous situation. I mean, the guys maybe when they did their kayaking or whatever, they did some dangerous stuff. I just had a baby and this wasn’t an action film for me. This is a film I think because of the character and so I wasn’t bothered with any of that kind of stuff.
Shock: You have a little bit of action in the end, but not as much as your past stuff.
Yeah, a little bit. So that was all right, but I didn’t train for six months for it or anything like that.
Shock: Do you still do your own stunts? I know you’re famous for having done your own stunts in a lot of your movies.
Well, for “Resident Evil” I do because that’s a big franchise for me and that’s sort of where I physically put all the work because it’s a big movie and there’s a lot of fans. I definitely want to do my best on a physical level for “Resident Evil,” but apart from “Resident Evil” I like to choose parts that don’t have action involved that give me a chance to show something else. But “Resident Evil” is a movie everybody sees where smaller, independent films, where I get to play different things are not gonna be as visible.
Shock: Was David able to film in any kind of logical order?
Pretty much, yeah, we tried to shoot in order as much as we could because again it’s one of those films that is so much character-driven that it would be horrible to shoot the end first and then suddenly realize that I should’ve played the end differently because of everything that came before it because the characters have to shift so drastically. It’s great that we got a chance to do it pretty much in sequence.
Shock: What’s interesting about Cydney as a character is she’s obviously in love and married to this screenwriter, but she definitely has a side that’s into danger and the bad boys. Did you see her as being attracted maybe to Tim Olyphant’s character or the lifestyle he leads with Gina?
Definitely. She’s very attracted to danger and dangerous situations. She’s not that person, but I would think, especially when people are sort of calm and tame and playing it on the safe side, if you see someone who’s wild and dangerous you’re always gonna have attraction to that because it’s different from you.
Shock: I was curious about the idea of going on vacation and becoming someone else. As an actor, is that something you do or are you more prone to want to be yourself when not acting?
I hardly ever get to go on vacation. I tend to just relax, sleep in, (laughs) try to be myself. When I’m not on a film set, I like my life and I want to live as much of my life as I can when I’m not playing other people.
Shock: What’s David like as a director? He doesn’t do a lot of movies and this movie is very different for him in terms of the look and location. Is he very intense in terms of getting the visuals he wants just right?
David is very, very eccentric, he’s very focused. He’s a funny guy, but you’ve got to get to know him. He definitely knows what he wants, he definitely has a vision for this movie and he wrote the script, obviously he’s a great writer. He’s great because he definitely knew what he wanted from the characters so he had great actors working with him. So I think it was all really fun for us because everyone had a handle on their characters and David was doing a great job making sure that we remembered where we came from and where we were going to keep the script consistent because so many of the characters change and are different and you don’t really know what’s what and who’s who for a while. So, it was important for us to always know where we came from and where we were going so we don’t give things away too quickly. With these films you have to be super careful with your performance too. How much can you actually say but give it sort of a double entendre so that when people think back to like, “Did we see it coming?” They do see signs, but think they were totally innocent that they could’ve been something else too.
Shock: You have to stay on top of that.
Oh yeah, definitely, definitely.
Shock: I understand you’re going back to the “Resident Evil” series. Last time we left you, there were literally thousands of Alice clones waking up. Have you guys figured out exactly what you’ll be doing and how big is this next movie going to be?
Oh yeah. There’s a great script and it’s gonna be pretty wild. It’s gonna be in 3-D.
Shock: I assume you’re going to be playing all the parts of Alice yourself, so have you figured out how much of that you’ll be doing?
They’ve figured out a lot of stuff. We start shooting in September (Laughs) so they’ve got it all figured out.
Shock: What was the appeal, since obviously the franchise really depends on both of you, Paul (Anderson) as producer and you as the lead. What was the appeal to come back and do another one? I think everyone thought it would be a trilogy, but then the third movie had an open ending. So why come back and do more?
The movie makes money.
Shock: That’s true.
If it makes more money than the last one you would think that people want to see another one so we’re gonna do another one. There’s been a lot of interest online, there’s been a lot of letters from fans submitted to the film company. It’s not like I said, “Hey honey, let’s do another one by the way.” It’s an expensive film so it’s all business and if the third one didn’t do well there wouldn’t be another one.
Shock: Have you done any tests in 3-D yet?
Paul did. Not me, but Paul was going to every 3-D company and he’s now made a deal to go with James Cameron’s 3-D company who did “Avatar.”
Shock: I know a lot of actors don’t like to see themselves on screen and I was curious about whether you’ve seen yourself in 3D yet.
No, I haven’t, I haven’t.
Shock: I guess there’ll be thousands of you in 3-D.
That’ll be pretty interesting. I’ve never actually seen a 3-D movie.
Shock: Never? Wow, that’s kinda strange. What about Paul?
Yeah, he’s been really studying it and seeing all the different ones they have and watching every 3-D movie ever made pretty much.
Shock: I think it’s a great medium for him.
Especially for a movie like this because it’s wild and has a lot of action, a lot of potential for 3-D to kind of use the medium at its best.
Shock: How much time do you think you’ll spend filming the “Resident Evil” movie?
Shock: You actually have another movie “The Fourth Kind” coming out this year, which is another thriller, but it’s based on some sort of real life event?
It’s based on a true story and it’s a psychological thriller. It’s really scary at times because you really feel the emotional breakdown of this woman and there’s a lot of really strange disappearances that have going on in this small town in Alaska. She gets involved and in a sense loses her mind from everything. It was an interesting character to play just to be able to get in the mind frame of a totally normal person that could believe completely abnormal things because of trauma and stress.
Shock: You did some movie with Ed Norton called “Stone,” which is also coming out sometime, too.
Yeah, I’m definitely doing one thing or another it seems non stop. If it’s not work its “Mommy Time.”
Shock: Is “Stone” another thriller?
It’s a psychological drama. I think they’re trying to sell it as a thriller ’cause it’s easier to sell, but it’s not much of like a mystery or whodunit or a chase sequence or anything like that. It’s pretty much a story about people that in a sense are living their lives and how truthfully can you live your life? In a sense, that if you live a life, you could live a life for many years, but at some point your world is going to explode around you so it’s pretty intense.
Shock: Are they almost done with it and maybe we’ll see it sometime soon?
I think next year.
Shock: Also, were you going to work with Paul Verhoeven at one point?
No, not at this point. We were trying to get a script called “The Winter Queen” off the ground for the last few years which didn’t really happen, so I think Paul’s going to move on and do something else.