In a world where video game movies consistently fail to launch the successful franchises studios hope they will, Resident Evil is a significant outlier. Fifteen years after the first movie hit theaters in 2002, the sixth and final installment in the series – the aptly named Resident Evil: The Final Chapter – premieres on January 27.
Screen Rant sat down with franchise star Milla Jovovich at the press day for The Final Chapter to talk about saying goodbye to the series and what it was like to live with the character of Alice for so long.
Congratulations on the film.
Milla Jovovich: Thank you.
This is the final chapter.
Milla Jovovich: It is. It’s hard to say goodbye. Also because for me, you know, you have your normal everyday life, and not everybody gets to go into this amazing world, you know? Where you get to do these crazy stunts and feel like a superhero, and amazing sets and crazy monsters, and zombies who I love so much. So it’s gonna be hard to say goodbye.
So what can we expect new from Alice, or different from Alice, this time around? And how have you grown with the character? Cause it’s been a long time.
Milla Jovovich: It really has. I mean, this movie is epic, in the sense that Alice’s character goes in a direction [that] no one could’ve expected. And it’s really fun to find out where Alice comes from and who she really is. And we did some really great things in the movie to highlight that, which I think people are going to enjoy. But I feel like Alice was the perfect character, because she started with no memory. So I was able to kind of build her from film to film. And she grew as I grew at the same time. And it’s funny, because I started in my early twenties, and I was still really insecure and didn’t know really who I was or what I was all about, and it was the same for her. And I feel like as I grew more comfortable with myself, I had kids, became stronger, became a mother, understood more about who I am, I was able to give that to the character. And I’m really happy in this one, Alice really feels like she’s in some way satisfied with who she is. She knows what she does well and she excels at it. And it’s nice to see that kind of comfort. She’s in her comfort zone.
She absolutely is. Paul [W.S. Anderson] told me he’s had this planned for fifteen years. How much of that did you actually know going in? Did you know any of this? Or did he always give it to you piece by piece in each [of the films]?
Milla Jovovich: No, he always gave it piece by piece. And, listen, I didn’t know that he had some big master plan, and, you know, I don’t even know if he really knew, he just like –
Sitting in a room somewhere –
Milla Jovovich: You know, he’s a writer, so of course he had thoughts about the future. And I mean, making these movies for so many years, of course Resident Evil comes up a lot in our conversation over dinner or just hanging out at the house, so It was always fun to talk about, “What’s the future? And what actually happens? And why does Umbrella do this?”
Milla, you are one of the most badass women on-screen of all time.
Milla Jovovich: Thank you.
And you’ve set a trend and pioneered this, cause now in 2017, Underworld with Kate [Beckinsale], we’ve got Gal Gadot doing Wonder Woman, and obviously you kind of set the trend with Alice. Do you have any advice for the female actresses coming up that are action stars now?
Milla Jovovich: You know for me, when I did the first Resident Evil, I was just a fan of the game. And I really wanted to be involved in the movie because it was different, and it was unique. You know, to have a female driven, sort of indie, action/zombie flick, was different, I’d never seen anything like it. And so for me that was really interesting, but you know I think from Fifth Element I also really knew that I wanted to do action, and I knew that I was good at it, and I loved it. So I that is the most important thing, is to do what you love to do. I love making all types of movies, but I definitely found that action was something that resonated with me. I used to watch Kung-Fu Theater every Saturday with my dad, you know, so it was kind of like how I’d been raised anyway. So I think that’s the most important—if you don’t like action you shouldn’t do action movies.