Milla Jovovich has spent the majority of her adult life alternating in and out of Zombieland. The Ukraine-born, Los Angeles-raised actress was only 24 when she began work on 2002’s Resident Evil, headlining the video game adaptation as Alice, the fleet-footed, gun-toting warrior who battles the undead with a ferocity that’s made her one of the action genre’s most beloved heroines. Fifteen years and five movies later, Jovovich, now 41, brings the popular series to a close this weekend with Resident Evil: The Final Chapter.
Jovovich was drawn to the original movie because her brother played the video games, and she appreciated the strong female lead. But as Jovovich explained in our all-Resident Evil Role Recall (watch it above), she almost bowed out before cameras even started rolling.
“When I got the part to play Alice, there was one script. By the time I read the shooting script on the way to Germany, all my good action was given to [costar] Michelle [Rodiguez]. I was livid,” the actress revealed. She confronted director-producer Paul W.S. Anderson, and the pair sat down to compare notes and ultimately land in a satisfactory place. “Three hours later, we were done, and I think that’s the moment he fell in love with me,” she laughed. “And I had a really cute top on. I made sure to dress up really cute to make my point.” (Anderson and Jovovich became an item shortly after that, married in 2009, and now have two children.)
There were other growing pains along the way: Jovovich revealed that in the 2004 sequel Resident Evil: Apocalypse she opted to give a more “natural, super organic” performance. “I thought I killed it,” she said. “And then I saw the movie when I had to ADR [Automatic Dialogue Replacement], and I heard my voice, and I was mortified…. It just sounded so bizarre to hear Alice talking like some L.A. chick.” Jovovich re-dubbed the entire film and found Alice’s deeper voice in the process.
She also talked about the influence of the post-apocalyptic Mad Max landscapes on the daylight-set threequel Resident Evil: Extinction (2007), how a real nightmare she had manifested itself in Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010), how much fun it was to play “Suburban Alice” in Resident Evil: Retribution (2012), and wrapping it all up in the swan song The Final Chapter.
“It is bittersweet,” Jovovich admitted. “I mean, my goodness: Fifteen years doing this franchise, having so much fun, living in this alternate universe as my alter-ego Alice the superhero, meeting my husband, having two beautiful kids. It’s been unforgettable.”
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter is in theaters now. Watch the trailer: