Milla Jovovich: 'People spend all day horrifically hating me'
16th Jan 2011 | 15:30
There's two types of video game movie. The first kind has complete and utter disregard for the source material to the point that fans can comfortably ignore its existence.
Then there's the other kind; the video game movie that sits in between the creatively negligent film and the oh-so-rare excellent game adaptation.
The one which - depending on who you ask - will receive reviews ranging from 'a fun romp' to 'it destroyed my love for (insert franchise name here)'.
Paul W.S. Anderson's Resident Evil films happen to fall into that category. While most fans can separate the films from the games and enjoy them for what they are, others will curse anyone and everyone involved.
As the star of these films Milla Jovovich - who plays Alice - knows a thing or two about this. We sat down with the Hollywood A-lister and had a chat about Resident Evil: Afterlife, the series and fan response.
Alice is now stripped of her T-Virus powers and made more human. Did you ask for this change?
Not at all. It was a huge fight. I was like: "I want my superpowers! How dare you take them away from me!" Paul [WS Anderson, director] said: "Trust me, where do we have to go if all she does is psychic-blast everything. You need to start fighting again like a real person."
So I was like: "Okay, fine. As long as I'm still a badass."
Is it a challenge evolving a character based on a game?
Well, Alice was never part of the Resident Evil videogame world. When I first met with Paul for the first Resident Evil, I said I wanted to be Jill Valentine.
He said: "Yeah, but people don't know who Jill Valentine is. Only a small group of people play this game and there's a potentially huge audience out there.
But if we have to talk about the history of Jill, there's such a storyline for those characters - you don't want to get stuck having to use Capcom's storylines."
Capcom changes a VP and suddenly the storyline changes. So he needed to create a character that was a bit more like the audience.
The innocent coming into this who they can relate to without needing to know her history.
Was there a backlash from hardcore fans who were upset that Alice didn't originate in the game?
Oh yeah, there are, like, 15 people in the world that spend all day really hating me. Like horrifically hating me with a passion. They're always writing.
I tell them: "Why don't you just write a script?" But if you ask one hardcore fan about something, they'd disagree with that hardcore fan over there.
Another hardcore fan might think the hunters should have been in the movie. And what are the hunters? They're big frogs. There are a lot of characters in the Resident Evil games that are not very photogenic.
Do you think you've won them over at this point?
All I can tell from my twitter page is that there are a lot of fans of Resident Evil that love Alice and the franchise who feel that, if you want the game, play the game. The game is such a sprawling world.
You can't please everybody and hardcore fans are hardcore fans and you're never going to please them, no matter how many oversized frogs or giant bees you put in.
What is it about Alice that makes you want to keep playing her?
Well, I was always a fan of really strong female characters growing up, watching Thundercats and She-Ra and reading comic books.
I was really into sci-fi and fantasy novels like the Dune series and Dragonlance. I was a real fantasy geek growing up. I grew up dancing as well, so being physical was always a part of my life.
When I got the opportunity to be a part of this game, it just seemed really fun because it was my brother's favourite game and he was thirteen.
I didn't like him playing the game alone, so I sat with him and suddenly got totally sucked into the world. We'd sit there for hours and play together and talk about it.
I thought it would be great if I could surprise my brother and say: "Guess what? I'm the chick from Resident Evil!" So I pretty much did it for him. I never expected the small film to snowball into what it's become.
At this point, I've met my husband through it; almost ten years of my life have been dedicated to it; and it gives me an opportunity to do what I love so much, which is fly and do really crazy stunts.