Let the games begin: Paul Anderson, Milla Jovovich talk about video games and future projects
Paul WS Anderson has always said that he considers himself a populist filmmaker—one who cares only about whether his movies entertain the audience, rather than becoming a commercial success.
Best known as the creative voice behind sci-fi movies and video game adaptations such as Mortal Kombat (1995) and The Resident Evil (2002–2016), which stars his eventual wife Milla Jovovich, Anderson is currently busy with the production of Monster Hunter, a film based on one of Capcom’s video game franchises. “This movie is my passion project, and I’m excited because firstly, its by the same company who created The Resident Evil. Also, the game has amazing characters and a wonderful world, making it the perfect movie material for me.”
Milla, who played Alice in The Resident Evil, is the only actor who reprised her role in all six films of the series. “Alice is almost like an anti-hero in some way, because she is trying to redeem herself, having to work hard to fix the mistakes she has made in the past. I have always loved characters like that, who are relatable,” says Milla.
The couple give great importance to maintaining the spirit of fun, and they vouch for it. “The set of The Resident Evil was a fun and adventurous one. Our common love for video games and action movies brought us together, says Paul, admitting that had it been a drama or acomedy, they wouldn’t have been together. “The movie was done with a real spirit of fun, with love for the property, and that matters a lot. Both of us loved what we were doing, and that brought us even closer,” Milla adds.
Paul’s tip for any filmmaker who intends to create a video game adaptation is to know what they are doing. “Play the game, know the mood, feel and style of the game before bringing it to screen.” he says. “I have been to screenings of Mortal Kombat and realised the kind of cult following that game adaptations have . Having met the real fans of such movies, I realise that people love reboots, but that comes with a lot of responsibility. You have to be careful not to go wrong, as for the fans, it shouldn’t feel different from what it used to be.”
As for Milla, she realised the intricacies of making an action movie at an earlier stage of her career, and she finds great joy in training. Martial art, she says, is a form of meditation for her. Talking about her love for action films, the 42-year-old actor says that doing stunts help her get out of her own head. “For me, action is such a huge part of my life, since The Fifth Element. It is something I really love and something that I feel women aren’t doing enough of. I could really make a difference in the field, and especially in this particular genre,” says Milla, who also plays the Blood Queen in Hellboy, starring David Harbour (of Stranger Things fame) in the title role.
Residen Evil: The Final Chapter airs on Sony Pix at 9 pm on February 25.