Milla Jovovich has a favorite “Resident Evil” film.
“Undoubtedly this one,” she says. It’s her sixth go as Alice, the security operative-turned-hero against the zombie revolution, as well as the bioengineering corporation that caused it. In the first entry, from all the way back in 2001, Alice awoke with amnesia. Every film has found her battling the undead and company minions, all while searching for the truth.
That, apparently, arrives in “Resident Evil: The Final Chapter,” which is what draws the actress (and musician, model and fashion designer) to it. “I love that Alice finally discovers her own story and who she really is.”
As the franchise’s (alleged!) swan song, the experience couldn’t help but be bittersweet.
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“I met my husband making that movie. Now I have two beautiful kids,” Jovovich says of the first, while referring to filmmaker Paul W.S. Anderson. The two wed in 2009, and he’s now directed her in not only four “R.E.” films, but also 2011’s “The Three Musketeers,” in which she played the villainous Milady.
Jovovich and Anderson’s first daughter, Ever Anderson, makes an appearance in “The Final Chapter,” playing the evil Red Queen. “I’m very proud of her,” Jovovich says. “There’s nothing more magical than sharing the set with your daughter.”
The actress, now 41, finds it tricky balancing motherhood with her status as one of the screen’s great ass-kickers. When she was shooting this last film back in 2015, she had just given birth to her second daughter, Dashiel Edan.
“It was definitely a big challenge to go into super-heroine mode, then go back to the role of mom,” she says. “It was a bit more difficult than it usually is for me to lose weight and get in shape to be Alice. But I worked harder to achieve it. I followed a very strict diet that worked. But I have to say, at first I thought, ‘Wow, this is never going to happen.’”
Jovovich should be fine in her post-Alice career. As often as she’s been cast in action, she’s proved a formidable talent when given the chance to play it straight. She earned accolades for 2010’s “Stone,” as the wife of a jailed arsonist played by Edward Norton (the one where he has cornrows), and she did Shakespeare in 2014’s modernized film take on “Cymbeline.” She also has second-billing in “Shock and Awe,” Rob Reiner’s forthcoming drama about the Bush administration’s false allegations that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction.
Still, Jovovich will always find Alice to be an inspiration. “When I wake up in the mornings and do not feel my best, I can pull out my inner Alice to keep me going in the right direction,” she says.
And she swears “The Final Chapter” really is the final chapter. “It completes the circle of the story,” she explains. “No matter how hard it is to say goodbye, I have to do it.”
Asked what she’d do if confronted with an actual zombie (you never know these days!), she has a short reply: “Probably run.”