For four years, Wentworth Miller was the face of TV drama Prison Break. Today, he’s starring as the new hero in the Resident Evil film franchise.
Afterlife, the latest installment in the high-octane zombie movie franchise, is the first movie role for Wentworth Miller since he rose to fame as Michael Scofield in the hit TV drama Prison Break.
His first scene in the zombie flick sees Miller’s character Chris Redfield trapped inside a prison cell, something the charming actor talks about with a smile on his face.
“In an interesting way, this is an evolution of the character I played in Prison Break,” Miller says. “If you know me from the show, I think you’ll watch the movie and see a degree of overlap. I found it funny when I first read the script. For those who know me from Prison Break they would be amused. But if you don’t know me from the show, then it’s business as usual.”
But there’s no tattoo this time. “I will always be Michael Scofield to certain people.”
Ever since Prison Break ended in 2009, film scripts have been arriving on Miller’s doorstep in abundance, with many of them on the theme of prison.
“Whether my character is in prison, going to prison or he’s been to prison – or if he’s got a tattoo – maybe he can make origami like Michael Scofield,” he says.
“Typecasting is very real and it’s something to be reckoned with as an actor. Coming off four years of a show playing the same character, you’re going to be that person. Not just to fans, but also to the business, to Hollywood.”
But Miller quickly decided he wouldn’t be bothered with that.
“There’s no closing the book on Prison Break, there’s no erasing Michael Scofield. I will always be that character to certain people. And I honour that, I respect that. The goal now is to add to that, not try and erase it or pretend it never happened.”
Why then, from all those scripts that he got, did Miller choose to star in the fourth installment of the Resident Evil franchise?
“Because it made me laugh,” he responds. But also because he knew that that franchise was “intensely popular.”
“The franchise has its place in popular culture and I was aware of its significant international fan base. With Prison Break, I could gain fans from all over the world.”