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Comic-Con 2012 RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION interview with Milla Jovovich!

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Milla Jovovich talks Resident Evil: Retribution.

Very few movie franchises go as far as five entries, and even if they do, they almost never have the same person in the leading role. But Milla Jovovich has been front and center in every single "Resident Evil" film, and she is once again in "Resident Evil: Retribution," which is scheduled to come out in 3D on September 17. The film is directed by the franchise's mentor, Paul W.S. Anderson, who Jovovich married back in 2009. The movie brings back a number of characters from the first few films, like Michelle Rodriguez's Rain Ocampo, and Oded Fehr's Carlos Olivera, both of whom didn't make it out alive. What brings them back to "Resident Evil?" Jovovich isn't telling, but she did take time to talk to journalists about the new movie at this year's Comic-Con. 

Upcoming-Movies.com: It's got to be pretty exciting for you to come here even though you don't get to roam around, right?

Milla Jovovich: Yes, I mean the roaming around part - definitely, I have to leave that to the professional roamers because they know how to do it right. I'm definitely someone who's more comfortable behind the scenes here. But it's pretty exciting to see some of the characters, and it's so wonderful that outside of Halloween, adults have a forum where they can express themselves or the part of them that's still an adolescent, which I think is hilarious so it's always fun. You wonder what the religious groups are doing downstairs. I'm, like, "Honestly, all these people are doing are putting on like spiky ears and acting like hobbits or wolverines. They're drinking Coca Cola and, I mean, nobody seems to be doing like anything sinful really." So what is all of this judgment that's going on? I saw someone waving a sign that said 'Evil," and I thought, 'Cool, is that for "Resident Evil?" And then we get closer and it's like, "Oh! Judgment day is coming!" And all this stuff is like, "Why are they here?" You got it more looking like Vegas or something like I can't help it. WonderCon? I mean Comic-Con, really?

Interviewer: So you've done a few films in 3D now. What do you like about that? What would you not like about working, no matter what. What makes 3D so great for these particular movies?

Milla Jovovich: Definitely, 3D is this wonderfully immersive experience and if it's done right, I think it adds to the spectacle of this kind of epic, action films, event movies I guess.

In that sense, I think it's fun because it really becomes a thing where you have the super big screen, your 3D glasses, and it really is like an occasion that's festive, in a sense. You know, it makes dinner and a movie more exciting, especially if you' re with younger people. It's just fun. It makes it more like a roller coaster ride. 

But saying that, you got to be super careful how you shoot it and how it's rendered. I know Paul [W.S. Anderson] really takes the science of 3D very seriously because so many people got flack for shooting it badly and doing it after the fact, whatever that's called.

Cheating?

Milla Jovovich: Yes.

Converting?

Milla Jovovich: Cheating, exactly. But it's tough on the eyes. Two percent of the public can't see 3D, or it really spins around with their eyes. But for most other people, if you don't do it right, it doesn't work. I've left after 3D movies where I felt my eyes hurt or just something I'd think, 'Did you notice that it got really blurry during that one shot when they did a quick pan?' Then we would rent the movie and just slow it down so there's quick pans and Paul would point things like that out to me.

You have to know like what to focus on because your mind is taking in so much information now, whereas before, you were just watching a flat screen. Now, your mind is going, 'What do I focus on, the nose or the person behind, or the thing on the table?' It's a whole lot of information. If you don't do it right, it really does give you a headache and so it takes a lot of time. I guess that's the downside.

I've seen actors go bananas because they're like, 'It's not ready and I'm ready but the camera's not ready! It is what is, because if you want good 3D, you got to take the time to do it right or else it's just a big mess and people leave hating your guts. 

So we're very happy that we took the time to do it right, you know to really take that time to reboot the camera, to refocus, just to know what exactly you want to be focused on. There's just lots of different ways to shoot stuff.

And it's your kind of style of shooting. For the moment, there aren't many people who can handle like a hand-held 3D camera, because they're so big, there's just no way. We did a couple of steady-cam shots in the last movie. I don't even think we used a steady camera in this film, but we've been using a lot more cranes actually on these movies.

So there are good parts and bad parts to it. But for the most part, I think if you shoot it right, you could get something that is beautiful and such an experience. But if you shoot it wrong, it's not good. It's literally what I call visual feedback. You're at a concert and the guitar player turns on his amp too fast. It's the same thing with your eyes.

It's pretty rare for somebody to have five movies in a serious period. It's an amazing accomplishment to be doing it with the same director every time. What do you think has been a key to you and Paul's collaboration being so successful?

Milla Jovovich: I wholeheartedly believe that the reason people love the "Resident Evil" series is because we love it, we love making it and we have so much fun doing it that it translates. An innate good time that everyone's having, it really translates.

When Michelle and I got on-board for the first one, we were both coming from just being fans of the game. Paul was a fan of the game and it felt like everybody involved were really into the games and what they represented which for us was like you have to be super cool to be in "Resident Evil." It wasn't it was that commercial. It was underground.

It's funny because I feel like we really took it to this level where we introduced "Resident Evil" to a lot of people that didn't know about the game back in the day, ten years ago when it first came out, and gave it a new life, which is amazing because I see there's so many young people who are into the games now because of the movies.

We have fun together. We have a good time. We're not like working on any crazy super dramatic, soul-sucking stuff. It's just fun. It's like going to Disneyland to work, like a theme park for big people, for big kids or something.

Coming on our set is always like fun. There's always an explosion or somebody doing the stunts somewhere or somebody chopping up the top of a car or something that both boys and girls can have fun doing. 


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