Oded Fehr first came to prominence co-starring with Brendan Frasier in "The Mummy," way back in 1999. But since then the Israeli-born actor has worked like nobody's business, doing all kinds of projects on both the big and small screens. Two of those projects were part of the "Resident Evil" franchise, and his character, Carlos Olivera, was quite popular until his demise in "Resident Evil: Extinction." That hasn't stopped Fehr from returning to work with director Paul W.S. Anderson and star Milla Jovovich on the latest iteration, "Retribution," which is due in theaters on September 14. Fehr spoke to journalists at this year's Comic-Con about the new film.
Upcoming-Movies.com: So, it seems like maybe you're not a zombie as in this upcoming movie.
Oded Fehr: Hey, never say never. You know? I mean everyone becomes a zombie at some point, don't they? I mean, come on.
In "Resident Evil," in the film world, if you die do you automatically become a zombie, or is it that you have to be dead to become a zombie?
Oded Fehr: Well you have to be dead or you have to be injected or you have to be sneezed at. That would be interesting wouldn't it? "Resident Evil 6, Someone Got Sneezed On." That would be really cool. You just walk around sneezing at people.
So what can you tell us about this one without giving away too much?
Oded Fehr: I think the fact that he brought back a lot of the characters from number one and number two and number three and so on is a lot of fun, and I think for people who follow the franchise and have seen the other movies it is a little treat to all of us. You know, oh my God, there she is, she's there. Rain's there. And then, oh my God, what's she doing? She doesn't know what's going on. You've seen the trailer that has this kind of indie feel to it at the beginning, like a married couple and a nice life, so there are all of these things that are kind of twists and turns for those who didn't see the movies beforehand. As well as the fact that Paul has a lot more of an art movie. It's beautiful to watch. So kind of take all the 3D and the special effects and all of that and make it beautiful. I mean, my gosh, we've got beautiful women and bling bling and unbelievable action sequences and flying cameras and moving and submarines and all the rest of it, it's gorgeous.
Everyone else we talked to said going back to the franchise is kind of like going back to something really familiar. Would you say the same?
Oded Fehr: Absolutely. Especially when you enjoy something, you know. Paul has this kidlike texture in the way he approaches things, he just has so much fun, you know? This is a humongously – no, that's not a good word right? Humongously is not an actual word.
This is hugely complicated, this film. It is hugely complicated now, with the 3D and all the rest of it. The amounts of CGI that you constantly have to keep your eye out for and see, 'what do I need to do here, what do I need to do there,' and how do you achieve everything you need and not end up missing anything that you want for the sequence on. And he used a lot of – there's moving backwards, there's kind of slow motion moving backwards, moving back in time, moving forward – it's extremely, extremely complicated. With all of that, he still was constantly always happy and just having a blast. It's like he's sitting there playing a video game and you come and play with him, you know. It's just great to come back. And Milla [Jovovich] is wonderful and giving and so egoless. This is my first time working with Michelle [Rodriguez], who is just fun and cool and loves having fun and hanging out. So it was great. And seeing Sienna again, you know, after having seen her in the third one and seeing her again, it's a lot of fun. For me, too, the crew was ridiculous. The first and second AD worked with me on "The Mummy," and I had people from stunts working on a show I did called "Undercover" in Vancouver. Then I had people that worked with me on "Resident Evil" and people who worked with me on "V" and people that worked with me on "Covert Affairs," a show that I'm doing up in Toronto. Half the crew was working on this movie because it just started right when "Covert Affairs" ended, so it was just ridiculous. Everywhere I turned it was people I knew and had worked with before. It was wonderful. You just feel very at home and very comfortable.
As an actor, how do you get back to the same guy you were in the other movies?
Oded Fehr: Well, the question is, is he really the same guy or does he just look like the same guy? That's the question and I'm not going to answer it.
How did you end up back on board, then?
Oded Fehr: We were all in Toronto at the same time and Paul was like, 'hey, could you come over? I'm shooting this "Resident 5."' Which is, by the way, almost how I heard about doing this movie. I was shooting something else up in Toronto and I bumped into Paul's assistant and I'm like, I was joking, kind of going, 'hey, I know I had the best death scene in number three, right?' And I'm like, 'hey, we did number two together, number three together, what happened? All of a sudden you're shooting number four without me, number five without me.' She goes, 'I've got to call Paul. You've got to see Paul.' And I'm like, 'wait, what's going on?' And so I had dinner with Paul that night and he's like, 'so, I put you in number five and we're doing this movie and it's amazing,' and I'm like, 'great, this is great.'
Was it just like, I'm in?
Oded Fehr: Yeah. Why not? It's fun. It's great. I love these people. The weird thing about it is, I don't know, I'm a guy who, my life is three kids and my wife and our family and our home. I work and I go home. My life is my home, you know what I mean? I like to be with my family. When you're surrounded by people that you love and that love you, that's really what I care about. When you want to go to work, you want to work with people you like, you know? You want to work with people you enjoy working with and if he asked me to go and deliver sandwiches, I probably would come and deliver sandwiches, you know what I mean? Because it was just great and I love these people and it's great fun to work with them. I may not seem it, but I'm kind of shy and quiet and it's hard for me to work with people I don't know. It takes me awhile, so it was great. I knew most all of the crew and I felt very comfortable and very at home. And then I worked with a few new people who were lovely, Michelle and Colin and Boris and Kevin. God almighty, everybody is freaking huge. I was this little tiny skinny guy, you know? They're all taller than me. I've never been short in a movie ever. This is the first time I'm the shortest guy there. Can you imagine? 6'1" and I was the shortest guy there. That was a little bit of a problem. Anyway, I don't know how I got to that.
How does the 3D process change the process for you?
Oded Fehr: Yeah, 3D is a lot more patience. There are certain things you've got to be careful of, like not to walking too close to the camera. I'm always interested in what goes on behind the cameras, so for me it was fascinating to sit in there and try to figure out what goes into it. Film in general is so technical that you have to find that balance in your head of, this is acting and this is technical. I will never forget "The Mummy." It was my first job and I was fresh out of drama school and very nervous. There was a scene where we had to run and go through something and then shoot this huge gun and be very careful not to kill somebody while shooting the gun and do the acting and all the rest and I got so nervous. I asked John Hanna, 'dude, how do you constantly do the acting and all.' And he went, 'well I don't know, sometimes you just have to do it. Just do it. Don't think about it, just do it.' And I think that's how sometimes it is. Sometimes you go and you rehearse a very technically complicated scene or stunt and you just have to let go and just concentrate on the important things. Hit your mark and try to say a line and forget the acting for now. It comes naturally because you've done it so much.
Well this one was fun to work on right? It had to be a lot of fun.
Oded Fehr: Yeah. These kinds of movies are great fun because it's all about action and shooting guns. The only worries is when you hear the weapons guy go, 'we're running out of blanks, we shot 100,000 bullets just today.' They come up with all these crazy weapons and guns.
Do you have a favorite weapon in this one?
Oded Fehr: You know, I'm Israeli originally, so I got to use the newest Israeli weapons and it was very cool and very kind of different and modern. They still kill the same way.
Do you get to walk around Comic-Con at all or is it too difficult for you?
Oded Fehr: No, not this time around. I was here last year and it was a lot of fun and my wife and I kind of made it into a little holiday and we really enjoyed ourselves. This time around they are just flying us in and out, making it one very quick day. So, not today. I enjoy it though. It's a lot of fun. It's gotten – it used to be really, really strange and really kind of weird – and now it's just a big, big, big, big party. I love walking around and seeing all the comics and the art. There is a lot of art down there. Great stuff.
So, what else is next for you?
Oded Fehr: I'm doing a long arc on "Covert Affairs," so I'm going back to Toronto next week and yeah, I love that show.
How long an arc will it be?
Oded Fehr: I'm doing I think five or six episodes or something like that. Yeah.