Milla Jovovich to El País: “I wanted to see in the cinema more strong women who save the world”

He was born in Ukraine and was five years old when his parents left the Soviet Union for political reasons to settle in California. “I grew up in the eighties and I feel like all the drawings I used to look at were with powerful women like She-Ra and the Thundercats“, said Jovovich mile in a chat with El País to talk about Monster Hunter: The Hunt Begins, which premiered yesterday on HBO, on the basic cable service and is repeated all these days (today, for example, it goes at 7:00 p.m.). It is also on HBO Max and NSNow for Nuevo Siglo.

“My father wanted a boy, and he raised me as one, so I always watched action movies, and on vacation when we went skiing, instead of riding the children’s slides, we played on the grown-up slopes. That made me stronger ”, comments this actress who for more than two decades has dedicated herself to handing out pineapples and kicks, as an action film heroine.

As a child, Jovovich read a lot of science fiction and watched cable because her parents never gave her a babysitter when they dated. “I remember seeing Aliens, alone at home at 11. I liked to watch movies with strong female characters ”, she told El País.

They were not many and the ability to discover them made him dedicate himself to breaking with that prejudice in his career and someone can infer that thanks to the saga Resident Evil O UltravioletBoth with Jovovich, more action heroines began to appear.

“Definitely Sigourney Weaver and Linda Hamilton, they were the women I grew up watching because there was no one else,” he told El País. “They were the only ones, and I always felt that we were underrepresented. I wanted to see more strong women in the cinema. that save the world ”.

Jovovich mile. Photo: Archive
Jovovich mile. Photo: Archive

Jovovich was discovered by famous photographer Richard Avedon when he was nine years old. She became one of the top models of her generation.

The jump to the cinema was inevitable, and after minor roles (including in Seduction of two moons, an erotic Zalman King stars Return to the blue lagoon (1991), sequel to the one with Brooke Shields, a very small film but it was enough to be noticed.

The same thing happened six years later with The fifth element by Luc Besson, where he shared a cast with Bruce Willis. And he discovered a new world for him.

Jovovich mile. Photo: Archive
Jovovich mile. Photo: Archive

“When I did The Fifth Element I had a great time because I love the training, the fantasy elements, the crazy costumes, the possibility of going to different worlds and being able to portray these characters. I’ve always been drawn to those kinds of movies, ”she says.

Directed by Besson she was the greatest heroine in history, in Joan of Arc but then he has concentrated on less real adventures in all six films of Resident Evil, for instance. He is, beyond his long career, a star of a well presented and profitable B-Class.

He agreed to work at Monster Hunter when her husband -the director and screenwriter Paul W.S. Anderson– He showed him the eleventh version of the libretto. “The first versions didn’t have me in the movie. He was a minor character, ”Jovovich said.

Milla Jovovich in
Milla Jovovich in “Monster Hunter”. Photo: Diffusion

Anderson, who also participated, in the talk states that it was a process that took 10 years to complete.

“When Paul showed me a new version of the script he said: ‘I finished the script, read it and tell me what you think, but I warn you, this time I wrote it for you.’ I thought, you’re kidding me, there’s no way I’m going to go from fighting zombies (in the Resident Evil series) to hunting monsters, ”Jovovich said with a laugh.

“What convinced you?”

“That she’s a good character, and my first thought was: she’s different from Alice (her character in Resident Evil) and I felt Paul understood that when he was writing the script.” She is a more human character, more efficient, and also I always liked everything related to the military, so when I saw that she was an army Ranger, I was convinced.

“Resident Evil, Monster Hunter.” What are the difficulties of making a movie based on a video game?

—One of the things that I understand as difficult is being able to adapt the video game world for people who don’t play video games. It is also to see how crazy the United States Army trains you as a fighter with the best weapons and technology, and you arrive in this world where they are useless. It’s nice that people from different worlds and cultures have to work together for the common good. That, I think, is the best message of this movie.

Milla Jovovich in
Milla Jovovich in “Monster Hunter”. Photo: Diffusion

—It was filmed in inhospitable landscapes of South Africa and Namibia. Did you spend the shoot with your children?

“We always try to get them to as many places as we can, but some of the places were really inhospitable.” There was one in particular where the thermometer read 50 degrees during the day and as soon as the sun went down, the temperature dropped below zero. There were also many storms, everything was full of dirt and we arrived with the boys, but immediately we sent them back to Cape Town. The babysitter was pleased.

—Surely 2020 was a different year from the one they had planned. What was it like to live in isolation?

“It’s not over yet, we still don’t see the end of the tunnel.” The same I tell you, it is crazy here with people who are anti-masks, anti-regulations, anti-public health and vaccines, it’s crazy. We have been at home, wearing masks when we have to go out, but it has been an adventure. We also had a baby, Osian, who was born in February 2020, and we had to stay for two weeks in the hospital. That was tricky. We have a great family and this time helped us connect, but on a personal level it was amazing to be isolated.

Jovovich mile. Photo: Archive
Jovovich mile. Photo: Archive

—You spoke of Sigourney Weaver and Linda Hamilton as role models for your career but now you are a role model for many women. How does it feel?

-Is incredible. Many women and girls see the stories I make and tell me how these characters changed and motivated them to be strong and also to do things differently. And that is, of course, magnificent.