There’s a whole generation that can’t remember a time when Milla Jovovich wasn’t fighting zombies. Already a supermodel and then a sci-fi cult icon for playing the flame-tressed Leeloo in 1997’s The Fifth Element, Jovovich introduced her guns-blazing Alice in 2002’s Resident Evil, launching one of the most successful female-led action franchises of all time (approaching $1 billion in worldwide box office) and defying those who would mock a movie based on a video game. The sixth installment, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, opens January 27. Jovovich sat down with us before taking the MSG stage in front of a rabid New York Comic Con audience in October. They love her for her acrobatic action chops, striking looks and pure conviction; for Jovovich, battling the unnatural has become second nature.
After six films, is it easier for you to slip into Alice’s post-apocalyptic skin?
It has gotten easier. That’s what I love about Alice: After 15 years of working on this franchise, she’s sort of a part of me, and there are things about her that I admire and love. I’ve found her voice, in a sense.
Your husband, Paul W.S. Anderson, writes and directs these films. What’s that like at home?
From the third movie on, it’s been like, he writes the script, and I have a bunch of questions. Sometimes he’ll say, “Oh, that’s a great question—I didn’t think about that,” and sometimes he’ll say, “Only you would think about that! Don’t worry about it.” But we have a symbiotic relationship at this point.
What percentage of your own stunts do you do?
I do all my own fighting, that’s for sure. I can’t ride a motorcycle. I tried to learn it for a movie once, and it was a disaster. [Laughs] But when it comes to jumping off things or hand-to-hand combat, I love that. Martial arts has always been a passion of mine.
You gave birth to your second daughter a few months before starting this film, and your first daughter, Ever, plays the Red Queen in the latest movie. Has becoming a parent affected the way you play Alice?
Becoming a parent influences everything you do in your life, and it has, for sure, with these movies, because it is so much a family affair for us. Becoming a mother was integral to making Alice who she is today, because as I grow, she grows.
Are you a gamer yourself? Do you play Resident Evil?
I don’t play Resident Evil anymore. I used to play with my little brother a long time ago, before I made the first movie. Now I play games sometimes on the iPad, but they’re more like time-management games.
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter opens January 27 at local theaters.