Resident champions

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September 26, 2007

ECW Champion CM Punk and actress Milla Jovovich have a couple of things in common: Both have legions of fans and know something about kicking ass. To the Straightedge Superstar's surprise, he found out he had even more in common with the Resident Evil: Extinction star when he had an opportunity to talk to her for this week's Superstar to Superstar:

 

CM Punk: Your new film Resident Evil: Extinction was released last Friday, Sept. 21. How is this film different from the other Resident Evil films? What can the fans expect?

 Milla Jovovich: Well, I have to say I was a little skeptical about doing a third Resident Evil because I wasn't totally happy with the second one. So, I was like, "OK, where can we really take this?" But once I read the script, I was so impressed because I felt like this movie is just a whole new feeling. It really stands on its own. You've got this incredible landscape, which was so cool, and it felt so different because there's a whole generation of young people that don't know the other movies. We also have amazing set pieces, like Las Vegas half-buried in the sand and evil corporations, like laboratories, that are kept underground, [and] these incredible computer generated maps. You know, the set has just changed so drastically. We have amazing special effects and also some really great moments between characters and some great relationships. My character, Alice, gets cloned by the evil corporation, and that was really interesting as well -- just to be able to play my character in all of these different ways. I just think there are some really great elements to it [the movie] that just make it really fresh and new.

 Punk: You mentioned that you had to play clones of yourself. Was each one played differently than how you normally played Alice? Was that a big challenge?

 Jovovich: It was interesting. I felt like there were total differences, like each clone had to have a little bit different of a personality from the last one because each person is definitely different. And what makes the original Alice so special is that she is who she is because of her experiences. The other clones don't have the experiences yet, so, of course, they end up getting killed over time -- which is kind of scary for me to have to reenact my own death a few times. It's really crazy.

 Punk: Yeah, it's got to be weird.

Jovovich: The whole experience makes for a very creepy, surreal movie. Just looking at all of the global issues going on right now -- to see this computer generated world, where you see things like Las Vegas half buried in the sand is just really chilling. It's also really interesting that we even had a lot of our set pieces built in the sand in Mexico. It's really cool because as actors you don't really get to see the special effects. But this time, we actually got to see Las Vegas buried in the sand. So we had the Eiffel Tower, the Venetian Hotel, and a bunch of real, recognizable landmarks.

Punk: So, it made it easier then instead of having to pretend and work in front of a green screen?

Jovovich: You know, working in front of a green screen is always really challenging because you definitely have to stretch your imagination, and it's always a bit disconcerting to be able to act in front of or next to nothing. So, anything that you can do to react or make it more organic and natural is very helpful.

 Punk: I'm sure. And from what I've seen on TV and in the previews is that there are some pretty intense action scenes with you beating people up, throwing knives and all kinds of stuff. Out of all of the scenes that you did, which one was your favorite to film?

 Jovovich: Probably filming my clone sequences because I had to revisit some of our old sets. My clones were going through this test grid, and the evil corporations rebuilt a couple of scenarios that we've seen in the first movie, and she has to go through these things over and over again. So, it's like having one of those bad, reoccurring dreams over and over again. You really get this frustration watching the movie because you feel really bad for her. She's literally waking up in the same scenario again and again. She was really persecuted by these people and it makes it for a really interesting character.

 Punk: Cool. Well, in this movie you kick a lot of ass and you look great doing it.

 Jovovich: Thank you. [Laughs]

 Punk: You've been in action movies before, and I think you are a great actress. You're always gorgeous and muscular and always ready to beat people up. How do you prepare physically for this character or any other character?

 Jovovich: I love to do a lot of training. In this particular film, we did three months of training to learn the fight sequences and also to do weapons training with the knives that I'm using in the film. It's always one of my favorite reasons to do action films because I've always been a Sci-Fi junkie, and always loved martial arts ever since I was a kid. My dad and I used to have Kung Fu Sundays and watch all of the old Chinese cinemas. So, I've always been a big martial arts fan. For me, to be able to train with real professionals and with some of the best in the business is always really interesting and challenging, and also a great honor. So, I really love it. I think because the women that I play in these action movies are so strong and disciplined, I think it's important for me to try and emulate that in my own personal life. I try really hard to work really long days to discipline myself to just try to get in their mindframe because if their mindframe is good, they must have trained 10 times harder. And we have 10 to 12-hour workdays, and the days just fly by because you are always learning something so interesting and new, like flying through the air, doing backflips or whatever. It's really incredible.

 Punk: It sounds like we have the same schedule. I can't get enough of it myself.

 Jovovich: [Laughs]

 Punk: Now, you say that you're a Sci Fi junkie. I wrestle on ECW, Tuesday nights on Sci Fi.

 Jovovich:  I know! You have a lot of fans here in Los Angeles.

 Punk: That's awesome. You've been acting since you were 11, [you're] a well-known supermodel, an actress, a singer, [and] a musician. You are all of these things. To me, it's awesome that there are strong female role models out there that can do all of this stuff. I think it's super sexy that you can do all of these things, and you are fantastic at all it. Out of all of those things, which do you enjoy doing more?

 Jovovich: I've always been really organic with the things that I do and in my career. I love to act for sure because my mother was an actress in Russia. She was a big actress in the ‘70s, and was a big star there. I always knew that I'd follow in her footsteps since I was a little girl. I think that everything else is just a branch off of the same tree. As a model, I was acting then because when you're 11 years old and you're modeling for these fashion magazines, you're really acting just like a grown up. For me, it was kind of the same difference. With music, I mean, I've never been the perfect singer in any way, shape or form, but I've been more of a character or a personality. I love writing. So for me, music was always about performing onstage. It was always like writing in a diary for me when I would write songs. I think that being an actress is what spawned everything that I do because it's really just entertaining and performing. And being creative is what I love. …  I have a lot of friends that are musicians and they'll come over, [and] we'll make dinner and drink a few glasses of wine or have some beers, play some guitars and jam! And that turns into, "Hey, that's really good, let's finish that song!" Then we end up having about six or seven different songs and just perform. [Laughs] So, it's always just kind of natural how it happens.

 Punk: I used to be in a band before I wrestled.

 Jovovich: Yeah? That's awesome. It's always a relaxed, good time, and I don't do music professionally anymore really. I did a few professional shows this year, overseas, one over in Russia and one in Paris. It's always very casual because I feel like for me, music is just so natural. If I start promoting it, getting too involved in the reviews and the this and the that, it gets depressing. It gets to be real business, and I don't want it to be like business for myself in that sense. Music has always been something that I do for myself. I actually release demos on my Web site: www.millaj.com, where I let people download my songs for free. It's fun, and I get a lot of support from my fans, and I don't need to go through the hell of promoting records.

 Punk: You've seen that I have a lot of tattoos. Some might consider my tattoos good luck charms, even though I don't believe in luck at all. Do you have any tattoos, or good luck charms for that matter?

 Jovovich: Well, I pray. I am definitely a spiritual person. I'm Eastern European -- I was born in the Ukraine. If you go to the Ukraine, and see my home city Kiev, it's actually a city of churches. It's a very beautiful, spiritual place, so I've always felt very close to God in so many ways. I've always felt a real magic in life. Even in the fantastic movies that I've been in, it's always been an extension from the magic that I've felt in my everyday life. As long as I can keep that childlike essence in myself, I think that I can have luck in that sense because it makes me look at life in a more fun way so it's not so serious all the time. Just to enjoy each moment as it comes and to try not to sweat the small stuff too much and to see the big picture and appreciate the little things in life too, which are much more magical than the big things could ever be.

 Punk: Yeah, it's definitely the small stuff that's important. I'm a huge music fan, and everywhere I go, I bring my iPod. The Resident Evil movies, in my opinion, have always had a huge soundtrack and the soundtrack has always been a big part of the movies. This year, I've noticed that you have the band, Throwdown, on the sound track. It's a friend of mine's band; they are a great straightedge, hardcore band. I want to know what you listen to currently. What's on your iPod?

 Jovovich: I've been listening to a lot of old music recently. Everything from the ‘50s, like crooning, doo wop and also some ‘70s music. I've been playing a lot of America. "Strange Magic" is something that's been playing on repeat.

 Punk: That's so interesting …

 Jovovich: [Laughs] I'm also really into Olivia Newton-John. I play so much stuff, and I have a lot of great friends that send me demos, too. I also have friends on MySpace that have great songs that you can't really buy. I like to listen to a lot of my friends' music as well. I have a pretty eclectic musical selection. But lately, I've been on a ‘70s kick.

 Punk: That's cool. So, what's in your future? You've said that you're pregnant, and I wish you the best of luck with that. I hope that you have a very healthy baby. But what's in the future for you?

 Jovovich: Well, actually I'm leaving in just a few hours to go to Germany to do a small part in my friend's movie -- and he's actually the godfather of my baby. It's going to be a lot of fun because I get to play myself, which is neat. Then, I'm going to have the baby, and next year, I am in a film called Winter Queen that I am going to do in St. Petersburg. I was supposed to do the movie this year, but because of the pregnancy, I didn't finish it. It's based on a Russian, Victorian thriller. It should be a lot of fun because it's a period piece, which is a nice change for me from the action stuff.

 Punk: That's very cool. Thank you so much for the interview. I have just one more question for you since I am a huge fan. Could you just say, "Big Bada Boom" for me?

 Jovovich: Big Bada Boom! [Laughs]

 Punk: I don't want you to hate me because I asked you to say that — but I had to.

 Jovovich: Are you kidding me? Thank you! I haven't said that in ages. Thank you so much for taking the time out to interview me and good luck with everything!

 Punk: Remember, luck is for losers. [Laughs] Alright, Milla. Thank you so much for your time. 

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