Milla Jovovich on ‘Monster Hunter’ and Netflix’s New ‘Resident Evil’ Series

Milla Jovovich wasn’t actually that thrilled when her writer-director husband Paul W.S. Anderson asked her to star “Monster Hunter,” their new feature adaptation of the video game of the same name.

“I was like, ‘Oh, my God, you have to be kidding me! Like, I just wrapped up ‘Resident Evil.’ We were killing zombies and now the next thing you want to do together is you want me to kill monsters? Give me a break,’” Jovovich tells Variety. “And he’s like, ‘Trust me, just read it. I think you’re really going to love the character. And I think it’s the best version of the script that I’ve written so far.’ I read it and I have to say, my husband knows me well. I couldn’t miss the chance to play a soldier.”

In the Sony film, out Friday, Lt. Artemis (Jovovich) and her group of soldiers are transported to a mysterious new world. Artemis teams up with the Monster Hunter (Tony Jaa) to fight off — you guessed it — giant monsters to stay alive and make it back to the real world.

“I’ve always had a lot of respect for the military and have always said if I wasn’t an actress, I might have ended up in the military because I come from a military family,” Jovovich says. “A lot of my family in former Yugoslavia and in Russia were all in the military.”

Anderson says “Monster Hunter” was his most challenging shoot, especially filming in the African desert. “[Milla] ended up with sunburned eyeballs by the end of the movie, which I didn’t even know that was a thing,” Anderson says. “But the whites of our eyes get burned because you can’t put sunscreen on your eyeballs, [but] she was out there every single day delivering for us.”

Jovovich trained with real U.S. troops before production began. “I started training every single day just to challenge myself physically for the movie, and to try and live in the mind frame of a soldier and have that discipline,” she says. She participated in war simulations at Fort Irwin, about three hours north of Los Angeles. “I’ve never been in better condition in my life, even in my 20s,” she said. “I had never felt as strong as I did when I was training for this movie because I was training every day, like waking up at 3 or 4 a.m. to train before work,” says Jovovich. “I was feeling like I could take over the world.”

As for Netflix’s plan to roll out a live-action “Resident Evil” series, Anderson says, “We did 15 years of ‘Resident Evil.’ $13. billion. Six movies. We did out stint of ‘Resident Evil.’”

Jovovich says, “I literally read about it online. ‘Resident Evil’ is an amazing universe. I’m not surprised that they’re doing a series of it. I always actually thought, in a sense, when we were doing the movies it felt like a TV show because we did six of them.”

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