Paul W.S. Anderson and Milla Jovovich: A Marriage Built on a Monster

Filmmaker Paul WS Anderson has directed Milla Jovovich in no less than four films in the post-apocalyptic Resident Evil franchise, and has written two films starring her. This is in addition to her directing in ‘Monster Hunter’ (2020) and her 2011 version. of “The Three Musketeers”.

But what might sound like a series of genre nightmares is actually a dreamy arrangement. Anderson and Jovovich are married and have three children. A shared love for visual storytelling, in the form of Jovovich destroying monsters in Anderson’s post-industrial his wasteland, was a shared love for visual storytelling during the two-decade-plus collaboration that began with “Resident Evil” (2002). energized them. I was playing both. (Another “Resident Evil” series is currently on Netflix.)

In a recent video call, I spoke with the hilarious couple about their partnership: Jovovich, 46, from Los Angeles, recently wrapped the dystopian thriller “Breathing.” Hailing from Krakow, Poland, his 57-year-old Anderson is in the run-up to his next project, In the Lost Lands, based on a short story by George R. R. Martin. His family business continues with his daughter Ever Anderson, who will play the role of Wendy in the upcoming ‘Peter Her Pan & Wendy’ directed by David Lowery. This interview has been condensed and edited.

how did you first meet?

Paul WS Anderson we went to pinewood studios [outside London] To kick off production on “Event Horizon,” they were tearing down a really cool set of “The Fifth Element.” [starring Jovovich] We just finished shooting.our way largely crossed there. And we were at the premiere together, separately.

Milla Jovovich Premier?

Anderson yes! Drew Barrymore movie. “Never Kissed”

Jovovich I can’t imagine you watching a romantic comedy like that! It’s hilarious.

Anderson Since you were there, I was drawn to you for a different reason, obviously. Then in 2000, right before I did Resident Evil, I met Mila for the first time. She was sitting on the steps outside my office. I thought she was the coolest woman in the world. And I just saw this really cool truck parked in the street outside – it was her truck.

What was it like taking notes together in your first movie?

Jovovich Oh my god, that was a disaster.I was reading a certain version of the movie and got a new rewrite the night before I had to go to Berlin [to shoot]Paul had pretty much written me off of the movie. I was the damsel in distress that Michelle Rodriguez was constantly rescuing — “Watch out! Behind you!” By the time I got to the hotel Paul’s very kind produce Her partner was there with flowers and I grabbed the flowers and said: No morning script reading! Then I quickly changed, put on makeup, put on a very low-cut top, and met up for a script revision. [Laughs] He said, “What’s wrong?” I said, “OK, let’s get started: Page 1!”

Do you write stories together now?

Jovovich Paul is a writer. I just ask questions and try to figure out where my character fits. he does the hard work.

Anderson But it’s a very important part of the process, and Mira is very good at scripting. [2010], I wrote the script, Mila was like: You need a signature action scene where you do something, some kind of dogfight. And last night I had a dream: I was jumping down an elevator shaft. I went away and did a big rewrite. And Resident Evil: Afterlife begins with this needle diving sequence. she was right!

What do you think are the strengths of each other’s photography?

Jovovich Paul is an action master.It made a lot of sense when he found out he was the Dungeon Master [as a kid] Because it takes that imagination to direct five geeks playing Dungeons & Dragons for 18 hours at a time. And he still does it with our kids. It’s very fun. I have always been fascinated by the way Paul’s mind works. Because you are the nicest guy. But in your head you have these frightening, disgusting visions and fantasies.

Anderson Monsters from id!

Jovovich Who knows what would have happened if you didn’t get it out in the movies? You would be having this conversation from prison.

Mila, your mother was an actor. Did it affect you?

Jovovich My mother was a former Soviet film star. We emigrated to America in 1981 or something, and my parents literally started from scratch. My mother tried to teach me what she knew to help us set foot in a new country. It needed more. I think one of the reasons it’s been so hard for me to see myself on screen is because I never really had a belief in myself that I could be as good as her. Not resentful of her mother about.I am really grateful now that I am with my daughter [Ever Anderson]I feel like I really cultivated her talent.

Paul, are there any filmmakers that inspire you?

Anderson Ridley and Tony were also from the north of England, so the Scott brothers were a big inspiration. It used to be shipbuilding and coal mining, but when I was a kid, industrial decline and unemployment were rampant.

Is industrial decline the key to all the post-apocalyptic landscapes in these films?

Jovovich Paul is the king of industrial corruption. His mother complains all the time. [Russian accent] “Why don’t you put her in an evening dress and make her hair beautiful and glamorous. Always dirty. Always filthy. Always blood. Always a horrible place. Horrible.” [Anderson laughs]

Anderson I remember walking into the make-up trailer for Resident Evil: Extinction in the Mexican desert. [on a visit to the set of the 2007 film directed by Russell Mulcahy]Mila was there and the makeup artist was applying smudges. I’m dirty enough with it! And it turned out that Mila was a little unhappy. A minute later I saw her outside her. She is chasing a truck. And she’s just trying to get extra dirty!

Jovovich I tell you, nothing suits me better than blood and dust.

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