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Resident Evil: Extinction - Interview w/Star Ali Larter
By: Mr. Disgusting




Resident Evil: Extinction: Star Ali Larter
By: Mr. Disgusting

Alice (Milla Jovovich), now in hiding in the Nevada desert, once again joins forces with Carlos Olivera (Oded Fehr) and L.J. (Mike Epps), along with new survivors Claire (Ali Larter), K-Mart (Spencer Locke) and Nurse Betty (Ashanti) to try to eliminate the deadly virus that threatens to make every human being undead... and to seek justice. Since being captured by the Umbrella Corporation, Alice has been subjected to biogenic experimentation and becomes genetically altered, with super-human strengths, senses and dexterity. These skills, and more, will be needed if anyone is to remain alive.

AL: Hi. Red hair. What do you think? Do you like it? [We say we do.] Do I cut a mythic figure?

BD: Sort of a Claudia Cardinale kind of thing?

AL: I guess for Paul and Jeremy, it was really important for them, bringing in the Claire Redfield character, because in the video game she does have red hair, and to be able to keep that as close as we can to what people's imaginations of her are.

BD: And you're going to have to change it back for "Heroes"?

AL: In about three days. Blonde in the pilot. I would actually like to stay longer if I can, but uh... No choice. Work calls.

BD: How did this job come about for you?

AL: I was sent the script and I read it and was able to have the weekend to watch the first one and the second one and I just thought that Paul wrote a really interesting, really forward-thinking script. I think it's a really fresh take on these movies and it's really 'Mad Max' meets kind of 'The Birds' and I just thought that he wrote it really well and I thought it would be an interesting, fun adventure to come do.

BD: What's been the most challenging part?

AL: Definitely the heat. I mean, it's like... Luckily you guys are here and not in Mexicali, because it is... They say it's the third hottest place in the world. It's the same spot where 'Jarhead' shot their movies and you're just constantly sweating. I mean, it's good for the role -- I'm hoping it's sweaty-sexy, not sweaty-gross.

BD: Is that a spray-on tan too?

AL: No, actually this is real. I'm a tanner. No, this is real. But it's just so hot. I mean, we're constantly flush and you go... Some of the scenes are inside the Hummer, inside some of the vehicles where it's gotta be 140 degrees and it just naturally slow you down. And I think it will give more of a realistic view for the movie, that we actually shot where it is so hot.

BD: Did you have to go run in the heat?

AL: Yeah, you just do it. You know and I think also being with this cast, there's such a positive attitude, everyone's really excited to be part of this movie and it just makes any kind of difficulties with weather, those things, so much easier when everyone is kind of like getting in there and really support system around you.

BD: What's your costume like?

AL: Cargo pants, boots, tank-top -- You know, dirty, dirty, dirty.

BD: Kind of Linda Hamilton?

AL: Maybe a little bit? I wear a baseball cap always. Aviator glasses. I'll be in it in about one hour, so you'll be able to see it if you want to, but it's great. Joseph, our costume designer, did an amazing job with really keeping it realistic, that they just found things along the road in different places that they stopped in, but what would they be able to wear, what are the best kind of cloths when you in this environment.

BD: And what's your weapon of choice?

AL: I have a Barretta.

BD: What's it like actually being able to hit the thing that's chasing you [as opposed to in the "Final Destination" movies]?

AL: It's fun, you know. It's like I don't have too many stunts in this. I have an amazing... when we get to Las Vegas and, you know, the undead come out and surprise us and are after us and it was such a shock and we're running and they're chasing me and they get me down and I fall back and I come up and like, 'Bam bam' I get them all. That's the fun stuff, you know, when you actually get in there and you get to shoot the guns and it's totally rough and very cool.

BD: Any machetes to the head?

AL: I don't get to do that. That's all Alice, who's incredible and Mila's so amazing in this role and just the way that she movies. She's so beautiful. She's stunningly beautiful and so strong too, and she actually does, I think, cut the coolest mythic figure. She just looks amazing and she just kicks ass. It's pretty hot.

BD: Why do we respond to beautiful women fighting monsters?

AL: I don't know. I don't know. You tell me. Are you gonna go see the movie? I think this is a hyper-real world and Paul Anderson, in the very beginning, was like, you know, he likes his ladies to look beautiful no matter what predicament they're in. But also, I mean, we are totally sweating our asses off. It's hot.

BD: Can you tell us more about Claire's role here?

AL: Kind of everything just organically happened. She became the leader of this convoy. She's incredibly strong, patient. I think she serves a role for everyone within this convoy, let it be a mother to someone, a buddy, a best friend. I think she finds kind of what everyone needs and when you're in this desperate of times, I think that keeps people having hope. So I think that she does that. It's just survival instincts. Anything that has monetary value to them is meaningless. It's food, gas, any supplies that we need, that's our gold, so it's really about searching for that. And kind of just keeping everyone together and just trying to stay alive.

BD: Did you play the games at all?

AL: I didn't. I didn't. I haven't played a lot of video games, so... I don't know.

BD: Are their conflicts between your character and Alice's?

AL: I think that, where this movie is, if you're in that gray of circumstances, you don't have emotions of jealousy, or whether someone else is the leader, at least that's my take on it. If she can help, help us. If she can't, then keep moving. You know, there's really not time for things to get emotional and she does help us. She saves us. I think I'm so happy that someone was there at our moment of need. The other side of that, also, is she hasn't been with us and I've done my best to keep these people alive, so I think that there's a little friction within what's the best way to do that. So...

BD: Are you involved in Resident Evil 4?

AL: Let's see if people go to the movie. I think that if people go see it, they'll bring me back. If people don't respond to my character, this might be the only one you get with me. But I would love to do another one because working... I think Paul is the best at writing these kinds of movies and they really just surround with... David Johnson is an amazing DP and Paul brought a lot of his crew from 'Alien vs. Predator' and this movie's constantly exceeded my expectations on every level. It just looks so beautiful and to find suspense and I guess a bit of horror within shadows and in daylight is really kind of a fresh take on it and I guess we'll see what happens, see where I am in my career if that works. I'm really just excited, actually, that I was able to do this one. It was really fun.

BD: Something about 'Heroes'...

AL: Oh my God. I'm so proud to be part of that show.

BD: What was TV the direction you wanted to go at this point?

AL: I was living in New York and I moved back to LA fully just in January and this was my first pilot season. To me, it'd never been something that had truly attracted me, mostly because of the scheduled -- that I had to live in LA and the commitment that's involved in that. But when I moved back this year, I thought it was kind of a great time to see what's out there. I think that the material on television is the best that it's ever been -- the best writers are there. I read a ton of pilots and I just didn't respond to anything and I thought, 'You know, maybe this just isn't going to be right for me' and then I got a hold of Tim Kring's script and I just thought it was fascinating. I think he writes an amazing role for women, at least for me. To get a chance to play a stripper, a mother, someone who goes left when she should go right, whose world is crumbling around her and that all these characters all over the world are discovering these things about them. It's not about 'Oh, now we're gonna save the world.' It's about 'How do we get our kids to school? How do you pay the bills? How do you go on with life when something is happening to you.' Are you going crazy? Is this really happening? And it's very much intellectualized and internalized. I think the pilot is in how the characters are dealing with this happening to them. So, I loved that. I loved the way that he wrote. I also felt like, if I was going to do a show -- like you said -- there's so many places that it can go and I felt like I can live with Nicki for a while. She's just a... The questions of what brought her to this place in her life, all the way from, all these thing are happening to her, is she going to be able to use them for good or evil? What is really happening?

BD: Can you tell us what her power is?

AL: I know. I know. But you're not going to really discover that til a couple episode in. So I think that you're gonna have to wait for NBC. Maybe at ComicCon...

BD: Will being in the ensemble give you flexibility to skip out and do a film role?

AL: I hope so, you know? I mean, from what I hear, one-hour is the hardest job in entertainment, that the hours you work are crazy. The other side is that there's 10 of us, so I think that depending on whose storylines are really hitting more at that moment, they'll work more. You know, I love working, so for me, just to see where she's going, I can't wait to do that. And then hopefully on hiatus, I'll be able to do the kind of passion projects that I have and films that I really want to be involved in.

BD: How far ahead are you getting scripts?

AL: I felt so lucky that Tim allowed me to go into the writers' room. I don't think you usually get to do that. It's my first experience with television. I've just asked them to keep a really open dialogue with me, because it's not a film. I'm not able to plan an arc of this character, because I don't know where she's going and, as an actor, that's really scary. At least for me, it's really scary. So, more me, they brought me in and they just talked through ideas that they had and where they think they're going and it's gonna be really challenging, what they're bringing on for this character. [She added another phrase that was garbled]

BD: Something about how early people get scripts, or how late?

AL: I hope a week before. I don't know, is it usually the night before? It's just going to end up being a different process for me. There's no planning and I think that I so responded to Nikki, for whatever reason. So just bring it. I guess I'm just gonna have to play ball.

BD: Any idea when your character will start interacting with other characters?

AL: Pretty soon. Pretty soon. I know there's huge stuff in episode three where I'm meeting some of the other characters and I'm not sure before then, but I know that they're starting to bring them together.

BD: Have you met the other actors?

AL: Yeah, I met some of the other ones, but just quickly, saw them at the upfronts. And I've got to spend time with Greg Grunberg and Milo [Ventimiglia], who I'm just so excited that they're part of the show. I think that they ground it. I think Greg is such a great actor and everyone seems really cool, but I think we're gonna be a little threesome that I'm just kind of able to talk to and understand and Greg's been through this, as has Milo, where it's my first experience with it, so.

BD: Is this the most physically active you've been in a movie? Like compared to 'American Outlaws'?

AL: Yeah, some stuff there. That was really difficult too, actually, that stuff, because we were in wool and it was another 125 degree set and it was tough. My girlfriend, we were laughing and she said, 'You always work in these extreme conditions.' and not having to be in a studio in LA, it's funny how that works out, but that was just hot. But I like that. I'm athletic. I'm a runner. I'm very much into water sports and all different kinds of hiking. So for me, I love it. I think, actually, even thought we shot 'House of Haunted Hill' on a set, but that was full moving at all times, so there was a lot in that one, so...

BD: Have you heard they're doing a sequel to that?

AL: Heard that...

BD: Have they approached you to appear?

AL: I have. Yeah.

BD: Did you say yes?

AL: [With a big smile] I don't think so. You know what, I feel so lucky with the things that I'm doing right now, to be honest, and um... It's just... That's kind of so long ago for me. Even like joining a franchise like this, the reason... The reason I think this script and this movie really is taking this franchise to the next level is because they're taking it out of confined areas and they're opened it up into a world that's... Vegas and where it's going and traveling across the desert. And that to me was interesting. So... Yeah...

BD: Do you feel differently about crows now?

AL: Oh God. It's amazing what they can do. We have these crows flying at us and they made these mini-helicopters, did they tell you about this? It's like half the size of a table and it's zooming in on us, like that's going to be the point-of-view of the crows. And it's just amazing what they can do now with special effects and with technology. And I think even for Paul and Mila it's gotta be amazing to see, from where they started with this, what they can do now with the CGI, it's just incredible, so.

BD: Are you attracted to projects by genre?

AL: I don't really think genre. I think I'm fully drawn... It's the three -- it's like character, writer, director for me. These characters, I love playing strong women. You know, I'm just really... For me, that's just what I'm drawn to and what's so cool about this movie too is that there are two strong females. You so rarely see that outside of this genre, and so for me, I just feel like it's so great to be able to play those kind of roles. Also, I just think that this is fun. I think people love these movies and there's something really enticing about being in a movie people want to see. Last year I did three indies and they were all incredible experiences creatively, but I don't know if they're ever gonna get out there and with this movie, just to be able to do something that's pure entertainment, is really cool.

BD: How is it when you're doing an indie film that you know might never get distribution?

AL: I don't ever look to the future with what's going to happen with a movie, even with this one. It's like I go in and I do my work and I love the process of making a movie, I love the whole family atmosphere that you develop with a crew on the set. I love people who are doing things for the right reasons and I think you find that a lot on indie films, that people are just doing it because they believe in the project. For me, I don't think you can look... You never know how a film's gonna turn out. It's like once it gets past this stage, it's not my medium anymore, I guess, or my work is done. They can do what they want with my role in the editing room and then it goes to marketing and all these things that I have no control over, so if things do come out and are a huge success, it's just icing, but for me, it's really about just the experience I have when working and knowing that I'm just doing the best work I can do.

BD: Any desire to do more behind-the-camera stuff?

AL: I think in the future, yeah, I'm definitely interested in producing projects. Absolutely. Seeing this and watching it all go down and losing control of it, is something I'd like to be able to have creative input on the different stages of it. And now that I'm back living in Los Angeles, it's just so great to be back in the entertainment community. Living in New York and being away from it was amazing for that time in my life, but now, it's like just being back in it's so inspiring and I definitely have many ideas and different avenues that I want to take as my career goes on.

Other Set Reports:

Click here for full set report
Click here for an interview with Oded Fehr
Click here for an interview with Ali Larter
Click here for an interview with Milla Jovovich
Click here for an interview with Producer Jeremy Bolt
















 
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