Milla Jovovich sure has an impressive array of weapons at her disposal.
A quirky actress, buff action star, stunning supermodel, successful clothing designer and occasional musician, the Russian-born beauty has been wise beyond her years ever since she became one of Revlon’s “Most Beautiful Women in the World” at age 12. Such an abbreviated childhood might explain why she was drawn to “Ultraviolet,” in which she plays Violet, a geek-targeted creation with some equally impressive weapons of her own.
Chief among them, though, is a sword.
“A lot of the martial arts that we used for this movie was based on Wushu, which is a very fluid, floral style of martial arts,” the actress said, her blue-green eyes brimming with enthusiasm. “You do a lot of sword-spinning, a lot of tricks with the sword. It’s much more visual; it’s not really the thing that wins at cage fighting. All those fluid, floral people usually get knocked down, because it is such a visual fighting style.
“It’s only in ‘Mortal Kombat’ games that the expert of Wushu actually kills people,” Jovovich laughed, revealing her refreshingly authentic appreciation of the games, graphic novels and gore that mean so much to her fans. “It was very challenging because I never had to be a dancer when I fought [in other movies], and in this situation I had to have the fluidity of a dancer, but the toughness of a street fighter.”
In conversation, Jovovich rapidly, randomly veers from discussing aliens and mutants to pop music and games with the type of enthusiasm one might expect from a 300-pound man in a Raisinets-stained Doctor Who T-shirt. But she’s one of the world’s most beautiful women, and is genuinely jazzed about “Ultraviolet,” a futuristic tale of a genetically enhanced rogue warrior avenging the Orwellian government that created her.
“Well, it’s hard,” she complained, making her interviewer think that a bluff has been called with a question about how Violet would fare against her “Resident Evil” character, Alice. As a devilish grin crosses her face, however, it becomes clear that Jovovich was just warming up. “Both of them are really tough and really cool. It depends, ’cause Alice now is sort of part zombie in a way, so she’s got this whole other genetic thing that’s going on. So is it post-Alice, with the whole zombie thing?”
|‘Ultraviolet’: Wushu Whoop-Ass
Watch Milla Jovovich show off her sword-fighting skills and take down baddies by the handful in these interview and preview clips.
When the criteria was narrowed down to the Alice who currently exists between “Apocalypse” and the soon-to-shoot third “Resident Evil” film, she jumped back in with her breathless analysis. “Oh, OK, well it would be a close one,” Jovovich beamed. “Violet could definitely outmaneuver Alice any day. You wouldn’t be able to catch Violet. Whereas Alice is very like …”
Suddenly, the interview was lost again, this time in a torrent of flying fists and vocal special effects that would make Michael Winslow from “Police Academy” envious. Giggling, she announced her victor thusly: “Alice probably, if she caught Violet, could just pummel her. But she would have trouble catching her.”
In case there are still some genre-loving dorks out there who haven’t already placed Jovovich’s name above those of Portman, Beckinsale and Ricci on their dream-girl lists, it should also be pointed out that she also picked up the badass “Ultraviolet” swords in the room and performed a stunning, spontaneous display of her skills. No special effects, no quick cuts — Jovovich’s muscles flexed and her sword twirled, leaving no one in the room doubting that she is in fact the real deal.
“I’d get home from rehearsal after a six- to eight-hour day and I was expected to do three hours on my own in my hotel room,” Jovovich said of the extreme lengths director Kurt Wimmer (“Equilibrium”) made her go through in China’s five-star Grand Hyatt.
“Did I break anything?” she laughed, when asked about damage to her hotel room. “What didn’t I break? That hotel was so sick of me by the time I left. I stayed in this gorgeous suite with a view of the bay of Hong Kong, and I swear to God you could see on the ceiling so many notches from where I’d been flipping my sword and it flew out of my hand. And all my friends would be ducking and they’d say, ‘Oh, Milla’s practicing again.’ ”
In the end, it was Violet’s swords, knife-spewing guns and innovative battle techniques that captivated Jovovich’s considerable inner child. Listening to her laughingly refer to the film as the action flick that John Cassavetes was never able to make, it became quite clear that this childlike geek girl wants to have a child of her own.
“The backbone of this whole idea was a modern-day ‘Gloria,’ which is a movie with Gena Rowlands back in the early ’80s where she plays this tough woman,” Jovovich revealed. “She has no kids and suddenly her friend thrusts her son into the apartment saying, ‘They’re trying to catch me’ and …Gena Rowlands has to take care of this kid. It’s this great dichotomy between this tough woman and this innocent child.”
The “Ultraviolet” script boasts a similar dynamic between Violet and a little boy named Six, played by young Cameron Bright, who bonded with Jovovich during epic discussions of their favorite episodes of “The Simpsons.” “I’ve been working since I was a little kid, so for me my career has always been number one,” the actress insisted. “But now, I’m 30 years old and I’m starting to think, like, ‘Who’s going to be the man in my life? When am I going to have kids?’
” ‘Ultraviolet’ really resounded in me because of that,” Jovovich continued, getting more serious but no less energetic. “My mom was 24 when she had me. I’m 30 years old and I’m going, ‘Oh my God, I’m gonna be an old mom.’ … Now I’m thinking that a child might balance a lot of things in my life, ’cause I’d be like, ‘Oh I thought [my career] was really important, but it’s so not important actually.’ ”
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