Jack June 2002

Milla - The Girl With the Gun

Her surname is not easy, and she's already been an actress, a singer and a model. Now she becomes the hero of a videogame.

Milla goes fast. She runs like a bullet, like a fast-forwarding videotape, where the scenes go without a pause. Her life seems to be a videogame with infinite levels: for the role of the zombie-killer of Resident Evil, the soon to be released movie inspired by the horror game for the consoles, the production immediately thought of her, a 26 year old Yugoslavian-Russian-American girl, with bambi eyes and an evil spark in her glance. "That role had to be mine: I can spend up to 4-5 hours a day playing Resident Evil with my brother," explains Jovovich, showing her determination. So it was no problem to fit into the tiny dress of the Resident Evil main character. Besides, for Milla nothing's easier than changing her look, mood and (often) partner.

Luc Besson, the 'golden man' of French cinema, knows something about this: charmed by Milla on the set of The Fifth Element (and married immediately after), he was abandoned on the set of The Messenger set. Fact is, the girl is as versatile as she's inconsistent. Before Besson, sweet Milla had already married (when she was 17) actor Shawn Andrews. True love? Not exactly. "I wanted to feel adult and use the ATM, things that my mom had always prohibited." Actually, at age 15, Milla had already earned her first million. Her mom had the marriage annulled after a few days.

It's hard to understand Milla's career if you don't consider the pressure of her mom, an actress herself, and determined to make her daughter a star (in the USA women like her are called 'stage moms'). It's thanks to her that Jovovich first went on a stage when she was 9, started modeling when she was 11, appeared on 15 magazine covers when she was 12 (an unequalled record), bought an electric guitar when she was 13 and started to write songs. And we haven't even reached the majority of her work yet...

At the beginning of everything there is a beauty undoubted but hard to catalogue, nearly an androgynous one (Jovovich is a gay icon too), subject to highs and lows: "Some days I feel fabulous and sexy, but sometimes I can't even look at myself in the mirror because I smoked too much and I have terrible puffy eyes..."

And, how could it be otherwise? Her life has been a life in the fast lane, always in the spotlight. But Milla doesn't seem to suffer from this. She's everywhere, reads always, writes songs and performs them in clubs with her band. At 19, she takes time to record an album as a singer and to title it, with not so much modesty, The Divine Comedy. The album does well and for a moment it seems to open a future in rock for the young diva (like it happened in the same years to Jennifer Lopez.)

But nothing: the singing career doesn't take off, while the acting one does well, even if it's her modeling appearances that make her bank-account grow. "It has not been a career I chose, but I have nothing to regret about. It gives me freedom: thanks to the contract with L'Oreal I can refuse parts I don't like. Everything was useful to get where I am today."

This 'today' is made of many serious movies (Spike Lee, Wim Wenders, but also good independent productions) and of a new love. Again with a director, Paul Anderson, the director of Resident Evil. "But you never know how long it will last," she admits. "I think I will be 100% sure only with the man who will be my kids' father. So, whoever gets me pregnant wins this girl forever..."

This perspective can seem attractive: the important thing to know is that Jovovich is not an easy person. Famous are some of her 'bad girl' quotes, like "Two hands, two tits... God knew what he was doing!!" But we have to admire her choice not to want stunt doubles even for the most dangerous takes. Not even when, in her last movie, she had to act alone with a group of hungry Dobermans.

Milla wasn't afraid because she feels very comfortable inside videogames. She loves to play with consoles ("I'd like to challenge Angelina Jolie in a game: I did Resident Evil, she did Lara Croft... I think in Hollywood we're the only girls who know how to use a joystick"), she closely follows her personal website www.millaJ.com and she's at ease with the music-making software. So, a techno-girl, very well future-oriented.

And tomorrow? Trying to imagine which direction Milla Jovovich will go next is like trying to predict where lightning will strike during a storm. For years, she's continued writing songs for an album but she never records them. The only certain thing is that she should be in another movie, Alice, directed by Wes Craven, a horror-movie master. A story vaguely inspired by Lewis Carroll's book, but mainly taken from a bloody videogame (again): Alice escapes from the mental hospital where she was shut in when she came back from the Wonderland. That's when her terrible revenge begins, killing with her butcher's knife... So, are you still willing to be touched by Milla's bambi eyes?