From Milla February 200402.08.04
Hey everyone at MillaJ.com! Just wanted to give a little brief on how things have been going for me since I last wrote...
Hong Kong is spectacular! It has to be the most amazing city Iíve ever had the privilege of seeingÖ the harbour, wrapped by skyscrapers that you only thought were possible in Blade Runner, who are in turn embraced by clean, untouched mountain ranges. Itís really something else. Itís all built around the concept of ďfeng shuiĒ, so to be encircled by mountains is good luck here in china. All superstition aside though, it makes for the most surreal and magical enviroment. The perfect fusion of nature and technology. I wish LA could take a few lessons from here about how to build a city! Well, unless youíre looking at LA through the eyes of Wim Wenders ofcourse. He has a book of photos that he shot there and it definitely makes you see that city differently. But then again, he can make anything look like a poem.
Hong Kong skyline (3), Blade Runner buildings, bicycle in the street
Training for UV (Ultraviolet) has been SOOOO amazing! Itís really the best experience Iíve ever had I think. All the guys on the stunt team are super cool and the girls are super hot! hehe. Iíve been trying to document my experience here as much as possible for you guys, so youíll see lotís of pictures of everyone Iíve been spending everyday with. Iím learning some of the craziest stuff, you donít even know! And weíll be doing things with weapons that can only come out of a true synthesis of an American AND Hong Kong crew. Really Mike Smith (the stunt coordinator) and Kurt Wimmer (the director) have dreamed up a whirlwind that (if I can pull it all off! Yikes!) will be pretty damn cool. Iíve been training from 11am to about 6pm Mon. thru Fri. and my body is going through the loop, but I donít care, every second of pain is worth it to make Violet come to life.
On the set: the boys showing off their flips, Kevin stabbing Roy with Xing Xing in the corner, Mark Hicks throwing a flying crescent, Mike showing off, Roy & Xing Xing after lunch
The crew is so sweet and took me out on the 17th for dinner on my birthday! We went and drank sake at a Japanese restaurant and then went dancing at a few bars. Of course, since at that point, Iíd only been here like a little over a week, one night of partying in conjunction with so many hours of physical training, mixed with the frigid air conditioning that they love so much here took me down and I got really ill thru Christmas, so I just stayed in the hotel for the long weekend to rest and let my body recover, I was not about to miss one goddamn day of work.
Then Billy came for New Yearís and we all went out! Finally I could do something other than work and heal my body from work! We went out with Mike and his drop dead gorgeous wife Wendy, Kurt, Chris, Billy, Hil and her boyfriend Peter, the girls who are my stunt doubles, Alicia, Youlia and Jennifer and a few other friends who live here, to a gorgeous restaurant called ďAquaĒ which looks out onto the harbour and the huge square, where at midnight were literally thousands upon thousands of people counting down the new year! I have a bunch of pics from that night to share with you guys, Ďcause it was really exciting and we had an amazing time! Everyone wore feathers and masks and bubbles (that are made from some noxious chemical thatís illegal in the States, so I didnít play with them too much!) and had a ball. After the countdown we all took the subway to Hong Kong (we are actually living on the Kowloon side, across the water) and walked around for hours. The streets were a mess and taking cabs was out of the question. Anyway, just the sheer mass of bodies out together was something awesome to be a part of. After that we went to a few clubs and then to our friends house to chill out and rest our feet! When I got home, the sun was coming up, so I ordered breakfast and watched the sunrise on my own. Just staring out at the water and the ships moving past my window.
NEW YEAR'S EVE
Alicia, Alicia & her boyfriend, Billy/Milla, Billy/Chris/Hil, Chris/Youlia/Alicia
The girls who are doubling me are so wonderful. Really sweet and talented. Alicia Vela-Bailey is an incredible break dancer and gymnast, sheís only 21 and this is her first film. Actually, Jennifer Caputo is the only one whoís ever done films before this one, sheís one of the best and a motorcycle expert and dancer as well, so sheíll be teaching me the art of motorcycle maintenance hehe. Iím very nervous to actually get on the darn bike to be perfectly honest! Youlia Galenko is a dancer and Olympic rhythmic gymnast and sheís also Russian too! Which is really wonderful and interesting for me Ďcause I donít get to hang out with many Russians in general. Sheís just so stunningly elegant. Kurt wanted dancers more than martial artists because of their grace and the speed at which dancers can pick up complex routines. Itís a real honor to work with such incredible and focused people, Iím just so lucky (knock on wood).
In the meantime itís all trying to eat as much protein as I can, practice with weapons in my hotel room when I come home from work (I had to reconfigure the furniture so I wouldnít destroy the place!), read the lines out loud to the walls and windows, trying to find Violetís voice through all this. And when I think Iím almost going crazy doing that, I relax and play music, recording with Billy and Chris.
Oh, I almost forgot. We all went on Sunday to see the 2nd largest Buddha ever built! We had to take 2 ferrys and 3 buses to get there, but it was worth it! The place is a monastery nestled in the mountains and the Buddha himself sits magnificently on the highest peak looking down onto China. Since the Buddhists are vegetarians, we ate every type of Gluten ever made it seemed (pretty nasty, but if itís good enough for monks, itís more than good enough for me!) to actually reach the Buddha, you have to climb over 270 steps, so I got the chance to look out from such a great, beautiful height. That has to be one of my favorite things to do, go to really high places, but at the same time, it scares me half to death. I guess thatís human nature though, to love to conquer our fears and challenge our senses.
Chris & Milla on the ferry, Milla on the walk, guardians of the Buddha
Hil & Milla, self-portrait, Chris/Hil/Milla, the monastery (2)
Anyway, thatís it for the moment. Itís Sunday for me here and Kurt is coming over to read the script in a little so I have to run! Thanks for taking the time to read this and I hope to be able to write some more when I get the chance (and have something of interest to write about!) all the best and thanks again for all your support! Happy New Year!
First dinner, headles figurines at the China Club, Chris & Milla (2)
Milla's driver Noel, Milla relaxing at a friend's house, what the heck??
Cameron Bright ("Six" from Ultraviolet)
Madness' Armani campaign, home for Thanksgiving