Milla Jovovich is no stranger to confronting zombies and aliens with roles in films like The Fifth Element and Resident Evil. In her latest creepy thriller, The Fourth Kind, the model-turned actress plays a psychiatrist investigating the very real possibility of alien abductions. How real? Well, the producers insist the story is based on actual events.
Discovering her gift of scream on the set of 1999's The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc.
"I would come on set feeling the incredible pressure to become a historical icon. So before every take I would scream, just the most heartrending, from the bottom of my uterus, sort of scream, which would sort of embarrass me in front of the whole crew, but in a way, made me more comfortable. I was like, 'OK, I made a fool of myself, now I'm ready to do anything.' Whoever I was standing next to would always be like, 'There she goes again.' I would just do that stupid scream and have everybody annoyed and it would make me feel much better."
Now she's feeling good as a mom.
"Before you have kids, you create so many problems that are centered in yourself. You're thinking, Am I ready for this audition? Am I good enough? Now that I have a kid, it's not such a big deal. Even if I don't get the job, I know I'm going to be really busy at home. Being a mother to my daughter, Ever, is a full-time job. Now it's all about my baby, her growing up well and getting everything she needs. Everything else is just a plus."
Her message to parents.
"You've got to know your kids like the back of your hand and make sure they're honest with you and not scared to tell you things. I know when Ever goes to school I'll be letting my little bird go, but I just want to make sure she tells me everything that happened, good or bad."
Take charge of what your children watch.
"I think parents need to take a lot more responsibility than they do about whether it's OK for their children to go to Resident Evil or any other movie with violence or sex or whatever. It's really easy to blame Hollywood for violence having an effect on kids, but movies would have no power if parents would just set their own standards. And it's the same with video games."
The video game that jump-started her career.
"Me and my brother Marco would play Resident Evil together and I said to him, 'This is the perfect vehicle for me.' I mean, Alice wears a tube top and a mini-skirt and she's killing zombies. So when I first auditioned, I said to Paul [director Paul W. S. Anderson, her husband ] 'If I don't get this part my brother is going to kill me because he sees a huge boost in his popularity at school if I play her.'"
The strong woman you missed.
"I did this movie .45 that kind of never saw the light of day, it went straight to DVD. I really connected with this character who was a victim of domestic violence but ends up taking control. I think a lot more women today are taking control as opposed to being the kind of stereotypical female who's weepy and gets abused by men. Women are more educated now about abuse. It's not like it was in the '80s. I think they're much more in control of all aspects of their lives."
Speaking of strong women, why the Japanese love Resident Evil.
"I think Japanese girls are fascinated with strong women. Their culture really puts such a focus on being subservient. Like, you go to Tokyo and they bow and they want to make sure everything's good. That's like a cultural phenomenon. So I think to see a woman kicking butt and using weapons makes them feel a little empowered. So there's a huge fan base for the Resident Evil movies over there."