‘Resident Evil’ star looks back on 15-year journey

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‘Resident Evil’ star looks back on 15-year journey

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Actress Milla Jovovich, center, visits Korea with director Paul Anderson for the first time to promote the final installment of the “Resident Evil” franchise, in which actor Lee Joon-gi briefly appears. [ILGAN SPORTS]

One of Hollywood’s most famous female warriors, Milla Jovovich, spoke proudly of her friendship and respect towards actor Lee Joon-gi during her first visit to Korea.

Jovovich, best known for the video game-based “Resident Evil” franchise, held a press conference at the Four Seasons Hotel ballroom in central Seoul on Friday morning to promote “Resident Evil: The Final Chapter,” which is the sixth and final installment of the “Resident Evil” film franchise. Also in attendance were its director Paul Anderson, who married Jovovich in 2009, and Lee, who briefly appears as Jovovich’s match in the upcoming film slated for release late this month.

“I’m so proud to be in Korea for the first time. It’s such a beautiful country,“ said Jovovich excitingly and added, “I’m glad to visit a country that has been so supportive of ‘Resident Evil’ for so many years.” The actress, who arrived Korea a day before the conference, expressed special gratitude towards Lee for taking the couple out to dinner and taking them around Seoul the previous night.

The actress spoke of her special affection towards the franchise. “It’s been such an incredible journey to play Alice for almost 15 years. I feel like I’ve grown up with her and she’s grown up with me. It has changed my life in so many ways,” she said and added, “It couldn’t be a more magical and unforgettable experience for me.”

Jovovich also expressed respect for Lee’s performance. “I was so impressed when I first met Lee Joon-gi because I have a lot of respect for people who are talented. And the things I saw him doing on set - with no stunt man and doing everything on his own - he’s such a master when he does. I felt I could just watch and learn from him.”

In response, Lee said it was an honor for him to perform in an action sequence with Jovovich and to appear in a Hollywood movie. “Milla is the best female warrior. I felt respect towards her while acting and I was happy to be able to personally join the action sequence that I have only seen on screen as a fan.”

“As an actor, it’s a blessing and an honor to be able to be seen by a wide audience through diverse works. I learned a lot by working with people from different backgrounds [on “Resident Evil”], and I will continue to make similar attempts,” said Lee and added that he wishes to be able to work with Jovovich again on a movie if given an opportunity.

As much as the upcoming film marks the ending of the 15-year-old franchise, the director explained how it differs from the previous films.

“Because this is the final chapter, I felt a huge pressure to raise the bar,” said Anderson and continued, “The action [for the new film] is completely off the hook and it’s a very scary film. I think it returned to the very first movie in terms of its survival horror routes. Also, it’s a very emotional film because it deals with the truth of Alice and her coming home.”

The sixth and the final “Resident Evil” film will depicts Alice (Jovovich), joining forces with old friends, and an unlikely ally, to save humanity from the brink of oblivion as spread of the T-Virus turns people into mindless zombies. It will hit local theaters on Jan. 25, and is rated R.

BY JIN MIN-JI [jin.minji@joongang.co.kr]
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