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March 10, 2002
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SJP


Milla feeling wicked
By LOUIS B. HOBSON


HOLLYWOOD -- When it comes to her looks, Milla Jovovich refuses to be coy.

"I think I'm a very pretty girl. I'm never going to pretend to think otherwise. There are even days I feel I'm fabulously hot and sexy," says Jovovich, 26, who began modelling shortly after her ninth birthday.

"I'm grateful for my looks.

"My family is doing well because of them. I can make career choices and turn down movies because of them, and I have been making money from them for 17 years.

"My looks are who I am."

Since her cameo appearance in 1988 in Two Moon Junction, Jovovich has starred in 16 films, including Return to the Blue Lagoon, Chaplin, The Fifth Element, He Got Game, Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc, The Claim and Zoolander.

In Resident Evil, opening Friday, Jovovich plays Alice, a futuristic super agent who, with fellow commandos, must try to isolate a virus that could conceivably wipe out mankind.

SLINKY EVENING DRESS

Resident Evil is based on the video-game series that has sold more than 16 million units worldwide grossing upward of $600 million US.

The film version, directed by Paul W.S. Anderson, is a prequel to the five video games, so it will be the first time fans meet Alice.

"I think I was physically right for the role of Alice. Our film is very much like Aliens and I see myself as a young Sigourney Weaver.

"I loved how sexy her outfits were. Her underwear combo at the end of Alien is so hot. That's the feel I was going after for my hospital gown at the end of Resident Evil. Paul let me design that gown myself," she says of basically two short sheets held together by surgical tape.

"I think Jennifer Lopez would look particularly hot in a variation of that gown."

For the first 90 minutes of Resident Evil, where the other commandos are dressed in leather fatigues, Jovovich wears a slinky evening dress that keeps getting pieces ripped away.

"Alice is suffering from amnesia, so she doesn't realize she is a commando.

"When the mission begins and she's taken prisoner she's dressed in evening wear.

"It was our way of giving her the sexiest outfit possible. The game is violent and sexy so that's the feel we were after. My costumes in The Fifth Element were inadvertently sexy. Everything in Resident Evil is overtly sexy."

Shortly after filming The Fifth Element, Jovovich married Luc Besson, who directed the movie.

They broke up two years later while he was directing her in Messenger.

Jovovich is currently dating Anderson.

She says that makes her "technically not single, but nobody knows how long this is going to last.

"No matter how great a relationship is, I won't even think of marriage unless he is the father of my child."

MARRIED BRIEFLY

In 1993, she was married briefly to actor Shawn Andrews, whom she met on the set of Dazed and Confused and, before beginning work on Resident Evil, she dated John Frusciante, the guitarist of Red Hot Chili Peppers.

"My new philosophy is that whoever impregnates this womb gets the girl."

Jovovich says part of the reason she enjoyed filming Resident Evil was that she became "passionate about my director.

"Paul is like a little kid when it comes to films like this. He becomes like a computer geek.

"His enthusiasm is contagious. One day Eric Mabius (who plays a policeman) and I got sprayed by battery acid. My agent rushed on set. It ate through his Gucci bag and Prada slacks.

"He hauled me off to the doctor. I was content with just washing myself with soap.

"By that time in the shoot my body was just a mass of scrapes and bruises anyway.

"The big joke was that when we started the film the make-up crew was painting on bruises. After a while they were covering them up."

EMOTIONAL STRAIN

Anderson points out that Jovovich did "every stunt except one where she had to jump from one ceiling pipe to another."

"The other actors had knee, elbow and shoulder pads under their costumes but there was nowhere we could hide pads on Milla so she had to endure the physical abuse, and she did."

Jovovich says better the physical grind of Resident Evil than the emotional one she endured filming Messenger while she was breaking up with Besson.

"That movie was such an emotional strain for me. Because of where my personal life was at the time it was like emotional battery."

While she was filming Resident Evil in Berlin, Jovovich had to fly to Paris for a few days to film a magazine layout and commercial for L'Oreal.

"They had me running through this wind tunnel and something went wrong during a take, and I ended up slashing my hand. Paul joked with the L'Oreal people about not returning me in the same condition he'd sent me to them in knowing full well he was putting me through so much more on a daily basis."


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