Arts & Entertainment

Kaya Scodelario takes Resident Evil baton from Milla Jovovich

By David Villafranca

Los Angeles, Nov 24 (EFE).- The zombies of the Resident Evil franchise have a new enemy in Kaya Scodelario, a British actress who has taken over Milla Jovovich’s starring role in that high-grossing, action-horror film series.

After six movies in which Jovovich starred as Alice, a character created for the films, Scodelario is the lead actress in “Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City,” a franchise origin story set in 1998 and directed by Johannes Roberts that was theatrically released in the United States on Wednesday and tells the story of how The Umbrella Corporation’s twisted experiments in Raccoon City triggered a zombie apocalypse.

“I think we’re fascinated with the idea of the dead coming back, right?” Scodelario, best known for the British teen comedy-drama television series “Skins,” the Maze Runner trilogy and “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales,” said on a video call with Efe.

The first Resident Evil video game was published in 1996 and became Japanese developer Capcom’s highest-grossing franchise.

The cinema adaptations of those games – from “Resident Evil” (2002) to “Resident Evil: The Final Chapter” (2016) – also have been big box-office successes despite generally negative reviews from critics.

Question: In this film, you’re making your debut as Claire Redfield, one of the main characters in the Resident Evil franchise. What’s special about that role within the saga?

Answer: I think the reason why she’s been loved for so long is that a lot of the other characters are these elite soldiers or police officers that are very highly trained, and Claire kind of isn’t. She’s the rock-and-roll, street version of all of that.

She’s a bit messier. She’s a bit scruffier. She’s a bit edgier. That’s definitely what attracted me to her, and I think that’s what people love about her too. And that’s really what I wanted to bring to this movie was that version of her from the games where nobody tells her what to do.

Q: Claire also deals with personal trauma in the film.

A: We meet her at the beginning of the movie, in the orphanage as a child, and we witness this trauma that she goes through, that she experiences. And then she’s kind of left her hometown behind her, she’s been gone for a very long time. I don’t think she was ever thinking of coming back.

But she comes across some information that she needs to share with her brother, so she has to face her demons, essentially.

Q: How did you tackle the challenge of succeeding Milla Jovovich in Resident Evil?

A: I remember in the early 2000s seeing (the Resident Evil movies). And they were so of their time. I think that was what was so cool about them: the music, the soundtrack, the clothes, the lighting. It was all very bright and in that kind of tech world that we were all excited about in the millennium.

And what we’ve tried to do is quite different.

We’re taking it back to the 90s. It’s a much darker movie tonally. So I feel as though we can both exist in the Resident Evil universe, which is really nice.

I think (Milla Jovovich) is amazing. I think she did an incredible job with that character; for such a long amount of time to keep that physicality is super impressive. And I can only hope that I get to do the same with mine.

Q: The living dead have had a sort of revival in recent years in the movies and on television.

A: I think we’re fascinated with the idea of the dead coming back, right? I think that’s the thing that keeps us interested.

And we keep building different types of (zombies) and, for me, what’s the freakiest part of them is by far is the sound, the kind of gargling, the choking on the blood, and the desperation. And I think that’s something that on screen is just really, really terrifying. EFE

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