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It is the end of an era for Resident Evil.
The cast and crew of Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, including Milla Jovovich, Ali Larter, Ruby Rose, Fraser James and William Levy, braved the cold temps on Monday night for the series’ final premiere at the Regal theaters at L.A. Live.
“It’s a bittersweet experience [saying goodbye] because on one hand, I’m super proud of the movie — I think it’s by far the best movie in the franchise — but then it’s also sad that I feel like we won’t be revisiting this one, because it’s been such a big part of my life for the past 15 years,” said director and writer Paul W.S. Anderson.
For over 15 years, the Resident Evil franchise has formed a cult following for not only the film but for the video games as well. While filled with thrilling action and zombies, the underlying factor that sets these films apart is that they are completely female driven.
“Every woman who plays a strong character in movies paves the way for all of us,” star Jovovich told The Hollywood Reporter. She accredits her inspiration from Sigourney Weaver’s role in the Alien franchise. After watching Weaver’s performance, Jovovich began to believe that women could be action stars.
“I believed her, and it inspired me to try harder and do crazier things that people wouldn’t actually expect from a female,” she said.
While Jovovich got inspiration from Weaver, the rest of the Resident Evil cast lauded Jovovich for being the female superhero everyone can look up to. Castmembers James and Rose felt not only honored to be part of the final installment but to work alongside Milla and witness her impeccable work ethic.
“To work with Milla was an honor. I love the fact that Resident was sort of existing in a world that wasn’t really current,” said Rose. “We had a female protagonist, a strong woman, that was going around kicking butt and didn’t have a guy. I grew up really being inspired by her.”
Sharing similar sentiments, James holds great admiration for Jovivich. “There’s no question that Milla was right out there in the forefront,” noted James as to why the franchise is so successful. “I’m in awe of Milla because watching her on set, watching what she does effortlessly. … She combines being an actor, a mom, a wife — it’s fantastic.”
Anderson, who is Jovovich’s off-screen husband, ignored the naysayers that preached that it was impossible for females to lead an action film, let alone a franchise. He praises his wife for being someone that helped influence a girl-power movement.
“At the time when we made the first movie, I mean I heard it over and over again that female-led action films don’t work, and I always disagreed with that. We forced it through, and it was something that ended up being really positive for us because it was different. I definitely feel like [Jovovich] opened doors with this franchise.”
Returning star Ali Larter said that while the franchise is an exhilarating adventure, the females that have starred in the films were never there to be pretty faces and play damsel-in-distress roles. The movies’ sense of female empowerment is something to be noted and appreciated.
“What I loved about it was that it was female led. You don’t see women pitted against each other. You see women building each other up over three movies, and that’s something rare that you don’t always see,” explained Larter.
The premiere was followed by an afterparty at Clifton’s Republic in downtown Los Angeles with the cast in attendance.
Resident Evil:The Final Chapter opens in theaters nationwide Jan. 27.
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