Set Visit Interview: Sienna Guillory Talks Jill Valentine's Return in Resident Evil: Retribution
Resident Evil fans were no doubt surprised and elated to see actress Sienna Guillory pop up during the credits of 2010's Resident Evil: Afterlife as a very blonde and very evil version of her character Jill Valentine after a six-year absence from the franchise.
During our recent set visit for Screen Gems' upcoming Resident Evil: Retribution, we had the opportunity to sit down and talk with Guillory between takes for a scene that featured the actress giving orders to "Bad Rain" (Michelle Rodriguez) while holding franchise newcomer Li BingBing's character Ada Wong hostage in anticipation of Alice's (Milla Jovovich) arrival for the inevitable showdown between the two in a blustery Russian landscape of ice and snow.
During her interview Guillory chatted about getting a meatier role this time around than in Afterlife, her epic showdown with Alice, keeping her cool around her "man-tourage" and so much more. Check out the highlights below, and make sure to check back here later for more interviews from Dread Central's set visit for Resident Evil: Retribution!
Q: Well, obviously you've got more shooting days on this one- your part in the last one was so quietly kept. How many days were you on set for the last one?
A: Oh, nearly a whole afternoon (laughs). It was fun though- it was one of those where you ride in on set and all your friends are there, you've got a great outfit and everything is brilliantly lit and it's day one of filming. Everyone's got these great new toys and then you finish filming 30 minutes later (laughs). You're like 'where's the rest of the movie?' and they're like 'oh, you're not in it.' Oh yeah, this is the end.
Q: Could you talk more about what we've been watching over and over again in the scene that you're doing?
A: Oh, I don’t know what you've been watching. We all live in an Umbrella Submarine and we've got a great gang living there. There's me, Michelle Rodriguez who is brilliant, Li BingBing who is very pretty- like scarily pretty. You could touch noses and she's flawless. She's quite terrifyingly beautiful.
Q: You look very serious, staring very icily forward, then staring to the side-
A: That's the physical aspect of my work (laughs).
Q: Can you talk about that?
A: Staring icily, ahead and then- staring to the side. And then running and falling flat on my face. But this is probably the moment I've been the most excited about and most terrified about since I heard we were going to do this and I knew I was going to be involved. I just had twins this year, in February, and I would say there is no greater motivator than knowing you're going to be squaring off against Milla Jovovich in a cat-suit months after giving birth to twins. So this is us squaring off opposite each other, which is quite daunting because she's quite amazing and I've got to be as good, if not better.
Q: I know the fights are more complex for this one; how much more physicality do you get to do?
A: So much more. This fight sequence is over 200 moves, which is like longer than a fight sequence in The Bourne Identity was. It's immense. It was brilliant and I've been working on it every day since we got here and I'm very happily whittling away too. It's a very beautiful fight and it's all sorts of- well, they're trying to incorporate things that have never been done before with weapons that haven't been done already and using aerial moves- it is quite poetic actually.
The opening move is one of Jill Valentine's melee moves where she throws herself up in the air and spins around, then lands and kicks guns around, then flips and goes into a beautiful fight that evolves into just a brutal, nasty fist fight which is kind of great.
Q: That's like a three-act fight all on its own.
A: I mean, it's been massively chopped and squished so that we can get everything else in which I think makes sense. I was really looking forward to it being massive and epic, but I'm hoping it's still going to be really good.
Q: Tell us where Jill has been since Apocalypse because she's seemed to have undergone a transformation of sorts.
A: Well, in the game she's been captured by Wesker and he's put the boob-ament (the spider) on which controls her. There's actually, for someone who's completely inept at these things- well, I'm not very good at video games. So you can watch all the movie moments of Jill's on YouTube and you can really see her, feel her and get a sense of who she is and what her story is. And there are these moments where they finally de-scarab her and she says 'you know, I was aware of everything I was doing but I couldn't do anything to stop it.' So there's this kind of an indication that she's in this inner turmoil, which I think is kind of great and I'm glad we've got places here where we can play with that.
But here we are in part five where Jill is under Umbrella control and she's the baddie.
Q: Bigger than Wesker or just below?
A: I think he's a tiny bit taller than me. (laughs)
Q: We heard that the characters in the film have good versions and bad versions- do you have two versions in the film?
A: I'm just hoping I have one version that ends up being quite good so (laughs)- not too bad, hopefully. No, this is definitely bad Jill.
Q: At the end of Afterlife, you give a pretty direct order in terms of killing everyone on the boat. Does that happen? Because if it did, then there wouldn't be a movie.
A: I think you just answered your own question there.
Q: Well, I'm just curious.
A: Well, you know- plans go awry and movies happen. If things happened the way you'd expect, then there wouldn't be movies and such. Things become difficult; we have to overcome things and try a bit harder sometimes (laughs). It was only up until two days ago that I was supposed to have guns throughout this fight and when we're doing the wire work, everyone was like 'be careful catching the guns' and I was like 'well, if I had a gun, wouldn't I just shoot…' (trails off).
So now we don't have guns. But there was this really cool moment where Li BingBing who plays Ada Wong, and she's of course done loads of movies with martial arts and she's really physical and amazing. She has this scene where she whips out a gun and pretty much mows everyone down. And on take one, she's just there- she doesn't blink, she doesn't move and then bam, bam, bam, bam, bam! Gun's down here by her waist and I was like 'now we all have to step up our games because she is good.' Then when she finished, she goes 'was that okay? I've never shot a gun before.' (laughs) It was amazing.
When you work with the guns and stuff- when you squeeze the trigger- I sort of think of it as an emotional thing that you're doing to someone. I imagine it as an emotional kick so I tend to breathe out anyway, which stops you from blinking and makes you look less uncool.
But I have a 'man-tourage,' my brilliant stormtroopers that come with me everywhere, that are the Umbrella troopers, and sometimes when they bring out their guns I have to try really hard not to flinch and try and be cool, which is what it's all about (laughs).
Q: Paul has said that he came up with the idea for the fifth and the sixth film- have you talked to him or has he mentioned to you the possibility of being in the final installment, the sixth one assuming he gets to make it?
A: I'm hoping so. I'm incredibly proud to be a part of this- I really feel like Milla is making history here. Is there any other franchise where there's a female action heroine who has managed to make five installments of a story where she... (trails off) That's massive. That’s history. And it's really cool to be part of that. So I'm hoping that it goes on; I think it's a good trend to have women being equally violent and terrifying as men.
Written and directed by Paul Anderson, Re5ident Evil: Retribution stars Milla Jovovich, Boris Kodjoe, Li Bingbing, Kevin Durand, Shawn Roberts, Michelle Rodriguez, Sienna Guillory, Johann Urb, and Colin Salmon. Look for Re5ident Evil: Retribution in theatres on September 14, 2012 from Screen Gems.
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