Set Visit Interview: Oded Fehr Discusses Bringing Back Carlos Olivera for Resident Evil: Retribution and More
The last time fans saw Oded Fehr's character Carlos Olivera in 2007's Resident Evil: Extinction, the dude valiantly blew himself up right before he was about to be a zombie meal after being surrounded by a horde of the undead. So how exactly is the actor in Paul W.S. Anderson's upcoming Resident Evil: Retribution again?
Well, while on the set of the fourth Resident Evil sequel, Dread Central had the opportunity to sit down and talk with Fehr about his return to the franchise after five years, how fans can expect a lot of Carlos in this flick since there are at least two of them running around, working with Anderson as a director this time and more about his experiences while shooting the epic 3D horror action flick.
Check out the highlights of our interview with Fehr below, and make sure to check back soon for more interviews from the set of Resident Evil: Retribution!
Q: What were your first thoughts about coming on board Retribution?
A: Well, at first I was pissed because I didn't realize I wouldn't be a part of it. I called Milla and was giving her such a hard time, saying, "Now I hear you’re shooting 5 without me? What the heck’s going on?" And she was so cute. She was like, "Blah, dah, bah, bah, blah." You know? She didn’t want to say anything because she knew already that they were bringing me back in. So we met up with Paul that night and we had dinner. That's when he was like, "Yeah. We’re bringing you back in." So I came back from the dead for this.
Q: How? How are you brought back from the dead? Obviously you’re not the only one. We’re seeing characters from the first film being brought in as well.
A: (laughs) Yeah!
Q: So if I posed it as, ‘Are you going to get to continue your relationship with Milla (Jovovich)’s character, as they were alluding to in Part 3, or are you on the side of evil?
A: Well, the interesting thing is that in a way I do and in a way I don’t. See, because I kind of come back twice on this one. I think you had a hundred Millas on the last one. So obviously, you can have more Carloses and more Ones and more Rains. The interesting thing is, I come back as two different guys in this one. There’s a dynamic to the relationship with Milla’s character, and then there’s the other side. He’s working for Umbrella again. So the answer is both.
Q: So that allows you to have some fun with the character.
A: Yeah. It’s great. I get to play two different characters. It’s fun. Two opposing sides.
Q: Do you fight yourself in the film?
A: Do I fight myself in the film? No. I’m not THAT lucky.
Q: And you’re getting to work with Paul as a director this time, too. Because the last two that you were in...
A: Yeah, but you know, for number three he was there the entire time. I think there was a time where the director was out sick for three or four days so I actually ended up working with him then. And he was so closely involved that it felt like you were working with him anyway. He’s a great guy. He’s a lot of fun. Really nice. It’s a great atmosphere on set. He’s got a good eye and knows what he wants. It’s fun.
Q: How’s the 3D process on this movie for you?
A: It’s complicated. The funny thing about it is, I always look at the steady-cam guys. When the steady-cam was still young, in the early days of steady-cam, I was in the beginning of my career. And I remember these guys carrying these big cameras—film cameras. They were not yet made for the steady-cam. They were big and heavy, and they were lugging these things around. And then, cameras became smaller and more compact. And then, boom! We moved into digital. Digital came in, and it was all big, and wires, and everything. And now, digital went so compact—it’s amazing! All of a sudden, steady-cams…they have an easier life again. And bam! Now we’re 3D, and they’ve got two cameras set up, with two sets of lenses, and two everything. And it’s heavier than it’s ever been. Literally, it’s like we went back to the 1920s.
Q: Can you talk a little bit more about working with Paul? How he approaches the material and talks to you about characters? And how serious he is about this story that (comes from a) videogame series?
A: I think these movies…they’re not the highest on deep drama and backstories and all the rest of it. They’re a popcorn fun ride, where, if they can stick some romance in it, and suggestions, and things like that, it’s a lot of fun. It’s just a fun movie, and I think that’s his approach about it. He’s extremely open to any kind of suggestions you might have or anything like that. And he really concentrates on keeping the fun in it. Having the different characters. Having Rain, who Michelle (Rodriguez) plays, and in this one, she plays Bad Rain and Good Rain, which is really funny. She’s like this tough girl, weapons specialist killer thing. And then, on the other hand, she’s this tree-hugger, Prius-driving, sweet girl. You know what I mean? So he brings all that fun in there. And I think that’s his approach while filming as well. He loves keeping the fun and the spark in it. He surrounds himself with people he loves working with. Most of the people that are here are people he worked with on previous movies. So it’s a really great, nice set to be on.
Q: So does everyone have two versions of themselves in this?
A: No, I think Michelle’s character and myself are the only ones that—I want to make sure that I’m saying it correctly—yeah, we’re the only ones that have the two characters. Sienna (Guillory)’s character has that spider thing stuck to her chest, which kind of controls her thoughts, as you saw in the last movie with Ali Larter’s character. So she is a good person caught in a bad person’s body kind of thing.
Q: Where do we first meet you in the film? Where do we get introduced?
A: We get introduced to Carlos’ "Todd" in a very simple suburbanized home. And he’s just the husband. Just a dad and a husband and a regular ol’ nice guy.
Q: So are we getting prequel elements to this story? Is this kind of a prequel sequel? Or is this an Umbrella Corporation Home?
A: Well…Uh…yes. And no. (laughs)
Q: Is this film building to sort of a climax for the franchise? Or do you see it continuing on past this?
A: I don’t know. I think so. I mean, I think the idea is to do—there’s one more movie that I know Paul definitely has in mind. He has this idea of this huge crescendo, this beautiful thing. But you know, when we did the third one, I thought THAT would be a huge crescendo beautiful thing. It just seems that people love watching the movies. Especially number four—it was more successful than the one before it so it’s like, "Well, if people like it, we’ll just keep bringing it back!" It’s interesting working with Colin (Salmon) because Colin keeps saying how they shot this little independent movie in Germany and nobody imagined that it would be so successful.
And it is. I think it’s one of the most successful franchises, right? People love it and it’s a lot of fun. It’s great. What’s interesting is that I just saw the movies to refresh myself with the series, and it’s like you’re watching Milla grow from a young kid in the first movie into this gorgeous woman in number four. It’s kind of cool.
Q: How does this film top the other entries that you’ve been in? Does it allow you to do anything new, action-wise? Is there anything that you’re really excited to see?
A: I think the fact that I get to play the two different characters is the main thing. The movie is like anything else: once you’ve got a big enough ensemble, it spreads out. So there’s not as much…I’m not nearly as involved on this one as I was on number two or number three, really; so I’m kind of more a part of the gang.
Q: Do you get to do any crazy wirework or fight sequences, or is it all guns blazing for you?
A: This time it was mainly more guns blazing. There’s a lot of concentration on the women fighting each other so us guys- we get to be just tough guys shooting. But I got hung on the wires here and there; it’s fun.
Q: In Extinction you guys were up against, kind of, new ‘super-zombie’ things in the desert. There were new creatures. Do you guys go up against anything new in this one in terms of a creature or creature effects?
A: Yes. Now, that’s a complicated question for me. I’m on the bad guy's side so we are the ones who are unleashing them, more than having to fight with them. I don't have them in front of me so I only get descriptions of what they look like. I just know there's something coming out of the face and claws, maybe a kind of a super-licker-something; but really, I have no idea. I'm not much of a gamer so I don't know how to explain them.
Q: You mentioned that you play two different versions of your character and also that Paul is thinking for one more film. Do either of your versions survive? And has Paul said, "If we make a sixth, you’d be around."
A: I can’t say things like that! Do either of my things survive? (laughs)
Q: The Resident Evil movies are known for killing off characters- something you are familiar with.
A: That’s a very good possibility. But I shouldn’t tell you- should I? I shouldn’t tell you what happens!
Q: Even if both of them die, you could come back. Has Paul said to you, "If we make a final one, you’d be around."
A: Of course, but I don’t think anybody knows one hundred percent. He has an idea of what he wants to do. All I can tell you is that I love Paul and we have a great time. He found a way to bring me back on this one; maybe he will on the sixth one. I don’t know. I hope there will be a sixth one. I have no idea. We’ll see.
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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