Ali Larter on Claire Redfield in Resident Evil: Afterlife

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When it comes to horror, Ali Larter should learn to never say never. During press for Resident Evil: Extinction, the actress seemed pretty sure that was the last we’d see of Claire Redfield, her zombie-killing counterpart in the franchise based on the Capcom video game. But, Redfield is back and so is Larter for Resident Evil: Afterlife, opening September 10 in 2D and 3D. As part of our on-going set report, here’s the chat we had with Larter up in Toronto last year.

Shock: So what are some of your more physical, challenging scenes in this film and how did you tackle them?

Ali Larter: The tunnel [sequences are] definitely one of them. I think Paul [Anderson], one of his fantasies was getting us as dirty as humanly possible and putting us in the worst situation ever. So, it definitely pushed us to our limits. But, at the same time it’s exciting because this movie is his vision and we’re really excited to be a part of that and whatever he wants, we’re here as the players in his game.

Shock: Now how has your character changed from the last film?

Larter: Well, when the film opens, you’ll see that Claire has only made it through by her own survival instincts. And that’s an interesting way, I think, of bringing her into this film. You’re also going to see her reunite with her brother [Chris Redfield, played by Wentworth Miller]. I think that one of the great things about that is within specifically a sci-fi movie, to be able to bring the depth and dimension of a human relationship is very important and I think that just little glimpses of it. Come on, this isn’t some weepy, weepy reunion, you know, the way that Paul has come up with us to meet each other is actually a great sequence. But, I think that it brings really a human level to it in a way that you can relate to these characters and you invest on their journey.

Shock: What’s your dynamic with Milla? The last film you were taking on the maternal role, getting this caravan across the country and then Milla was the outsider. So what’s your dynamic with the Alice character this time?

Larter: It actually flips a bit because she takes the place of taking care of me for a little while while there’s some stuff that I’m going through. By the end though, what you see is that these girls have each other’s back, period. They’re survivors. One of the things that I love about these movies also is that there’s room for two strong, powerful women. One of them – there doesn’t have to be any bitchiness. There doesn’t have to be any cat fights. It’s just, these women are going to survive and let it be a man or a woman, it just happens to be two women. You kind of see them and that they have a couple moments where it’s like what they’ve gone through with the apocalypse of the world and the pain of it, I mean, it gets recognized a little bit in this movie and I think that that’s important. You know, you can’t just be kicking ass and have the world coming to an end and not take a breath sometimes and really have a moment with the gravity of what’s happening to these people.

Shock: You know that big fight scene coming up next week with Wentworth and Shawn [Roberts]. Have you been practicing? What’s it been like?

Larter: We did. We did some stunt rehearsal for that which is great. I think that a lot of the fan boys are going to be thrilled because it is beat by beat from the videogame. It is drawn directly from it and I think with this movie, one of the most exciting things is that this is the most like the videogame. I mean, I’m dressed in the outfit that Claire wears. You see me and Chris in this fight sequence, it’s really beat for beat.

Shock: Was there any hesitation on your part to come back to reprise Claire? I mean, some characters have come and gone and some have been replaced.

Larter: Yeah, and I think that’s part of this. But in the end, this is Paul’s vision. He’s written all of them and when I ran into him about a year and a half ago at this charity event, Milla was like, “Paul wrote this amazing role for you again and she has this great journey.” So I was just really honored that they wanted to bring me back and specifically to get to play a videogame character that so many people love, to be able to bring her to life and to show that they want to bring me back, I guess that the boys and girls are enjoying me in this role and that to me, is a great compliment.

Shock: Are you getting a lot of feedback from your extinction role? I mean, when fans talk to you and stuff like that.

Larter: Yeah, they love it.

Shock: Is there a gripe, or is there something that they love?

Larter: Mostly they just love seeing the girls as bad asses and they love the red hair and they love having her back and people are really excited to see what’s gonna happen with her reuniting with her brother.

Shock: Can you talk about working with Wentworth?

Larter: I love Wentworth. I was thrilled when they cast him. Me and him are actually really similar, we get along great. That’s another thing with this movie, I mean, there’s no catty bullshit, there’s no girl drama, there’s no ego. We like each other. Me and Milla have a blast. We laugh all the time and we support each other within these scenes. If one of us feels like we need something, we respect each other’s point of view and I also watch her. I think she’s incredible at this and I learn from her. With Wentworth, I mean, he’s coming into this for the first time, but it’s like open arms. I mean, if you come into this with the desire to, you know, portray these characters in a way that the fans are going to love them and know what this is and really bring, you know, your A-game within that world, then it’s going to go down well and he’s done that.

Shock: There’s are a lot of creatures in this movie, including the dogs…

Larter: Yeah, I haven’t worked with the dogs yet. So, that’s a little bit more of Alice’s gig is her with the dogs. But, it is cool how they’ve done the opening of the mouth. It’s fun. I think for me [my favorite is] the Axe Man. I think he’s incredible. When you see this axe, it’s extraordinary. It’s intimidating and it’s just, it’s huge and the way that they shoot it, it looks so great.

Shock: How large is the guy himself? I heard they got a boxer to play him.

Larter: Yeah, he’s huge. I think he’s like, 6’9″. He’s huge.

Shock: He towers over you.

Larter: Then the way that they shoot him too, I mean, makes him seem like he’s eight feet tall, you throw the camera down here, drop me over here and it’s just – you have this huge image.

Shock: You mentioned Claire’s journey. Where does a missing K-Mart fit into that? You were very maternal towards her in the last movie.

Larter: Well, one of the things that you’ll see is that when you find Claire, the only way that she survived is coming back to her survival instincts and against all odds she’s made it through. That’s one of the things about Claire, why I love playing her is that she’s a fighter. You put her in any situation and she’s going to figure her way out of it. There’s no time for weepy or, what am I going to do, or you know what I mean – she’s by nature a fighter. So, you’ll pick her up and as the movie ensues, they come up with a really interesting journey for her as she is rediscovering things about her past. Once she comes back together with K-Mart you’ll see that.

Shock: Do you want to do more in the horror genre as well? You’ve been in the Final Destination franchise and even the horror action. Do you like that element?

Larter: I like it all. For me, it’s about the character not as much about the genre of it and whatever speaks to me. And zombies! [laughs] Yeah, I’m excited that I get to work and play interesting characters and I’m not just the girl that gets to play the girlfriend or the wife. I get to play real women who have struggles and troubles and passions and that’s always what I hope to do no matter what format that lies in.



Source: Ryan Rotten, Managing Editor