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Capone begins a series of RESIDENT EVIL: AFTERLIFE interviews with Wentworth Miller (who plays Chris Redfield)!!!

Hey everyone. Capone in Chicago here. I'm about to launch four straight days of interviews with the creative team behind RESIDENT EVIL: AFTERLIFE (leading up to its release this Friday), all of which I conducted at San Diego Comic-Con in July. This group included some of the nicest and best-looking bunch of folks I've ever been around in my life, and I appreciate that they took the time out to chat. Considering that I've never been particularly outspoken about my feelings on this franchise (I like the first film and am, at best, neutral on the second and third installments), I was surprised to be tapped to do these interviews, but there you go. I have a very clear memory of the first time I saw Wentworth Miller on screen. He was playing a younger version of Anthony Hopkins in Robert Bention's THE HUMAN STAIN. That same year he had a juicy role in the first UNDERWORLD movie, and two years after that he grabbed the lead role in the Fox series "Prison Break," which I was a big fan of and watched until the bitter end. His role as Chris Redfield (brother to Ali Larter's Claire Redfield) in RESIDENT EVIL is a character a lot of fans of the videogame series have been waiting for quite some time to see join the films, and the part marks Miller's first film role since "Prison Break." He's a soft-spoken man who is exceedingly polite, careful with his word choice, and ultimately was a lot of fun to chat with once he got warmed up. So please enjoy whispery charms of Wentworth Miller… Capone: Hi, Wentworth. Wentworth Miller: Hey, there. Capone: It’s great to meet you. WM: It’s nice to meet you too. Have a seat, please. Capone: I’ve watched every episode of "Prison Break." I just wanted to say that right off the bat. I love that show. William Fichtner was here yesterday, actually. WM: Is that right? Capone: Yeah, for DRIVE ANGRY. It was a thrill to meet him as well. WM: Bill is great. Bill is really great.



Capone: So you are kind of stepping into this long-running franchise as the new kid on the block here. Everything is well established; everyone knows each other. What is that like? WM: I know. A train is barreling down the tracks, and I’ve got to like jump on and maintain my balance. Capone: And this is like the biggest one they have done. WM: Yeah, I think that’s what appealed to me when I first got the script and was talking to Paul [W.S. Anderson] about the possibility of playing the character, I went and rented all of the movies, because I hadn’t seen a single one of them, and it was clear to me that they were investing more heavily in every installment of the franchise--more time, more money, more imagination, more effect, more people involved, better technology. It was getting better and better as opposed to a lot of franchises where they hit you hard the first time, figure they’ve got the audience hooked, and then kind of slack off on 2, 3, and 4. It’s the law of diminishing returns. So I thought the 4th one was going to be in 3D and I had already heard about we were using some of the same technology that James Cameron used for AVATAR. Capone: The same cameras event, yeah, he exact cameras. WM: Exactly. I thought, “That’s something I want to be a part of,” because I’m not an actor who geeks out on the technical at all, but I do think it’s important to stay educated and stay abreast if you can. It’s certainly where the business is headed. Capone: You say you don’t geek out on the technology, but do you geek out on certain movies? Like are there certain genre films that you grew up liking? WM: Oh yeah. Horror movies, family dramas,. I’ve always been more interested in story than I am in the gadgetry or using it to tell a particular story, and that’s what I liked about RESIDENT EVIL is that it seemed to offer, on the one hand, split-head zombie dogs and on the other you’ve got characters, you’ve got relationships--particularly Chris and Claire Redfield, that sibling bond. The chance to slip in moments and beats in and around the zombie warfare was a challenge, but I think also it deepens the experience, because if you don’t care about the characters on screen, if you are not asked to care, then you won’t, and when something horrible happens to them, it doesn’t make an impact. Capone: Talk a little bit about just that bother sister relationship, because I know it’s pretty aggressive in the beginning. Ali [Larter] told me it’s pretty ugly at the beginning. Just tell me about how you guys worked that out and talked about it. WM: There were a lot of conversations to be had, because the fact is it’s first and foremost an action adventure movie and then it’s our job to layer in that character stuff in and around these larger sequences and moments. So we have to be kind of imaginative about it, kind of clever about it, and what I came up with was that Claire Redfield is clearly someone who is capable of taking care of herself, however, as her older brother, there is something in me that constantly doubts that. So whenever she’s in jeopardy my heart is in my throat and I step in in ways that she may not appreciate and might even resent as one might resent an over-protective older brother figure. Capone: Right. With 3D , I've heard there's a bit more choreography involved in making sure that you throw an elbow or an arm toward the camera. Did you find that you had to do more of that, be more aware of where you were swinging things? WM: Absolutely. I think a bit more choreography is actually required in the medium, because the cameras can tell a cheat. It’s like they can see around a corner, so when you are throwing a punch and you don’t actually connect with the person’s face, the camera sees that. So it becomes that much more important to step up your game in terms of how you sell these sequences to an audience. Capone: Did that restrict you in any way, or did you just embed that into what you were doing as part of the acting? WM: I think it was the latter. I made it my job to adapt as best as possible to this particular set of circumstances, as opposed to trying to force the circumstances to adapt to me. [Both Laugh] Capone: That would not have worked. WM: I've tried that before; it doesn’t work. Capone: We talked about the very beginning with you sort of stepping into this established family of creative people. Was that tough getting used to that, or did they want to make sure that you felt like you were a part of it early on? WM: It was a fairly seamless transition, I have to say. I was very lucky in that. First of all, I’m working with total professionals. Second of all, Paul is on set, Milla is on set. If you want to understand the RESIDENT EVIL franchise, those are the two people. The bedrock is walking around next to me. They are there for questions or concerns. Paul created the car and Milla’s driving it, while the rest of us get to ride shotgun. That’s a thrill. Capone: You mentioned earlier about how horror was something you grew up liking, do you remember anything specific that you really took to? WM: Sure. Movies like THE SHINING, CARRIE, and ROSEMARY’S BABY, movies that are about horror, scares, supernatural, ghosts… Capone: But also a strong psychological element to those, as well. WM: Yes, but there’s still “meat on the bone” or something there for you to chew on. It’s really about characters. You can watch the movie THE SHINING and dismiss the idea that it’s about the ghosts or the supernatural and say “This is a movie about an alcoholic who falls off the wagon,” or “a writer suffering from writer’s block,” or “a family who is crazy because of cabin fever.” You can divorce it from more of the kind of fantastical elements and just consider it a straight-up family drama if you want too. Those are the sorts of things that appeal to me, and I think those are the elements that make those movies timeless and relatable. Capone: You said earlier that you went out and rented the other three RESIDENT EVIL films before you took the job. What did you think of them? WM: Well, I knew of them and I certainly remember the trailer for number three, I remember seeing it in theaters. Capone: The Vegas skyline? WM: Exactly, so that made an impression. I remember being intrigued by the arc of Alice as a character especially and how well Milla does that arc. I was intrigued by what I mentioned before, the increased commitment to each level of the movie. Each installment was better than the one that came before and there’s something about zombies that appeals, quite obviously, that idea of this irrational terror that cannot be reckoned with, like an unstoppable wave, like a tsunami of the undead is terrifying and speaks to our darkest, deepest childhood fears. Capone: I read a quote somewhere where you are talking about your appearances in those two Mariah Carey videos, and how you got more on-the-street recognition from those than you did from anything that had come before that. Brett Ratner [who directed the videos and was a creator on "Prison Break"] obviously played a huge part of many facets of your career, how does that experience sit with you today? WM: Oh, it was a good time. I enjoyed being a part of that. I had no idea that the songs would do as well as they did and that the videos would do as well as they did, but I tell people that those two videos played a part in the launching of "Prison Break." Yeah, I was grateful then and I’m grateful now. Capone: Alright then. Thank you. It was great to meet you. WM: Likewise. Capone: Are you excited to see the footage? WM: I really am. Enjoy the rest of the weekend. Capone: You too.
-- Capone capone@aintitcool.com Follow Me On Twitter



Readers Talkback
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  • Sept. 6, 2010, 8:50 p.m. CST

    who cares? these movies suck

    by mr teaspoon

  • Sept. 6, 2010, 9:01 p.m. CST

    "If you want to understand the RE franchise, those are the peopl

    by Shermdawg

    Shut the fuck up, you twit.

  • Sept. 6, 2010, 9:02 p.m. CST

    So fucking glad Ackles was tied up...

    by Shermdawg

    ...and couldn't be Leon in this horseshit series.

  • Sept. 6, 2010, 9:10 p.m. CST

    Miller seems like a very cool guy

    by Planty_McPlant_Plants_His_Plant_At_AICN

    And he's a good actor. He deserves better roles.

  • Sept. 6, 2010, 9:11 p.m. CST

    Milla's arc?

    by Shalako

    Give me a fucking break. Bubble head.

  • Sept. 6, 2010, 9:18 p.m. CST

    "He deserves better roles."

    by Shermdawg

    What he needs, is better producers. Ratner AND W.S.? Yikes.

  • Sept. 6, 2010, 9:19 p.m. CST

    ARGH...

    by Bouncy X

    i hate these movies but i will not only click on a link about them but also leave a comment so everyone knows just how i feel. :P

  • Sept. 6, 2010, 9:28 p.m. CST

    Seriously, I wish there was a fan of the games on staff...

    by Shermdawg

    ...and wrote a Harry shitting on Fox's F4 attempts-worthy editorial on how much better a Resident Evil series could be. Not that they'd ever have a chance at this point given it's so tainted, and would probably have to use it's Japanese moniker "Biohazard" if there's ever a reboot, but still, it fucking needs one. Also, I'm not saying it's even remotely comparable to F4 in terms of quality or depth, but for fuck's sake, man....there was no need to dumb this shit down to the level that Anderson did.

  • Sept. 6, 2010, 9:30 p.m. CST

    Resident Evil kind of died when the first movie came out

    by Willbraham

    Zombies are a thing of the past which is a shame, because they never really got to give the respect to the foundation of the franchise, which was undead horror.

  • Sept. 6, 2010, 9:31 p.m. CST

    PS HARRY TAKE DOWN THE FUCKING SCOTT PILGRIM GIF!

    by Willbraham

    I resent the fact that every time I come to this website I have to reminded of the shitfest that is MICHEAL CERA. Good lord, someone feed him to a split faced dog.

  • Sept. 6, 2010, 9:36 p.m. CST

    no shit...if i see that thing up for one more day

    by frank cotton

    i will NEVER, EVER watch the movie. i'm not kidding

  • Sept. 6, 2010, 10:10 p.m. CST

    If Milla and PWSA keep making these...

    by blackwood

    I will keep going. Because I love them. Because, why not.

  • Sept. 6, 2010, 10:14 p.m. CST

    They're talking about a fifth.

    by Shermdawg

    So enjoy.

  • Sept. 6, 2010, 10:16 p.m. CST

    Wah! boohoo! I hate Micheal Cera!

    by ClaireRedfield

    He ate last donut and fucked my girlfriend. Wah! Micheal Cera drank all the orange juice except the last tablespoon, thereby taunting me with but a taste of delicious OJ! WAAAAH! Shut the fuck up. 1) Thats Scott Pilgrim up there, not Micheal Cera. 2) Scott Pilgrim existed before the movie. 3) Micheal Cera hasn't done shit to you but be successful and geeky which seems to fuck with some peoples world view for some reason. 4) His success does not mean you have to click on shit featuring his name and bitch about him. 5) Those fucking animations ALWAYS outstay their welcome, and then are REUSED again later so they'll be even more annoying, are you fucking new here or something?!

  • Sept. 6, 2010, 10:23 p.m. CST

    I CAN'T BELIEVE THERE ARE 4 OF THESE FUCKING MOVIES!!!

    by CreationistTechnophobicManiacs

    They've all been fucking trash of the lowest order and only seem to appeal to WWE watching metalhead dipshits. This is the only fucking franchise that I actually want to see re-booted. I'm tired of that Eurotrash whore Jovovich who can't seem to get steady work without fucking/marrying a Director, in this case Paul "What Script?" Anderson who seems intent on turning the Resident Evil series into The Matrix. Oh and the Resident Evil 5 videogame sucks fucking shit. Parts 1/2/3 were classics and part 4 was a masterpiece but number 5 is less a survival Horror game then a generic shoot'em up with some monsters. How about an RE game set in a gigantic arctic research station ala The Thing?!

  • Sept. 6, 2010, 10:31 p.m. CST

    As a fan of the games...

    by ClaireRedfield

    I honestly don't give a shit. These movies went so far off the rails from the very first, I just consider them their own little entity. They actually got progressively worse as far as storytelling, while ramping up the action. That said, this one looks like it takes things to crazy levels of CGI infused, blatantly plagiaristic insanity. I am, indeed, willing to see this, even though the last one was a bit of a turd. As a fan of the games, I've given up. As a fan of movies, I'm mildly curious. No big deal; might be fun.

  • Sept. 6, 2010, 10:38 p.m. CST

    Wentworth Miller is a good actor

    by RPLocke

  • Sept. 6, 2010, 10:43 p.m. CST

    ...but that don't count for shit in a movie like this.

    by Shermdawg

  • Sept. 6, 2010, 10:59 p.m. CST

    Shermdawg

    by vadakinX

    Harry actually liked the second F4 movie so I wouldn't trust any sort of Harry-esque editorials.

  • Sept. 6, 2010, 11:05 p.m. CST

    Wentworth was in the 2nd season of Buffy

    by david_boreanez_cunt_hairz

    He was on the swim team and turned into a Creature From The Black Lagoon. That's where I first saw him.

  • Sept. 6, 2010, 11:08 p.m. CST

    so from vampire flicks (blade)

    by yourSTEPDADDY

    to zombie flicks... get ready to co-star in a alien movie weird name guy... also, his best role ever was in We Belong Together... this dude took Mariah from Eric effin Roberts!

  • Sept. 7, 2010, 1:44 a.m. CST

    Micheal Cera isn't fit to drink the last drop of urine from a to

    by Willbraham

    enough said

  • Sept. 7, 2010, 2:21 a.m. CST

    As bad as this film will probably be...

    by windomearle39

    It will never, never be anywhere as near as bad as the RE 5 - which was the biggest turd I have ever had the missfortune to play. BRING BACK THE MERCHANT.

  • Sept. 7, 2010, 2:25 a.m. CST

    I hate when actors bull shit in interviews

    by andrew coleman

    There is no way he watched the first three RE movies and went: "I like Alice's arc..." No he saw what we did... Three shitty action films involving zombies and mutated monsters. But when a check was waved in his face he smiles and said "Fuck it!" and took the role because the dude needs to eat. These movies are horrible and this 4th movie isn't hiding how horrible it is. I saw a commercial for the movie with a friend and he asked "What the fuck is that movie even about?" I shrugged and said "Stuff in 3D". That's all it is. I along with others look forward to a reboot. Hopefully one that follows the fucking video game and doesn't just go crazy and stupid like this franchise did. Also... The Scott Pilgrim hate is getting really tired and boring. I get it, you're pissed off that your life sucks. So you turned against a movie Harry really loved... I get it. Seriously I do, the problem is that most of you don't realize what you're missing out on. I'll agree Cera is the ONLY weakness in the movie. If you hate him, I'll give you that, you avoid the movie because of him I'll agree with you. After "Year One" I never wanted to see him again, but I did. Anyway stop hating on Pilgrim though, the comic is bad ass! The movie was better than a lot of the shit that has come out recently. I will repeat myself... I get it! You want to show your a man or whatever by putting your foot down on a movie Harry loves. Problem is you picked the wrong one. Pilgrim rocks. I don't give a shit how long the animation is up you guys should give the movie a chance. I know there will be sarcastic responses to this but seriously I get not seeing it because of Cera but don't be hating on a movie you know nothing else about.

  • Sept. 7, 2010, 3:06 a.m. CST

    Milla has a beer and cheats on her career

    by Kizeesh

    I have to say the Resident Evil series is my guilty pleasure. I love them unashamedly despite thier piss poor moments, crap scripts, wanky action and horrific idiocy.<p>

  • Sept. 7, 2010, 3:15 a.m. CST

    His interview should have gone like this

    by Willbraham

    What made you curious about doing the role? They paid me. The end. It's funny how the writers on this site praise the shit out of actors but at the same time tell everyone they're just normal people like us. If they are really so much like us there would be no need for some many flawed interviews. Actors gotta eat.

  • Sept. 7, 2010, 6:15 a.m. CST

    The third was actually very enjoyable and well made.

    by Mr Nicholas

  • Sept. 7, 2010, 7:03 a.m. CST

    JA

    by Bunnie

    Ackles was going to be Leon? Damn. I'd watch him in anything.

  • Sept. 7, 2010, 7:44 a.m. CST

    Still can't believe..

    by BookhouseBoy

    ..the powers that be did'nt give this to George Romero. He directed some trailers for RE2(the game). They were awesome. Oh well...

  • Sept. 7, 2010, 7:54 a.m. CST

    Romero

    by clupula

    Well, honestly, Romero's script for the original was pretty bad (Chris wasn't a member of S.T.A.R.S., but Jill's boyfriend and Barry Burton became Romero's token Wise Black Man), and the first Resident Evil movie worked as a side story to the games... <BR><BR> AND THEN it all went off the rails. As a fan of the games, part two angered me. You don't win a fucking fist fight with the fucking Nemesis! In fact, a fist fight with the fucking Nemesis should take about a second as he punches through you and you die. And then when they had him do a face turn, I was so annoyed.<BR><BR> While I'll say that I liked Resident Evil 5 as an action game, it was not a good entry in the series. As a stand alone game, it was fine. As a further Resident Evil story, it was lacking a lot. And yet, if you download the Lost in Nightmares DLC, it's pretty much everything that RE5 should've been in the first place.<BR><BR>I just get annoyed when I read him saying that when he got the part, he got the movies to see what Resident Evil was about. What about the games?!? You couldn't take a few hours to watch the cut scenes on Youtube? Fuck this movie.

  • Sept. 7, 2010, 7:55 a.m. CST

    CreationistTechnophobicManiacs

    by clupula

    If you're looking for a Resident Evil that took place in the Arctic, you mustn't have played Code Veronica, as the second half of the game is at an Arctic Umbrella Lab.

  • Sept. 7, 2010, 8:33 a.m. CST

    Milla Jovovich is a great action star.

    by knowthyself

    If she got more roles she could have been as big as Angelina Jolie. One of the few excellent female action heroes. She makes these movies as watchable as they can be. Sure they're stupid but they're my kind of stupid.

  • Sept. 7, 2010, 9:32 a.m. CST

    This franchise has NOTHING to do with RESIDENT EVIL.

    by Squashua

    Seriously. Enough.

  • Sept. 7, 2010, 10:05 a.m. CST

    Miller Was Awesome in Prison Break, Esp. season 1

    by Crow3711

    Season 1 was one of the best seasons of television I've watched that wasn't like super high quality MadMe/lost/Bb type show. I was enthralled. Wentworth made it awesome too. When they explained how kichaels brain doesn't see whole objects, but the pieces that make up the whole, and how they work together, and how each piece could be used as a part of a different plan, was one of the most interesting character traits I've seen. You could just see his brilliance behind the eyes. I gave up halfway thru s2 tho...it became so retarded so fast. I couldn't imagine what 3 & 4 were like. Though I'd like to know what happened to TBag. I'm sure he died sooner or later. Too bad Wentworth is doing this shit tho. I agree he's too talented to be associated with this.

  • Sept. 7, 2010, 10:28 a.m. CST

    Why can't they reboot THIS?

    by davidwebb

    This is something that NEEDS a reboot. I had hoped three might have been the 'proper' RE flick I've been waiting for, with the old mansion in the mountains. But no.<P> It seems to me they've escalated things between each film to the stage where each film is more ridiculous than the last. This reminds me more of Underworld than of Resident Evil.

  • Sept. 7, 2010, 1:03 p.m. CST

    this series is further and futher astray from the games

    by Stalkeye

    Mostly because of "Super Alice" and no emphasis on survival horror. And throwing in bits of RE5 isnt gonna make up for a dying franchise that is in dire need of a reboot. What a letdown!

  • Sept. 7, 2010, 3:25 p.m. CST

    Wentworth is awesome

    by thegrayghost

    Loved his acting in prison break. I hope he lands more roles and other directors and producers give him a shot. As for the RE movie franchise and video games, I'm a huge fan of both. Re4 is my absolute favorite. The movies have been a guilty pleasure for me and the 3rd movie was definitely the best directed and looking of the bunch. Milla really makes the campiness work ... I'm a fan! I'm really looking forward to this latest one, but a part of me wishes the movies were much closer to the game in terms of tone and quality of story. Maybe they can do a spinoff?

  • Sept. 7, 2010, 5:27 p.m. CST

    The series does get better as it goes on

    by Tall_Boy66

    The first one is kinda meh but has it's moments, the second is hillariously campy and over the top cheese, and the third one is actually well made. Going to see this one because they actually shot the damn thing in 3D and Albert Wesker as the villain = ass in seat. The glasses thrown at the screen shot is a direct lift from RE5. Of course, they could just take Wesker's dialogue verbatim from that game and it'd be great. "You two are really becoming quite a nuisance to me..." "Complete. Global. Saturation."

  • Sept. 7, 2010, 5:32 p.m. CST

    As for RE5 not advancing the series story

    by Tall_Boy66

    Overall, I think it's a big blowout of Albert Wesker who was retconned into being the series Big Bad sometime around Code Veronica. So the uber-story of Resident Evil had been leading to a show down with Wesker, he was 90% exclusively just a cut-scene character. So you finally get a crazy-awesome super-epic Wesker fight and he meets his end. That's called closure, people. I'm just wondering if this movie will replicate the surprisingly emotionally well done scene where Chris rescues Jill from Weskers control. That had weight of the whole series behind it. So RE5 did advance the story in a way that it was basically wrapping up Wesker's plotline. Which was cool and all because as fans of the series you needed an ending. He couldn't be fuckin Dr. Wily or Bowser coming back every game.

  • Sept. 8, 2010, 3:36 a.m. CST

    should have asked him about his writing...

    by TheDark0Knight

    didn't he just sell a horror screenplay? he uses an alias. I really wanted to know more about that.