After doing a number of small roles on television shows, Ali Larter turned heads with her performance in Varsity Blues, where she played Darcy Sears, aka “the girl with the whipped cream bikini.” From there, Larter expanded her resume to include parts in films as diverse as Final Destination, Legally Blonde, and A Lot Like Love. She got perhaps her biggest break as one of the central characters on NBC’s Heroes, which then led to a role in 2007’s Resident Evil: Extinction. This September, Larter once again steps into the shoes of Claire Redfield in Resident Evil: Afterlife, and we were able to catch up with her at Comic-Con to talk about her Five Favorite Films, as well was what it was like coming back to the franchise. Read on for the full interview.
I just caught Scarface again last night, and I love it. I love the saga of it, I love the action part of it, I love the danger part of it.
The Bourne Identity (2002,
I love The Bourne Identity. I’m obsessed with conspiracy theory spy thrillers. I love spy thrillers.
Do you like the sequels?
I love them, too, but if I have to pick five… I’ll put the three all in one. The Bourne trilogy, I just think, is incredible. I absolutely adore that.
Best in Show (2000,
Best in Show. Always laughing. I just think it’s hysterical.
Do you have dogs yourself?
I do. One autistic, a little retarded, so it just kind of works perfectly. [laughs] She’s slightly autistic. I got her from the Beverly Center when I was 24 years old. My little inbred angel. [laughs] My husband bought a rescued German shepherd who has horrible seizures, so we have a crazy family of animals.
Blue Sky (1994,
Blue Sky. I love Blue Sky. It was just very inspiring to me, and I love that movie. Jessica Lange is such a huge inspiration to me, because she plays these very sexual, dark characters, but also she shows vulnerability and innocence. And I think that contrast is something that I’m just very drawn to watch.
Do you try to find roles that are like that?
It’s just something that inspires me and excites me, so probably, because that’s what I’m drawn to, because that’s what I find interesting.
Grey Gardens (1975,
You can put the Grey Gardens documentary in there. That’s pretty amazing. You know, Mike Sucsy is a friend of ours and I think he did such an extraordinary job in remaking that movie. I thought it was great, and so colorful and fun, you know, to watch Drew Barrymore really stretch herself, and Jessica Lange again. She’s just incredible. But Grey Gardens really is a great documentary. I love watching documentaries. Slice of life, you know?
Next, Larter talks about her new film and what it’s like to work with heavy special effects.
RT: Let’s talk about Resident Evil: Afterlife.
Ali Larter: I haven’t seen it yet. I’m excited to see this clip today, because a lot of the things — especially with this, I was so excited to work on it, to come back, because Paul [W.S. Anderson] was directing it, and he’s the vision of these movies — a lot of the time you’ll read the script, and you’ll go to shoot it, but it doesn’t make sense, and to have him on set to really explain it, or to say, “Just do it, because I know where it’s going to go in the movie,” because he has the movie in his head.
So you’re working with Paul, and you’re working with 3D. Does that change the dynamic of how the movie was shot?
Definitely. Well, Paul brings an amazing energy to the set. He’s so happy and welcoming, and he brings such a good attitude, that it really starts from the director down. And Milla [Jovovich] is that way, too. You know, for both of us, it’s really important that we have fun while we’re working, and that you keep your spirits high. You don’t bring your problems to work, you don’t complain. I mean, we’re so lucky to be doing what we’re doing, that both of us have always talked about how we like to bring our A-game, and bring a great attitude. But with this, I can’t wait to see the movie because it’s in his head. It was all special effects, we’re in 3D, you know, and I had no idea what it was going to look like. So a lot of the time, these huge sequences I’m going to see for the first time, because [when we’re filming] I’m looking at dots on the screen. That, for me, is the greatest challenge on these movies, but you just have to laugh at yourself, let go of the ego, have fun, and just allow it all to go down.
Resident Evil: Afterlife, starring Milla Jovovich and Ali Larter, opens in the US on September 10.
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