interview with

(as Carlos Olivera

You were in Resident Evil: Apocalypse, why were you originally interested in the Resident Evil films?

I was at a time in my life where I did quite a bit of TV and I was looking for a role to get back into film. I got the script for Resident Evil: Apocalypse and really liked the character of Carlos. I thought it was a lot of fun and he was kind of a cool action hero kind of guy. I watched the first movie and really enjoyed it so I decided to go for it.

What did you think when they asked you to come back for the third installment?

I thought, “let me read the script first and we’ll see what it’s like” and the minute I read the script I thought it was fantastic. I was very excited about it.

How is the third installment of Resident Evil different from the previous two?

It’s very different. The second one was different from the first by the fact that they move to the outside world from being in the hive and underground. All of a sudden the movie was much bigger. It involved helicopters and big skyscrapers. Now, the third one is completely different. The third installment takes place in a post apocalyptic world where there’s almost no human beings living anymore; it’s all undead. The undead have claimed the cities back and it has a totally different feel. Most of it takes place during daytime in a desert-like atmosphere or out in the dunes in the desert. It’s much more of an action thriller, much more of an adventure. There are quite a few more characters for us to fall in love with and a lot more eccentric characters that really move the story forward. In my opinion it’s the best of all three. It’s very well written, very well directed. It looks fantastic.

Tell me a little about Carlos Olivera. What type of guy is he?

I had the background storyline of the games before we shot the second film and on the third you just imagine what he’s gone through since the last movie. Carlos is the type of guy that it comes very naturally to him to be the fighter. He does very well with the weapons and all the rest of it. Emotionally, I think he had a very close attachment with Milla’s character, Alice. That kind of broke off during the time between the two movies and so he was kind of alone in the group. I think he’s seen so many people die and he’s lost so many friends that he’s become a little bit numb to it and a little bit distant from it. He is still working as much as he can for the right cause and trying to survive and help anyone in need, anyone that’s still alive.

What do you think is going through his mind when he sees Alice again?

The way I tried to portray it is that he’s trying to play it cool because he doesn’t know what she feels or how long she’s going to stick around, and on the other hand he’s very excited and happy to see her again. It’s a difficult situation to have, straightforward relationships between a man and a woman in these kinds of circumstances. You’re fighting for survival everyday and you’re thankful for every moment you get. It’s a little bit different than what we normal human beings in a normal world go through.

Do you relate to Carlos in any way? How?

Yeah, I think so. He’s just a guy trying to do the best he can and has feelings for this woman who is so overwhelmed by so many different forces that are driving her in so many different directions that it’s love unrequited. It’s difficult, but he’s a nice guy trying to do the best that he can.

What is Carlos’ relationship to the Umbrella Corporation?

His relationship now is non-existent, other than the fact that he worked for them thinking he was doing a good thing. He thought he was working for a corporation working for the common good and then all of a sudden realizes that they’re the cause for this nightmare and that they just left him for dead. I think he definitely turned and realized that they’re the enemy.

How did the group of survivors find each other?

They probably just ran into each other. It’s probably one of those things when there were a few survivors and their paths would cross. The way we kind of set it up was that Ali Larter’s character has set up this convoy and at some point Carlos joined them. It’s always better being in a group than on your own trying to fight the undead. They found this way of staying on the move and having a little city with everything they need, the school bus, gas tanker, a little hospital, which is a little van and an army truck and all of that is in a constant state of motion.

What are they trying to accomplish in this movie?

In the movie we find that there’s a slight chance that there is a place on earth that the infection hasn’t gotten to yet and there’s a chance at having a normal life, being able to stay put in one place and rebuild. I think it’s something they’re all dreaming about and they’re all wishing for.

Was this role physically demanding for you?

Definitely. This is definitely a lot more of a physically demanding role. Whenever you do these kinds of action movies it’s a lot more physically demanding. The conditions of which we shot in were crazy. The heat was crazy. We were shooting in 125 degrees. The camera would breakdown. The cars would breakdown. The trucks would breakdown. Everything would breakdown constantly. It was amazing. It was nature at its most powerful so all of that was very demanding.

How did you prepare for the physical demands of this role?

Basically as soon as you get the script and you realize this is what your next job is going to be you start working out for it and training for it, whether you start doing a little more martial arts again and things like that or trying to buff up so you look a little bit more the part. I just tried to workout as much as I could on one hand, and on the other hand try not to lose that lean look of someone who is living in a situation where food is scarce. That’s about it.

What was it like working with Russell?

Russell was great. Russell is definitely very very good. He’s got a great vision. The movie definitely looks wonderful. It was very good as far as character goes, build it whenever you need to, and keep it lighter whenever you don’t. It was great.

How much does the movie relate to the videogame?

It relates in the fact that the characters, Ali’s character, my character are characters that exist in the games. The creatures are obviously from the game. There’s a lot of things about the movie that are very derivative of the game for instance we see a lot of the point of view of the Umbrella Corporation. We see a computerized map or a satellite image that are very much like what you would see in the games, very similar to the game. The general story of the Umbrella Corporation and the whole infection, it’s all in the game. But then again there’s a lot of things that were created that were not in the game. I think gamers will definitely find that it’s very much the genre, the feel of Resident Evil the game.

Was it helpful having Paul Anderson on set?

Anytime you have the writer/creator on set it’s a huge benefit. He was re-writing things as we were going along almost everyday, as well as the fact that Paul is such a wonderful guy and so easily accessible and great about working with a team. It was wonderful. It kept Milla happy too, obviously.

What was it like working with Milla?

She’s great. She’s absolutely great. She has an absolutely mad energy to her. She’s so alive and funny and strong and she works the hardest out of anybody. She’s the most giving actress. There’s no ego at all. It’s wonderful seeing her work with other actors. I’ve experienced it in the last movie working with her, but on this movie again she’s working with a new actress and she’s just so giving. There’s never an issue. She’s really really a hard worker. Physically it’s amazing how she prepares herself and how hard she works doing the fights and the kicks and jumps and all of that. To top it all off she just looks ridiculously amazing.

There are great special effects in this movie. How did you take on that challenge of working with the special effects?

It’s funny, when I first started working, special effects were kind of a new thing for me and now everyone’s so used to it. It’s become second nature. If you use your imagination that somebody’s a bad guy, you can use your imagination that somebody that’s not there is a bad guy. You just use your imagination a lot and you’re very much led by the director and special effects representatives or whoever’s there working with you. They try to explain to you what it’s going to look like, how it’s going to look and you just do the best that you can. Sometimes you see something that the audience will probably never notice, but in your head you’re like “oh my gosh, I’m reacting to a completely different thing” or “I had a completely different image of what this was going to look like”. It’s used so much in almost everything you do so it’s just part of the job.

It almost takes you back to the most natural instincts of being a child and imagining…

I’ve got to tell you this whole job is like that. I see my son doing it very easily at pre-school with his friends. I had career day, when you go and talk to the kids and try to explain to them what you do and I realized that I’m literally doing the same exact things that they are doing.

Do you enjoy working in the horror/thriller genre?

I enjoy all of it. I can’t tell you that the horror/thriller genre is the genre that I enjoy watching. I’m not a big horror movie king of a guy because I get too scared of it, but when I’m watching something that I’ve done I kind of know when the scary parts are coming so it doesn’t really scare me that much. With that being said, anytime there’s a good script or the people I’m working with are great artists, I just love it.

How do you go about choosing your projects?

I try to choose projects where there’s something in the script that attracts me, whether it’s a great script or the character that I’m going to be playing has something special or the people I’d be getting involved with are wonderful. When I was offered a very small role in Dreamer I loved the script and the opportunity of working with Kurt Russell and Kris Kristofferson I just didn’t want to pass on it, so even though I had very little to do on that film it was a wonderful experience.

What projects do you have coming up?

I just did a movie with Melissa George, a small independent movie for MGM with Amanda Gusack directing. It was my first independent movie that I’ve ever done. I really loved the experience. I think it’s going to turn out really cool. Melissa is an amazing actress, and it was such a pleasure working with her. It was really great.