Milla Jovovich tells us she has Edward Norton to thank for the fact she wound up playing the femme lead in the big-screen “Stone” opposite him and Robert DeNiro — though she didn’t find that out until well after the film was made.
Speaking of director John Curran, she relates with a laugh, “I guess I heard once we all started doing press together that John wasn’t really convinced I was right for it. Edward really went to bat for me. I don’t think John would have talked to me,” adds the Kiev-born star, whose recently-released “Resident Evil: Afterlife” is projected to take in $200 million in worldwide box office grosses.
According to Milla, Norton pushed Curran to take a look at her in Spike Lee’s 1998 Denzel Washington starrer, “He Got Game.” “He loved that movie, loved me in that movie, and said, ‘You’ve got to see Milla.’
“Edward and I have been sort of, not specifically trying to find something to work on together — but we’ve almost done a couple of things that didn’t come together, so there was this awareness,” she adds.
“Stone” definitely gives her a chance to show off a different side from the action roles that led VH1 to dub her “the reigning queen of kick-butt.” As Lucetta, the purring, playful, ultra-sensual wife of Norton’s character, who is doing time for arson, she seduces DeNiro’s parole officer character as a ploy to get her husband sprung. With Lucetta’s actions, the morality of both men shifts in the acclaimed dark drama that just opened in limited release.
“It was evident how much thought had gone into the characters,” she says, “and how they were steering it away from being just a black and white thriller into something so deep it could unearth some truths about human nature and hypocrisy. It shows that what people project to their spouses, their colleagues, their churches — how different that can be from what they’re feeling inside and living behind closed doors.”