To prepare for her role, Jovovich trained intensely for six months with stunt coordinator Mike Smith, founder of Xlentstunts, (he also trained Christian Bale for Equilibrium) and his team of experts.
To show just how rigorous her training was, Comingsoon.net was treated to a demonstration of her martial arts routine at the Gymnastic Olympica Gym, where she actually practiced in Los Angeles.
Smith and his team were on hand to illustrate just what they went through with Jovovich to get her in shape for the film.
As we were shown the tricky technical moves for Jovovich, Smith told us, “Most of these fights were choreographed for when we originally started off it was rated R. Because of marketing, I believe it’s now rated PG-13. So I’m sure some of the moves like chopping heads off and arms and lots of blood are probably gone.”
While the training team hasn’t seen the film yet, Smith reminded us, “This is a comic book movie. Fight movies are two things: they’re real or they’re cool. You can’t get both. Either you make a real fight movie where it’s hard core realistic fighting where you take someone on the ground and beat the crap out of them or you make it cool. Kurt Wimmer with ‘Equilibrium’ made a very cool flight of conceptual movie and this is also supposed to be that type of movie.”
Jovovich learned how to fight with swords, trained in gymnastics and learned martial arts. She did most of her own stunts and practiced harder than the team imagined.
“We gave her exercises to take with her to Canada. She practiced while she was on ‘Resident Evil 2’ doing the stances for her strength for her base. Imagine how sore she was and how much she had to stretch. We would go over on Friday nights when everyone was going out to stretch Milla because her muscles would be sore. We had to treat her like an athlete. Kurt [Wimmer] made me monitor her diet. He made me go eat with her so we made sure she ate enough because she was burning so much energy,” Smith said.
Youlia Galemko, who trained Jovovich in rhythm gymnastics, was also impressed by her dedication and “her ability to not be afraid to do new things and by her ability to not be embarrassed by something she can not do. My personality is a little bit different. Unless I get it right, I’m not going to show it to anybody. She was going for it and I think she was amazing.”
Source: Heather Newgen, Trigger