Reported and written by Caroline Frost
Junkets aren't meant to be fun – they're where the stars jet in, wide-eyed with jetlag, answer the same questions over and over again, and then fly off in relief back to their homeland, where they can start living again. Things seem different here in London, where Paul W.S. Anderson, a native to these shores, is happily plugging his 3D romp-buster 'The Three Musketeers.' When he's not going through his list of formal interviews, he's chatting with journalists in the corridor. Or greeting family members who've apparently travelled from the north of England to catch up with him. Or getting his wife a drink while she continues her round of interviews.
It probably helps that the lady in question is former supermodel-turned-versatile actress Milla Jovovich, of whom Anderson says, "She's my biggest critic and I'm her biggest fan." Nine years after they met on the set of 'Resident Evil,' it seems Anderson still can't believe his luck, and Jovovich remains similarly lovestruck.
"I tell Paul every day, he spoils me. It is such a pleasure. We have our family together. We do these fun movies together. What am I going to do when I have to go work with somebody else?" she asks with a big smile.
"Thank God for 'Resident Evil,'" she continues, referring to the lucrative franchise, will continue filming its next installment later this year. "So I don't have to worry about it. It's really way too wonderful."
"I always call her the hardest working person in showbusiness," Anderson says in return. "I've never met an actor as dedicated as she is. She's like the Terminator, relentless. It can be 2am in the morning, and she suggests we talk about some aspect of the film. How about we don't, Milla? But we both just love making movies."
Starring Orlando Bloom, Oscar winner Christophe Waltz, young breakthrough star Logan Lerman and a bunch of fellow Brits, 'Musketeers' is a change from Anderson's usual fare of technical sci-fi wizardry, such as that seen in his 'Resident Evil' and 'Death Race' series – so what's going on? It seems both Anderson and his wife are reveling in their roles of parents to three-year-old Ever, who they happy to let influence their working lives.
"The film is always there, but our main priority is our daughter," explains Milla. "She comes on set, she's doing all these gymnastics, cartwheels, she's not even four. When we get home it's baby time, mom and pop time has to go for now."
"Since I had my daughter, I'm not so insecure about myself, because now I have real problems to deal with – her eating, if she's had bad dreams, proper stuff. So next year, I would love to just do a guest spot on one of my favourite TV shows, something that keeps me in L.A.
"My mother was an actress who gave up everything for us to defect to America, and put all her energy into me. I wouldn't torture my daughter that way, because that was hard on me as a kid, but I want my daughter to be able to say, 'My mother was always there for me' and instead of having to pull her into my world constantly, now it's time for me to go into her world."
Anderson agrees: "I'm definitely feeling fluffy. Watching Cinderella fifty times in a row cannot leave you unchanged."
Bloom, having conversations in a separate room, is having none of this -- but he might just be being mischievous, as he reveals he's feeling in that frame of mind. When asked if recently becoming a father (to Flynn, with his own supermodel Aussie wife Miranda Kerr) has influenced his choices of projects, he rejects this smiling. For him, it's still all about the script.
"I always like a strong script, and something I think would be fun, to do something with. I like getting up in the morning, knowing I'm going to do all these mad things and stretch myself.
"For example, for 'The Musketeers,' Paul said he wanted these characters to feel like the rock stars of their time. I immediately thought, fine, a bit of David Bowie."
Something that's been a theme for Bloom is the role of swashbuckling young hero, romping his way through two of cinema's most lucrative enterprises -- the 'Lord of the Rings' trilogy and 'Pirates of the Caribbean.' And here he is again, so what's the stretch?
"Well, what's interesting for me about this film is that I get to play a bit of a bad boy," Bloom explains. "I'm not one of the Musketeers, which is what people might have expected.
"My character, the Duke of Buckingham is not exactly a villain, but definitely a bit of a rogue."
Bloom warms to his theme, with a bit of research to support his case: "The Duke represented the power of the British Empire, he was the King's favorite courtier, so he could do what he liked, and he was rich. Money equals power, and he had a lot of it. And he wore it -- big bloomers, big heels, big pearl in the ear - swaggers around generally, so it was a huge amount of fun."
[Photo: Summit Entertainment]
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