Boris Kodjoe is also back as Luther West, a strong, confident ex-pro athlete discovered barricaded inside a prison with a small group of survivors in Resident Evil: Afterlife. Luther and Alice shared an immediate connection, forging an allegiance based on mutual respect. During their escape from the prison, Luther was attacked by zombies and is presumed dead by Alice and the others.
“They had an amazing partnership in the last movie,” the actor says. “But she believes that he’s gone and it’s a nice surprise for her to find out he’s not. When they meet again, there’s obvious relief on both sides, as well as excitement that they are going to embark on a new adventure.”
For Kodjoe, one of the biggest reasons for returning to the series was the opportunity to act alongside Jovovich again. “Working with Milla is an absolute pleasure,” says the actor. “She is the perfect hero for this franchise. She brings everything to the table. She’s a team player and her energy influences everyone else.”
Returning as the film’s larger-than-life villain, Umbrella Corporation chairman Albert Wesker, is Shawn Roberts. Virtually indestructible as a result of being infected with the T-virus, Wesker seems to be evil incarnate. “Wesker is probably the biggest villain from the games and definitely a fan favorite,” says Anderson. “We blew him up with an atom bomb in the last movie, but even that was not enough to keep him down.”
Playing an unrepentant scoundrel is an actor’s dream, according to Roberts. “Albert Wesker will not to stay in the background. He’s decided to take top position. I rule the world and it feels pretty good to be sitting at the top.”
In his first appearance, Roberts took part in some of the film’s most demanding and thrilling action sequences. “He didn’t do much talking last time,” says Anderson. “But Shawn is a terrific actor, so in this movie, we turn that on its head. Sometimes Wesker seems like a James Bond type of villain, talking when he should just be killing people, and it was fun to use Shawn that way.”
According to Roberts, the latest chapter outdoes the last four on every level. “There’s more gun play, more fights. The entire movie is action on top of action on top of action. I think it’s going to be a nonstop ride that people will want to take time and time again.”
British actor Colin Salmon rounds out the slate of returning characters as James “One” Shade. Sliced into pieces with a laser in the first Resident Evil, Salmon says it was a great surprise and pleasure to be asked to return to the franchise.
“In the first movie, it looked like my character was going to be the hero of the piece,” says Salmon. “Then he became sashimi and Alice became the hero. But One is the archetypal soldier who just keeps coming back, so, without going into too much detail, he’s reinvigorated here.”
It has been 10 years since Salmon first played the character and he has watched in awe as what he calls “for all intents and purposes an indie film” became a blockbuster franchise. He gives full credit for that success to Anderson. “Paul is one of the most industrious, generous and intelligent guys I’ve ever worked with. His attention to detail and his knowledge of every department are unique. If he weren’t a director, he’d be an architect, no question.”