Former model Ali Larter has evolved into a bona fide geek goddess after battling Death in two "Final Destination" movies, donning a whipped cream bikini in "Varsity Blues," channeling her mutant powers for four years on TV's "Heroes" and blasting zombies opposite Milla Jovovich in "Resident Evil: Extinction."
And of course the actress -- who won a "Best Fight" MTV Movie Award for tangling with Beyoncé in "Obsessed" -- is always hovering near the top of those ubiquitous lad mag "hot" lists. We chatted with Larter about her reprisal of Claire Redfield in "Resident Evil: Afterlife," the end of "Heroes" and more.
It seems that 3-D movies are faltering at the box office lately. What makes "Resident Evil: Afterlife" worth seeing in three dimensions?
It's a game changer with the franchise. I think this is the best one yet because it is so meant to be in 3-D. People were telling me that they were almost done with the 3-D fad until they saw this movie. A lot of movies claim to be 3-D, but they do it in post-production. It's a whole different thing when you shoot it with the 3-D cameras.
How much did you base Claire Redfield on what you know about the video game character?
I definitely read a lot of blogs and did some research on the mythology of the franchise. One of the things that was exciting and interesting is that Paul [W.S. Anderson] was coming back to direct this one. Paul's a true gamer at heart, and he knows the essence of what to deliver in a "Resident Evil." I think he reinvigorated the franchise with a new energy and a desire to make this as close to a video game as we've seen yet.
This is the second time you've teamed up with Milla Jovovich for a "Resident Evil" movie and you two seemed like pals at Comic-Con. Did she help bring you back for "Afterlife"?
Milla is such an integral part of this -- it's a true collaboration between her and Paul. I was so excited when they invited me to come back because it means fans really embraced Claire Redfield. People came out to support having two women together in the film.
Claire has amnesia when Jovovich's Alice finds her in "Afterlife." Is there something that you wish you could forget?
I really believe that life is all about your experiences, and I feel the hard times that you go through really create your character. For me in this business, the trials and tribulations and the different relationships remind me of how lucky I am to be in the place I am now -- having a new baby, a loving husband [actor Hayes MacArthur] -- so there's nothing I want to forget because even pain creates character. I would like to forget I ate that gnocchi and chocolate cake last night, though.
Are you onboard if there is a fifth "Resident Evil" film?
I was so excited to be part of this one and they usually take three to four years in between making each movie, so I'll be interested to see what Paul will come with. By then we could have our whole brood of children, [so I could] pop on scene and be shooting guns and kicking ass, and then I could pop back into the mommy role.
We loved the sisters with extraordinary powers you played on TV's "Heroes." Are you disappointed by how the show wrapped up or did you think it was time?
I think it was time after the first season, which was so strong and really groundbreaking television. For whatever reason, we weren't able to hold onto the originality of the storylines. I think we tried and tried, and each year we'd come back with a new desire that the show could reclaim its past glory. I think some things were just meant to be short and sweet, so I'd really like to remember that show for its first season.
Who is a real-life hero to you and why?
I work with this man named Dr. Mark Manary and his foundation Project Peanut Butter. This is a doctor who moved to Africa and created this ready-to-use food that's peanut butter-based and is able to save millions of children's lives. I did this small documentary ["The Cause With Ali Larter"] on him. He's an incredible inspiration to me.
It looks like you had as much fun fighting Beyoncé in "Obsessed" as audiences had watching you. Is it a kick for you as an actress to bring the crazy like that?
I love the chance to play a femme fatale, so for whatever reason I end up doing all these ass-kicking scenes. I've never been in a girl fight in my entire life. It's fun doing them in the things I have done in the past four years: four seasons of "Heroes," two "Resident Evil"s and "Obsessed." Now, with having a baby, I'm feeling a more feminine and softer side of myself, so I'm looking for a new chapter for myself and my career to begin.