Though he doesn’t have the same clout as Hollywood’s other famous Paul Anderson, Paul W.S. Anderson has carved out his own impressive career, with films from the Mortal Kombat movie to Event Horizon to Alien Vs. Predator. But perhaps he’s best know for helming the persistent Resident Evil franchise, which just wrapped up with its sixth and final installment, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter. In a new interview with Thrillist, Anderson reflects back on the Resident Evil franchise and the unique career path he’s taken over the years.
What comes through most strongly in the interview is the fact that Anderson is incredibly content with his career. He’s aware that his films aren’t critical hits (he mentions he doesn’t take reviews too seriously), but he takes pride in the fact that he’s satisfying an audience who clearly loves his work (Resident Evil is the highest-grossing film series based on a video game, thanks largely to international box office). Anderson’s attitude is summed up pretty well when he defends his choice to have Marilyn Manson co-compose the soundtrack for the first Resident Evil film. He explains that while the music didn’t sit well with some critics, it “totally resonated” with the audience he was making the movie for, and that’s all that matters.
That fan-centric philosophy is palpable throughout the wide-ranging interview, which touches on Anderson’s relationship with his wife/Resident Evil star Milla Jovovich, his films’ popularity in Japan, and his aesthetic as a filmmaker. Anderson digs deep into the Resident Evil franchise, explaining everything from specific design choices to the uphill battle he fought to give the film a female lead. Throughout it all, Anderson projects a strong sense of contentedness. When jokingly asked whether he’d want to direct something like La La Land, Anderson replies, “No, I absolutely don’t. I mean, it’s a genius movie, but it’s not a movie I would have made. I enjoy making the movies I make. Those are the movies I grew up watching, and those are the movies I love.”