Loaded February 1995
Milla High Club
by Sven Harding
A supermodel at aged 11, a film star at 14 and a spokesperson for the spliff generation at 19... whatever next for sassy siren, Milla Jovovich? "I think most men are dogs, most men around the world are probably dogs, that's why it's so hard to find 'Mr. Right' for a woman." Ouch! Milla Jovovich certainly doesn't believe in pulling her punches, and really, when you think about it why should she? In her 19 years on this planet she's already crammed in more action and experiences than most of us would manage in three life times.
A cover-hogging fashion model as young as 11 (the original superwaif), Milla then caused a splash by swimming semi-naked across the world cinema screens as the star of Return To The Blue Lagoon when she was only 14 (complete with breast-covering waist-length hair that spookily remained in place throughout every frame of her underwater shenanigans). Cameo(ish) acting roles followed in Chaplin with Robert Downey Jr., Kuffs with Christian Slater and most recently as a '70s stoner-chick in the retro-pothead movie Dazed And Confused.
To cap it all, last year Milla released a collection of songs she had written while she was still at school, The Divine Comedy. Such is her over-achievement only the world land-speed record and a place in the Russian or American World Cup squads (being a Kiev-born US citizen she could theoretically play foe either) would appear to have, so far, evaded her. "I look at it more like I got a head start on life," says Milla in her laid back Los Angeles drawl (her family moved there when she was nine). "I started taking acting lessons and reading a lot of books at a very early age, so I definitely knew what I was doing by the time I was 10."
But enough of the 'career history' lark, what about this all men are dogs bit, surely she can't mean us impeccably-mannered, politically-correct British males? Especially as she's currently going out with one - Stuart, the bass player in Jamiroquai. "Its hard to say. 'cos I'm not going to compare all English men with Stuart, but I think their accents are really great." Oh no, not that old trans-Atlantic Chestnut again...
Moving swiftly on I put forward the notion that the realism with which she played her hemp-addled hippy-chick role in Dazed and Confused would seem to point to an archetypally laid back, liberal Californian upbringing , with free-loving actors, beatniks, and spiritual guru types hanging around the Jovovich household in a haze of pot smoke all hours of the day. Wrong. "I never lived the bohemian lifestyle with my parents that's for sure," she says. "My own upbringing was very different to that of the children in Dazed And Confused. My mom was a famous Russian actress, a very serious, very talented woman. My dad was definitely a lot wilder than my mom, but he was a very strict disciplinarian at home."
Milla is actually far less happy with what she personally got out of appearing in Dazed. "They used my face on all the posters, but they kind of screwed me over in the end," she says. "They told me that I was going to be able to write my own scene. I wrote a scene but they never shot it. My new scene would have been really cool 'cos I think it would have given the young people in that movie a whole different persona, 'cos they weren't just drinking and talking about bullshit in it. It wasn't just more (she puts on a Bill & Ted-type voice) 'Hey man, lets party'."
This vaguely 'anti-intoxication stance and the tales of a disciplined childhood jar, however, when juxtaposed with a magazine cover that recently featured Milla in a photo possibly courting as much controversy as her pre-pubescent (to some semi-paedophillic) fashion spreads; namely the November issue of the monthly weed-smokers' bible High Times, adorned by Milla resplendent with huge smoldering spliff in hand and the word wicked emblazoned across her tight-fitting clubber's T-shirt.
"You see me smoking pot in the film, you see me on the cover of High Times, you think that girl smoked a lot of pot," she exclaims, in mock horror. "I think 'everything in moderation' - you shouldn't abuse it, and you shouldn't get totally immobile on it. If you tend to just waste your and smoke all day that's ridiculous. I'm a very busy person, I don't really have time to waste, but when I do have chance to relax it's definitely well deserved. It's probably not a very good justification for the parents of the world, but for me, I think once in a while it's a nice thing, as long as you don't let it take over your life... I love pot, and I think its an incredible thing, but you know, that's not really not what I'm all about."
So why the seriously hedonistic-looking High Times cover then? "Well High Times is a magazine that I've grown up with and it was always something that I felt was really cool," she says. "Its a fun magazine, it's that a lot of young people can relate to. It has a lot of very interesting articles about what's really going on, in the sense of how the Government is kind of suppressing marijuana."
It quickly becomes apparent that the prohibition of marijuana is one of Milla's pet topics, and she obviously knows what's she's 'tokin' about. Before there's chance to say 'skin up' she's off. There's so many incredible uses for the plant - how could the government really keep it away from people, especially with cigarettes being legal, it's ridiculous! The should put alcohol first (for prohibition) rather that pot, but that would start a civil war, I think... Alcohol breaks down your system, and your body, and your brain, so much faster than marijuana does and it's not a creative drug. I think drinking in moderation is a social thing, but when you really start drinking it's not a social thing at all, it's very a depressing drug... Marijuana could do a lot of wonders if people would legalise it and put it to use." She suddenly stops short. "Look, we're talking about drugs now, which I would rather not."
We switch back instead to the new album which Milla is soon to start recording with the all-male band she assembled, almost literally, off the streets of London, LA, and New York (two of them were discovered busking by a London tube station). "Do I boss them around? Yeah, I whip every morning to remind them of how happy they should be to be with me," she sneers tongue-in-cheek, when I ask her how she prevents her band from acting like the rest of the doggish male race.
She's adamant that her ethereal, folkish music (with Milla heavy on the weirdly warbling vocals) shouldn't just be filed away under 'eccentric Adult Orientated Rock', along with the naff likes of Kate Bush. "A lot of people wanted to label me as trying to be Kate Bush very quickly, without even bothering to listen to my music," she says "I think it's really difficult 'cos my music is definitely something that grows on people, you definitely need to listen a couple of times to really get the feeling." A feeling that could be enhanced by a little pot, I dare venture? "I don't think being stoned and listening to my music is the best way to hear it, no," Milla replies. "I think my music is for your brain, it's not really music for the feet, whether you want to smoke pot while you listen to it is up to you. I don't smoke pot when I record 'cos I wouldn't be able to sing."
As far as her other considerable talents go, Milla is currently waiting for the totally right script with the totally right part to arrive in her mailbox before returning to the silver screen - she readily admits she's made some bad choices. And she hasn't altogether discounted a return to fashion modelling. I just took a very long vacation from it because I really didn't think that I had time to do modelling. It wad hard 'cos I definitely lost a lot of money... but I loved working with great photographers."
I mention that a high profile return to the catwalks would doubtless reaffirm Milla's status as one of the worlds most lusted after, multi-talented, 'super babes'. "I couldn't be more unaware of that because I'm so into what I'm doing right now," she says. "I mean, 'lusted after'! That's a pretty doggy way to sat it Mr. Man," she continues in chastising tones. "You just put your self in that kennel, male dog. I'm only 19, how could you lust after me?" I whimper in the corner, she carries on in a sarcastic drawl. "You know every night before I go to sleep I think of all those truck drivers who have my picture up on their dashboard, and before they go to sleep they look at it and drool over it. I feel really good, I can sleep easier knowing there's a big 40-year old man breathing heavily over a picture of me." More raucous laughter, and even more embarrassment on my part.
Suddenly our time is up, and I move to retire, grateful of the chance to lick not a picture of Milla, but the gaping wounds her sassy wit has opened in my doggish male ego. "I look forward to reading your article," she says, "but if I read anything I bad I'm gonna call you up, and I'm gonna plant something in your office." She pauses trying to think of a suitable deterrent. "I know I'll plant a big fat 'J' in your office." It's a 'punishment' destined to badly misfire. What could possibly be better - soft drugs and a hard, super-talented babe. As you read this the entire Loaded staff are sitting, clean T-shirts, 'Hai Karate' and all, eagerly awaiting the execution of Milla's heavenly threat. Woof!