CBS.COM interview with Oded Fehr
CBS.com: You're the cute one on the show.
Oded Fehr: Am I? No, I…there's so many cute women on the show!
CBS.com: What's it like being on the set with all these really smart women?
Oded Fehr: It is really amazing, I have
to say. I love these women. They're all so fantastic, and not only are they all great actresses and look wonderful, they're
so intelligent and smart and intellectual. They're wonderful, wonderful women.
CBS.com: Have you ever seen any of Anna Deavere Smith's work onstage?
Oded Fehr: I have actually, I have. I've seen
two of her one-man shows. I've seen them on tape; I haven't seen them live. She's amazing. Absolutely amazing woman. She's
so intellectual, she's so smart, she's such an incredible actress; she's really a special person. The way she presented the
riots, for example, here in Los Angeles. I didn't grow up here, so for me it was very new and fascinating. She didn't seem
to take sides; she just told a story.
CBS.com: You were born in Israel, you lived in Europe, you served in the Israeli Navy and now you live in LA.
Fehr: Yeah, the order is not exactly right. I grew up in Israel, I did my army service in the Navy for three years which everybody
has to do and I left, moved to Germany for a couple years, then I was in England for five where I did my training, then I
moved here to Los Angeles.
CBS.com: Where do you consider home?
Oded Fehr: Anywhere I put my hat! I don't have a hat. You know, right now it's
here. I'm married, and my wife and I live here, and her family is here. When I lived in England I considered that home. Anywhere
I feel comfortable and I stay long enough. I think the world is getting so much smaller these days, and there's so many wonderful
places to be in. Last year when I was shooting in Vancouver I considered that place to be home. I get attached very quickly
to many different places.
CBS.com: What made you decide to become an actor?
Oded Fehr: I think it was when I was about 23, I started a drama
course at the English Theater in Frankfurt. And I, very shortly after, started doing amateur theater and pub theater in Frankfurt
and I fell in love with it. I always loved performing and acting, but I always felt that it's not a respectable enough profession
or not that it's not respectable. It's not a safe profession; it's too hard of a life and too unpredictable in order to have
a family and things like that, the security. But I tried doing other things, and I was never as happy as when I was acting.
My father, actually, was very supportive of me and he said "Well, if this is what you love, then do it," and I am very much
a believer that you have to do what you love. That's the only way you have to achieve greatness, if you do something you love.
Because if you do something you don't love, you'll always be average.
CBS.com: And you're obviously getting to do something you love.
Oded Fehr: Most definitely!
CBS.com: You've worked in the theater, in feature films, and in television. Do you have a preference between the three?
Fehr: I think each one is challenging in its own way. I love theater--I absolutely love the theater, and I cannot wait to
go back to the theater. I think as far as building a career, obviously movies and television will propel you a lot further
and faster because of the fact that you'll reach so many people. And I love movies, I love television. The pace between the
two is very different. TV is much, much faster, and therefore much more challenging. But then again you have a lot more time
to get to know your character and to build it and to work on it. They're all fun, they're all different. The plus about TV,
especially for me at this time, is I'm closer to home. My wife is pregnant, and we get to spend a lot of time together. It's
almost kind of a nine-to-five job in a certain way. I get to drive to work and come home in the evening and have dinner with
my wife. It's a wonderful thing.
CBS.com: Some say that feature films are like dating and TV is like being married.
Oded Fehr: Yes, that depends on
if you get on a show that is successful and goes on for many years, then it is. They are all wonderful, and I have to say
that at the end of the day, as actors, it's the best job in the world and we're the luckiest people to be doing this job.
It's a wonderful, wonderful job.
CBS.com: What has been your favorite role so far?
Oded Fehr: You know, I
think the role of Ardeth Bay, which I played in "The Mummy," will always be very special to me because it was the first role
that really kind of broke me out and it was the first really job that I had. I left drama school shortly beforehand and so,
that was a big step for me and that was something that will always be very special for me. Except for that I love everything
else I do. I wouldn't do it if I didn't love it. I choose what I do very, very carefully and I take a long time choosing it.
So I love all of the characters.
CBS.com: So, what is Nicholas Kokoris like?
Oded Fehr: He's a doctor, a general surgeon at the hospital at the Presidio
in San Francisco. The show itself, PRESIDIO MED, concentrates on the outpatient clinic, which is adjacent to the hospital.
Nicholas Kokoris is in love with the character played by Dana Delany, and he works with the doctors at the Presidio every
time a patient needs a surgery of some kind. Mostly he is the one who performs those surgeries.
CBS.com: So, he's pretty handy around the Presidio.
Oded Fehr: He's very good with a knife!
Oded Fehr on "Resident Evil" & Trailer Preview
Tuesday, May 11, 2004
Oded Fehr introduced the first trailer for Resident Evil: Apocalypse for select press at the beginning of this week's
E3 video game convention. The sequel to the video game movie features Alice (Milla Jovovich) awakening from a series of lab
experiments after her first encounter with zombies. Now she's locked into Raccoon city, still fighting the undead, but now
with super powers. Fehr plays Carlos Oliviera, recognized by video game fans, a "hired gun" for the Umbrella Corporation who
is stranded inside the quarantined city with the heroes. The company turned on him for rescuing a woman from a zombie.
Fehr answered journalist questions after screening the trailer, which still featured incomplete CGI, but plenty of explosions
and superheroic running and jumping from Jovovich.
CS!: Who had more training, you or Milla?
OF: Milla by no comparison whatsoever. Milla does very amazing things in this movie. I think the idea is that Milla is
a part of the experiment, therefore Milla herself is a little more than human. And because of that, obviously she has abilities
that are a little more than human. As an actress to portray that, she worked very, very, very hard. She really does amazing
things. I can tell you that I do martial arts and she as a person who is not a martial artist does amazing things in this
movie. I mean, it was amazing to watch while filming.
CS!: Did you take anything from the games for your character?
OF: Yeah, we tried to bring the game alive. The story of the movie and the story of the game, they're obviously- - they
have similarities but they're not parallel. I mean, it's not the same exact story line, especially with the characters. The
character of Alice is not really featured in the game. Jill Valentine is very much so, but Alice is not. So we tried to give
a feeling of the games and bring that alive a little bit more with little thing. I think what's great about this movie is
that it does, for people who enjoy the game, the whole situation of being in a city where you have all the undead and all
the rest of it really brings it to life. The game is still always the game. It's never 100 percent real. The movie does make
it feel very real. It really puts you through that experience.
CS!: Did you do most of your stunts?
OF: Yeah, I mean, I tried. Yes, definitely. I mean, there's all the fighting, kicking, things like that, yeah. I always
try to do as much as I can. I think it gives the director an opportunity to really cover the scene a lot better when you don't
have to hide the face or physical movements.
CS!: How does this zombie movie keep the monsters fresh?
OF: You know, you can ask the same thing I suppose about the games. How do you keep the games fresh? It's a scary thought,
people coming [back] to life and I think people enjoy seeing it. I think it's not the actual zombies that will make this film
special. It's more the story that's being told and the way it's shot. If you remember, 'Resident Evil', the first one, and
I've got to admit this is not my type of movie, I don't necessarily like scary movies. I get scared of them. So I don't like
scaring myself but when I watched 'Resident Evil', the first one, I can't explain it but it didn't try to be something too
big. It's ridiculous to say this, but it was very realistic in the situations that the characters were put in. It was very
gritty kind of real feel to the action, to everything, to the urgency of getting out of the structure they were in and so
on. This is the same way. I think it's a very big movie, it's a very exciting movie, it's a lot of action and so on, but I
think still you'll find it's very realistic as realistic can be. It's difficult to explain because how do you do a movie about
dead people realistically, but it is.
CS!:How did you end up in monster movies if they're not your thing?
OF: I ask myself that every day. I don't know what to say about that one. I really don't.
CS!: What would your ideal project be?
OF: I'm working on something right now that is more an adventure movie. I gotta tell you, they're a lot of fun to film.
You can't really complain when you're dressed up as a hero and you run around, you kick butt and do all that. It's sometimes
a little bit too much. I come up against five stunt guys and I kick their ass. You start thinking that you can actually do
these kind of things, so it's not bad. Shooting them, I love it. But watching those kind of movies…
CS!: Are you excited to see the finished CGI for the scenes you shot?
OF: With regard to the CGI, I know that you've seen a little bit of CGI in this and that some of it is not 100 % finished,
but I've got to tell you, a lot of it is real in the sense that it's makeup or action that's being filmed there, explosions
that are being done there. There is definitely CGI work but it's not- - I don't want to give too many things away, but there's
a lot of CGI to cover wires and things like that, but a lot of it is real. [Spoiler Starts] The final scene, there's a huge,
huge battle scene and it's mainly Alice's character coming up against the Nemesis. And it was a huge scene to film. There's
a lot of elements involved and I'm very excited about seeing how that will come together.[Spoiler Ends] As far as CGI for
that scene, there's not that much CGI. There are no added creatures as far as I remember in that scene or things like that.
So and that's what I think is going to be special about this movie, again going back to your question with regards to how
is this movie different.
CS!: Why are zombies always so hostile?
OF: If they weren't, it wouldn't be dramatic. I don't know. I was suggesting that they can walk around the street eating
ice cream and they can pass by us, but no. It wouldn't have been dramatic enough I think.
CS!: Have you heard any plans for a third 'Mummy'?
OF: No, I haven't. I think Steve just this weekend released 'Van Helsing'. I think he's probably taking a little breather
off of that. I'm sure that Universal will probably want him involved in that.
CS!: Would you want to do Ardeth Bay again?
OF: You know, yeah. I mean, it's one of those things. Yeah, I'd love to do a third one. Am I waiting anxiously to do
a third one? No, but if there would be a third one and I would be involved, I'd love to do it. I had a great time doing it.
The Mummy is what gave me a career and love the character of Ardeth Bay and I really enjoy doing it. But again, I'm not sure
what they're going to do because going back to that movie, I don't know how you top that and keep it there. I think you have
to kind of change it around and do something new.
CS!: What are you filming now?
OF: I'm not filming. I'm working on something now which is more of a- - my wife's a producer and we're kind of putting
this movie together. It's an adventure kind of thing.
CS!: How was working with first time director, Alexander Witt?
OF: Great, great. I have to say that with Alexander, it's always a very scary thing working with a first time director
in the sense that he's worked a lot, but not as a first director on his movie. He was very great to work with. I think he
has a great eye. Very, very nice. Very nice guy.
Resident Evil: Apocalypse opens in theaters on September 10.
Interview with Oded Fehr
Resident Evil: Apocalypse's Carlos Olivera chats with IGN about the flick, gaming, and
his co-star Milla Jovovich.
May 10, 2004 - Oded Fehr first came to prominence as Ardeth Bay in the Stephen Sommers-directed The Mummy franchise.
No stranger to the world of videogames, (Fehr did voice-over work for Champions of Norrath: Realms of Everquest) we cornered
him in the hallway of the Westin Bonaventura and chatted with him about his role in the forthcoming Resident Evil: Apocalypse
Q: Can you tell us about your character?
ODED FEHR: I play a character called Carlos Olivera. Basically, he works for the Umbrella Corporation who are responsible
for what happens. He works for them as a hired gun. There's an outbreak in the city, and he is sent in to actually take out
the Umbrella personnel – to evacuate them. And he decides to save a woman that he sees that's about to be killed by
the undead and therefore he was left to die by the Umbrella Corporation. He joins with Alice and Jill to fight the Umbrella
Corporation and try to save their lives and bring the truth out and so on.
Q: Who had more training, Milla or Oded?
FEHR: Milla ... yeah, no comparison whatsoever. Milla does very amazing things in this movie. I think the idea is Milla
is a part of the experiment, and therefore Milla herself is a little more than human. Because of that, I would say that she
has abilities that are a little more than human. As an actress, to portray that, she worked very very very very hard. She
really does amazing things. I mean, I can tell you that I do martial arts and she does amazing things in this movie. I mean,
it was amazing to watch while filming.
Q: Talk about your work with guns.
FEHR: It's a ridiculous thing to say, but truthfully I don't really like guns. But, I end up playing characters that
use a lot of guns. Yeah, it's a modern movie, and it allows you to do a lot of new things – working with helicopters,
and high-tech things and lasers and things like that. It was a lot of fun.
Q: What was your experience with the games?
FEHR: You know what? I wasn't a big game person. I'm from the Atari generation, you know? I used to play Pac-Man and
all that, then kind of grew out of it at a certain point. And then, I think, more out of fear that I'll get so hooked I'll
never be able to do anything else, so I kind of try to avoid playing games. Obviously, when we were shooting the movie, I,
for research reasons spent hours and hours completing Resident Evil 2 – which I'm very proud of.
Q: Did you take anything learned from the games for your character?
FEHR: Yeah, we tried to bring the game alive. The story of the movies and the story of the games obviously have similarities
but they're not parallel. I mean, it's not the same exact storyline – especially with the characters. The character
of Alice is not really featured in the games. Jill Valentine is very much so, but Alice is not. So we tried to get the feeling
of the games and bring that alive a little bit more you know, with the little things. Sienna (who plays Jill Valentine) was
great, for instance. Like you'll see in the movie, she stands there and she'll tap her gun exactly as she does in the game,
like her character does in the game – things like that. But I think what's great about this movie is that for people
who enjoy the game, the whole situation of being in a city where you have all the undead and all the rest of it, the movie
really brings it to life. You know, the game is still always a game, and it's never 100% real. And the movie does make it
feel very real, it really puts you through that experience.
Q: How do you balance being tough with showing fear?
FEHR: I think it's essential. I think if you play a character that is fearless, then it's boring. If you do then people
lose the human aspect of it. I think that's what was so incredible about Harrison Ford, is that he always seemed like he was
never going to survive it, he's always scared, and yet he always does survive it somehow. It's scary, listen, I mean they
dropped me from something called "The Descender" – 45 feet over a cement parking lot; that was scary. I don't think
I needed to do a lot to bring that out. I was actually trying to avoid showing too much (fear).
Q: Now that we've seen so many zombie movies, how does this one keep the monsters fresh?
FEHR: You know, you can ask the same thing about the games. How do you keep the games fresh? It's a scary thought, you
know, (dead) people coming to life. And I think people enjoy seeing it. I think it's not the actual zombies that would make
this film special, it's more the story that is being told, and the way it's shot. If you remember Resident Evil, the first
one, and I got to admit, again, this is not my type of movie. I don't necessarily like scary movies, I get scared of them.
So, I don't like scaring myself. But when I watched Resident Evil, what I really enjoyed was ... I can't explain it. But,
it didn't try to be something too big. It's ridiculous to say this, but it was very realistic in the situation that the characters
were put into. It was very gritty, kind of real feel to the action, to everything ... from the urgency of getting out of the
structure they were in and so on. This is the same way. I think it's a very big movie, it's a very exciting movie, it's a
lot of action and so on. But I think, still you'll find it's very realistic as realistic can be. It's difficult to explain,
because how do you do a movie about dead people, realistic? But it is.
Q: Are the zombies the same in this movie?
FEHR: I think the zombies are quite the same. You know, they walk around and they're biting and they're dangerous. Listen,
I'm coming on set and there's two people – one in particular – who was in charge of the movement of the zombies.
And literally, they would go through zombie school. The actors who would do this would have to go through a zombie school
of a week's worth of training, to get to know how to do the zombies. I mean, OK, a walking dead person, what's the big deal?
But, no, it seems that there is a big deal about it and I think that you'll feel that quality in the movie.
Q: Why are zombies always so hostile?
FEHR: If they weren't, they wouldn't be dramatic, you know? (laughs) I was suggesting that we'll walk around the street
eating ice cream and they [the zombies] can pass by us. But, no, it wouldn't have been dramatic enough I think.
[Editor's Note: Here Fehr breaks off from the press conference and speaks one on one with IGN's Steven Horn.]
IGN FILMFORCE: Could you talk about the level of action in the flick?
FEHR: This movie definitely elevated the first. The first one took place in a dungeon or a basement or whatever. This
one takes place outside in the city which brought a whole new opportunity for the director and the writer and so on to make
this a much bigger film. Again, I think the point was they didn't want to make it too big. They didn't want to go ridiculous
with that. (They) still (want) to give it a gritty feeling. So the movie is much bigger, definitely, but very realistic still.
IGNFF: Tell us about the script.
FEHR: When I first saw Resident Evil, I thought, 'Uh, well, walking zombies.' But, the second movie I think what he tried
to do was really bring to life a few other characters, make a few more extremes. So we have Jill Valentine who is this really
tough cop and obviously a character from the games. Then you have the bad guy and he's very bad. What I'm saying is that he
(Anderson) is not just dealing with the walking undead, there's the whole Umbrella Corporation and the different characters.
There's a lot more characters, a lot more extremes, and a little bit more slapstick than there was in the first one. So, there's
some humor in it, there's a kid in it, that really brings the story a bit better to life. I think the story line is better
in this one.
IGNFF: Are you concerned with the game fans' reaction to how the characters are portrayed on film?
FEHR: You try to bring it to life. But you know, the character of Carlos Olivera in Resident Evil 3 the game is there,
but you don't have any character development. The people who wrote the game, which you don't have access to, kind of had an
image. But you have to take the character as it is in the movie and build from there. You try to give it little things from
the game: the way they turn their head, the way they wait, the way they hold their gun and things like that. I think there's
not much more than that. But still, I think that the people who enjoy the games, (they) enjoy the atmosphere and enjoy the
walking undead, the way they look, fighting them, the action, the adventure of trying to survive through this – I'm
sure they'll enjoy the movie, I have no doubt.