Ever Anderson: "I haven't seen any of the Resident Evil films. Not even the one I'm in!"
Milla Jovovich's actress daughter is going to be very famous, very soon. Here she talks about her new puppy, smashing through bricks in Taekwondo and the major movie she's about to star in.
In many ways, Ever Anderson is your average tween. She’s obsessed with Billie Eilish and Harry Potter (she just celebrated her birthday at Universal’s Wizarding World dressed in full Ravenclaw gear) and takes her Taekwondo classes very seriously. She’s got more than her fair share of energy and seems to be working her way through the rainbow when it comes to colouring her shaggy bob. Unlike most kids though, she’s a tiny replica of Serbian-Russian model-turned-actress Milla Jovovich -- everyone’s favourite zombie-fighting, cosmic adventuring sci-fi badass – who just happens to be her mum. And unlike most kids, Ever’s about to appear in one of the biggest movies of the year.
You see, Ever Anderson was born to act. Her parents are the aforementioned Milla, and director Paul WS Anderson, who met when they collaborated on the first film adaptation of cult zombie video game Resident Evil in 2002. Having made her acting debut in The Final Chapter of the family franchise as the Red Queen when she was just nine, twelve-year-old Ever is currently excitedly awaiting the release of her second big movie project (which is still top secret) in May.
She lives in the Hollywood Hills with her mum, dad, little sister Dashiel and four dogs; Cromwell the giant schnauzer, Sweet Potato the papillon-maltese, Vinny the rescue and Binky the teaspoon yorkie. Any day now, Ever will have a new baby sister, too. It’s a busy family. Fresh from a photoshoot at the Chateau Marmont with family friend Gray Sorrenti, we call her for a big old chat...
Hello! Is that Ever?
It is. Hi!
How are you feeling today?
Really good thanks, and you?
I’m very well thank you. What did we just drag you away from then?
I was just playing Harry Potter and um... basically talking to myself as if there were other people here with me.
Well that sounds like fun. Have you read all of the Harry Potter books?
Yes! Every single one of them more than once. I love them.
Which other books are your favourites?
I adore this other series called The School for Good and Evil – all the stories are really fun. I also love The Secret Garden, The Little Princess, Hans Christian Andersen... This past Halloween, my costume was Mary Lennox from The Secret Garden. None of my friends knew who I was supposed to be but I didn’t care! Mary is such a great character.
She really is. So, tell us about your day shooting pictures with Gray...
It was a lot of fun. During the shoot we did some TikToks of us dancing together! That made working with her really fun.
Are you guys good friends now?
Definitely! Gray is super cool. It was really awesome to work with a girl who is also very young and in charge. I really like the pictures she took, too. It was just a day of us having fun together.
You shot at the Chateau Marmont, which is not far from where you live, right? Do you like living in LA?
I do. I really love it here. It’s usually really sunny, so on the weekends, when I’m not in school, I get to be outdoors. We live in the hills so there’s some great hiking to do but you can also drive down to the beach and spend the day at the ocean.
Would you say that you’re a shy person?
It takes me a bit of time to get comfortable around people but I don’t think I’m shy anymore. My friends say it’s funny how much I talk now, compared to how quiet I used to be.
You’ve evolved! We hear that you’re something of a Taekwondo pro. What belt are you?
I’m a green belt with black stripe. I’m doing more testing in a few weeks and I hope to earn my red belt.
And then how far is that from a black belt?
I’m three belts away from having my black belt. When I test for that, I’m going to have to break through five bricks!
Wow, that’s intense. What lessons has practising a martial art taught you?
It’s taught me a lot about respecting myself and respecting others. For example, when you’re at class, before you step on or off the mat you always bow to the Master and ask for permission. It’s about showing respect.
A good life lesson for sure. So, tell me, what are the best things about being 12?
I like that I’m taken more seriously now. Not too serious, but serious enough. I get to go to the movies with my friends and my little sister looks up to me.
I know your mum speaks Russian. Did she teach you? Do you guys ever have secret conversations about other people?
My mom has always spoken to me in Russian, and she always read to me in Russian when I was little. Sometimes we talk about other people, but really, if she speaks to me in Russian while we are out in public it’s usually because I’m not paying attention and she’s reminding me to get it together!
Who do you think is cooler: your mum or your dad?
My mom, definitely! And now that she’s pregnant, she’s even more fun. My dad’s British, he’s always calm and reminding me to watch my manners. I once had a big sleepover birthday party and invited all the girls from my class. My mom came up at midnight to bring us snacks and she turned up the music really loud and danced with us. All my friends loved that and I just felt like, “I have the coolest mom!”
You’ve travelled a lot for a 12-year-old. Where has been your favourite place to visit? London! I really love London. I shot a film there last summer and we lived in Mayfair for a month. There are so many parks, so it’s very green and beautiful. We did a lot of walking, eating scones with jam and cream, and drinking tea in the afternoon. It’s the best! One day I want to live there.
Oh, you should! I know the film you shot in London is still top secret, but can you sum up your experience in three words?
Ummm... amazing, incredible, life-changing.
And when’s it coming out?
May 1st. I was at the movies with my friends seeing Jumanji recently and there were posters already up for it in the theatre.
Did you tell your friends about it then?
NOOOOO! Well... just one friend, but she’s really good at keeping secrets. Another girl in our group is super excited to see it since she’s a huge fan of this series and it was sooooo hard for me not to say anything to her. But not telling them also makes it kind of more exciting for me.
That makes sense. You were also in Resident Evil: The Final Chapter. Have you seen the entire series?
I haven’t seen any of them! Not even the one I’m in! My parents won’t let me see them yet. I actually had my eighth birthday on set. They brought me a big cake which I got to share with the crew during our lunch break. There were zombies singing happy birthday, which was super weird and funny.
I bet. What would you do in a zombie apocalypse?
I think it’s helpful that I know Taekwondo. But mostly I would just stay close to my mom, since she really is the expert when it comes to fighting zombies!
What else do you remember about filming Resident Evil?
I realised that acting was my passion. I literally cried when they yelled “cut” on my last day of filming because I really didn’t want it to be over. After that I asked my parents if I could audition for more films, and they said they would consider it if I kept my grades up. They let me start auditioning in sixth grade and I was cast for a film that was shot last summer. I came to school a couple of weeks after the term started with blue hair that was dyed for the movie! Everyone was like... what happened to you?!
You’re very fortunate to have found what you love to do at such an early age.
Some people have warned me that some child actors become sick of acting and grow up to be miserable. But I see myself going to college one day and also doing other things, so I don’t think that will happen. My parents always tell me I can be whatever I want to be as long as I work hard. If acting isn’t fun anymore, I can find other things that will keep me happy.
Do you enjoy going to school? Do you have a favourite subject?
Math, because there’s always a solution. It’s like, the best brain exercise. You know when you have all these numbers to work out and when you get it right it’s like, YES! Let’s say you have problems with kids during recess and then you have math class afterward... it takes you away from those problems that you don’t know how to solve, and over to a problem that always has a solution.
Wow, I like that you make that connection. That’s cool.
Tell me about your name, Ever. What’s the story behind it?
I only know that it’s an ancient Scottish boy’s name that my parents really liked. My sister Dashiel also has a Scottish boy’s name. Spelled backward my name is ‘reve’, which is French for ‘dream’.
Do you remember your dreams?
One of my dreams that I had when I was like four is still very clear in my head. It begins with me walking in a forest and finding a tree that has a little hole in its trunk. And when I put my fingers in the hole, a bunch of pixie dust begins to fall from it and I begin to change into a pixie. It goes on from there but I don’t think I have enough time to tell you the entire dream.
Sounds magic! What kind of music do you like listening to?
Over the summer my dad drove us all over England and we listened to a lot of ABBA. Me and my sister loved singing along to "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)". When I was little my favourite song was "Jolene" by Dolly Parton, and last spring I was always singing along to "Ocean Eyes" by Billie Eilish. I played that song a lot on the way to school and got my mom into her.
I saw on your Instagram that you got to meet Billie Eilish! What was that like?
I tried to mentally prepare myself because I was super excited. I just kind of stood there too excited to say anything. My mom and my uncle took some pictures of us together, though. I was wearing my unicorn onesie and she told me she really liked it.
Do you think you’d like to be a mum one day?
Definitely. I want to have all girls just like my mom.
She’s about to have another baby. A little girl, right? If you could name her, what name would you pick?
I really like the names Arianne and Elliot. I know what name my parents are leaning toward but I can’t tell. It’s a secret.
Do you have a secret you can share with us?
Well that depends on what kind of secret you want me to share. Like, if I have a crush on anyone?
I have a crush on a boy. He doesn’t go to my school and that’s all I am going to share... The rest is a secret!
You have a house full of dogs. What are their names?
Our oldest dog is Cromwell, he’s a giant schnauzer. My parents got him when my mom was pregnant with me and he can open doors! He sleeps in my parents’ room. Then we have Sweet Potato. She’s a papillon-maltese mix who is pretty chubby and doesn’t do any tricks. We used to have Maya Papaya but she was killed by a coyote last year and we were all super sad when she died. We also have Vinny. He’s a black and white spotted rescue and he sleeps with me sometimes. And for Christmas, my mom got me Binky, who is a tiny little teaspoon yorkie. She’s about four months old now and is already so smart. She doesn’t sleep with me yet because she is still so small but when she gets a little older she will definitely sleep in bed with me.
What an adorable collection of pups. Do you ever think about what you’re going to be like when you’re old?
I’m not planning on getting old. I mean, I don’t want to be the stereotypical old person who becomes grumpy. I plan to drink green smoothies and stay flexible like my master at Taekwondo. I’m going to be like a hippy granny. I want to be fun.
I like that plan. I think you’ll make a great hippy granny one day. Well, thank you, Ever. It’s been lovely speaking with you.
Photography Gray Sorrenti
Styling Caroline Newell
Hair Candice Birns at Nest Artists using R+Co haircare.
Photography assistance Jared Zagha.
Digital technician Dale Gold.
Styling assistance Sanna Fried.
Production Layla Némejanski and Hest Inc.
Additional production Chris Brenner.
Special thanks Chateau Marmont.