Resident Evil’s villains are unlikable. Their actors are fine with that

The world of the Resident Evil is, largely, a clear-cut one: You have your good guys and your unhealthy guys, the latter of which come within the type of each horrifying creatures (zombies and spiders and the like) and the capitalistic monsters on the Umbrella Corporation.

[Ed. note: This post contains spoilers for Resident Evil season 1.]

Though Netflix’s Resident Evil sequence takes all it could possibly get from the Resident Evil universe — with all the things and something being taken as canon gospel — the actresses who play two of the present’s most nefarious characters are glad their roles really feel enigmatic of their antagonism.

“I mean, ‘misunderstood’ means complex [for characters], right?” Adeline Rudolph, who performs grown-up Billie Wesker, tells Polygon. “If you’d ask Siena [Agudong], young Billie […] it’s a completely different show, right?”

For her, older Billie captured the promise that a tv present might supply the Resident Evil franchise many years into its lifespan: How does a personality reside, and even thrive, in such a cutthroat world? In the tip, she embraced that Billie was a personality who had nuance however a singular focus of the world.

“I think for older Billie, it’s absolutely a story of heartbreak, and pain, and trauma. Of survival. And then choosing a path of how she feels like she can survive the best in this future world,” Rudolph says. “She’s very one-sided with [how she sees the future] because she’s gone through so much that she now believes she has the ultimate answer to how we’re going to move forward. Because everything else has been destruction in her life.”

Though she comes from a really totally different standing within the story, Paola Núñez feels the identical about her character, Evelyn, who’s the villainous, pore-free face of the Umbrella Corporation’s reckless greed within the 2022 timeline.

Evelyn sitting at her desk in Resident Evil

Photo: Marcos Cruz/Netflix

“I think the story of Evelyn is the corporate world, and how to succeed in the corporate world and how to be the best — she wants to be the best, and she wants to be known, she wants to be respected in the world,” Núñez says.

Though her plot line is one that speaks to the ravenous irresponsibility of Umbrella’s total goal, it additionally speaks to a world that was determined for a remedy far earlier than zombies grew to become the largest drawback. The Joy antidepressant Evelyn is making an attempt to push to market (waaay too shortly) is her brainchild, a push to show away from bioweaponry and as a substitute harness a few of that evil genius for a remedy to melancholy, nervousness, and obsessive-compulsive dysfunction. OCD is a significantly hard-to-treat situation, however none of these psychological sicknesses have a silver bullet remedy; most take some combination of remedy and drugs to regulate.

While Big Pharma has at all times been a key a part of the Umbrella Corporation’s entire factor, Netflix’s Resident Evil doesn’t strategy Umbrella as unhealthy just because they’re partaking in shady practices; relatively, the entire system behind the enterprise appears rotten, even after they’re making an attempt to do the fitting factor. In their very own methods, Billie and Evelyn are consultant of how that system can evangelize folks to maintain perpetuating it.

“[Evelyn] actually thinks that she can change the world in a good way. She’s just not thinking about the consequences, of course,” Núñez says. “So her ego is so big that she forgets or she distances herself from other people in a way that she loses all empathy and she makes the wrong choices.”

Not each individual making unhealthy decisions is working with the dreaded T-virus resulting in a rampant zombie outbreak that turns some six billion folks into flesh-eating monsters. But with Resident Evil, there’s room for the likelihood that not all errors are borne out of a want to do (look ahead to it) evil.

Additional reporting by Joshua Rivera.

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