Milla Jovovich was having her cheeks contoured by a makeup artist for her second photo shoot of the day. She explained to an entourage of hair, wardrobe and makeup people how she had gained 30 pounds in her first trimester of pregnancy.
"I'd get up in the morning and eat two bagels," she said, "with butter and peanut butter."
She was cramming a lot into this August morning too.
Her staff was stepping over each other in a tiny Chateau Marmont suite, getting the actress photo-ready. Was it too much eyeliner or too little? More mascara. More eyeliner. Then there's a little more work on the hair, to soften the curls.
"See, she has like no makeup on," a makeup artist announced. The entourage looked around confused and then silently nodded, affirming the conceit of incredible natural beauty despite Jovovich's time in the chair.
Jovovich was midway through a publicity twofer: She had just completed a photo shoot and interview with Japanese Vogue to promote Jovovich-Hawk's fall 2007 line. Next up was a second photo shoot ("Just the face, nothing below the neck" were her publicist's orders), followed by an interview to promote her new film, "Resident Evil: Extinction," which opened Friday.
"I actually cut my publicity schedule [for the movie] in half," she said later. "I'm not totally comfortable doing so many shoots right now. I'm not even so sure it's good for the movie. Do those boys really want to see me pregnant?"
No question, there's a disconnect from the film's nimble action heroine Alice, in her tight and tiny red dress, intent on smoking zombies with wire fu kicks and crossbows and killing mutant Doberman pinschers with her bare hands.
By contrast, the woman before us on this day was slow on her feet, apprehensive about her distended stomach and distracted when a tiny inchworm dropped from a silky thread only to idly dangle above the table.
"Do you think it'll be OK?" she asked.
She is more sensitive to the frailties of creatures big and small these days. "I feel vulnerable just walking down the street," she said. "A girl bumped into me at the Police concert. She was dancing and, boom! hit my belly, and I was like, 'Oh, my God!' It's frightening. I get very nervous in crowded places. Some of these press junkets, all the photographers, it just gets a little frightening for me."
She's taking October off, she said, but not before one more film shoot. Wim Wenders wrote a part for her in his latest film. It is as yet untitled, but the story line is based on Jovovich's relationship with photographer Peter Lindbergh, with whom she has worked since she was a 13-year-old fashion model.
"Peter and I grew up together," she said. Still, she wants to make sure the pregnancy does not become a selling point of the movie. "I'm not keen on having my picture taken in profile, holding my belly. It's just, my personal life, it doesn't have anything to do with my career. I feel uncomfortable using my life as a photo op."