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Why Jill Valentine From Resident Evil: Welcome To Raccoon City Looks So Familiar

Why Jill Valentine From Resident Evil: Welcome To Raccoon City Looks So Familiar

The “Resident Evil” movie series has traditionally been a cool bunch of fun action horror films, in which Milla Jovovich’s Alice spin-kicks zombies and grossly superpowered corporate executives in increasingly elaborate ways. “Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City,” however, reboots the franchise much closer to its horror heart, with the absence of Jovovich’s canon foreigner Alice bringing an increased focus on atmosphere, as well as characters that are familiar from the video games. 

It’s pretty obvious that these characters aren’t just meant to be forgettable monster fodder, either, because the cast of the movie is pretty stacked. Claire Redfield (Kaya Schodelario of “Maze Runner” fame), Chris Redfield (Robbie Amell), William Birkin (Neal McDonough), and Albert Wesker (Tom Hopper, who plays Luther in Netflix’s “The Umbrella Academy”) are all portrayed by some extremely familiar faces, and they’re not the only ones.   

Anyone who has played the “Resident Evil” games knows that Jill Valentine is one of the most instrumental characters in the franchise, being one of the two protagonists in the first “Resident Evil” game. Knowing this, it’s only natural that the “Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City” version of the STARS officer is the subject of extra fan interest. Indeed, the actress portraying her is pretty well-known, and has plenty of experience in genre shows and movies. Let’s take a look at why Jill Valentine from “Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City” looks so familiar.

Hannah John-Kamen is Ornela in Game of Thrones

Hannah John-Kamen has a long and storied career in genre TV shows, from the Canadian sci-fi show “Killjoys” and Peacock’s “Brave New World” to Netflix’s dystopic speculative fiction anthology “Black Mirror” and the puppet fantasy “The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance.” In 2016, she was also a part of arguably the biggest TV phenomenon in recent history — HBO’s “Game of Thrones.”

In the hit fantasy show’s Season 6, John-Kamen plays Ornela. She’s a young member of the dosh khaleen, the high-ranking widows who rule their people’s only city, Vaes Dothrak. When Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) is forcefully — though briefly — added in their ranks, young Ornela soon befriends her, and is quick to express reverence when the Mother of Dragons eventually takes down the gathered khals in a literal blaze of glory. 

Before “Game of Thrones,” John-Kamen’s most famous role was arguably the hardened space bounty hunter Dutch in “Killjoys,” and in an interview with the Toronto Sun, she welcomed the opportunity to play the more insecure Ornela. “But the best thing for me about [‘Game of Thrones’] was being able to play such a vulnerable character, something so different to Dutch,” she said. “The juxtaposition of that, as an actor, that’s what I love about this career, being able to morph into different characters.”

Hannah John-Kamen is F'Nale Zandor in Ready Player One

In 2018, Hannah John-Kamen played F’Nale Zandor, one of the villains in Steven Spielberg’s sprawling sci-fi adventure “Ready Player One.” F’Nale is a minion of main antagonist Nolan Sorrento (Ben Mendelsohn), and the commander of the Sixers troops. These armored troopers are a particularly evil example of the trope, since a considerable percentage of F’Nale’s forces consists of poor people, whom she has forced to serve under her to pay off their debts. 

F’Nale’s vast armed forces and personal combat skills make her one of the most prominent threats in the movie. While such a role was no doubt extremely juicy to play, “Ready Player One” was a particularly important experience for John-Kamen for a very different fact: She got to work with Spielberg. When talking about her most absurd career highs with Harper’s Bazaar, she didn’t hesitate to reveal that she still finds it hard to believe that she got to work with the legendary director. 

“I think meeting Steven Spielberg, and working with Steven Spielberg, having a letter of recommendation by Steven Spielberg,” John-Kamen said. “I still pinch myself to be honest. I don’t believe it. I absolutely don’t believe it, that I’ve worked with him and he’s just such an incredible, inspiring, wonderful man. He’s a genius. He’s a magician, he’s an artist. He’s everything, just creating that magic on camera and on set, as well as off. That was a real wonderful time of my life that I really actually can’t believe happens. I still think it’s a dream.”

Hannah John-Kamen is Ghost in Ant-Man and the Wasp

The year 2018 was a pretty big one for Hannah John-Kamen. Apart from her role as F’Nale Zandor in “Ready Player One,” she also played a very different type of antagonist in the Marvel Cinematic Universe movie “Ant-Man and the Wasp.” 

John-Kamen’s Ava “Ghost” Starr is a formidable enemy with dangerous and highly combat-effective phasing powers, and her suit and unnerving after-images give her a uniquely creepy look. Nevertheless, she’s largely an antagonist out of necessity, and her desperate mission to stabilize her “molecular disequiblirium” before it kills her requires her to go through Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) and Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) — sometimes literally. 

Ghost is a male character in the comics, and in an exclusive interview with Slashfilm ahead of the film’s premiere, John-Kamen enthused about the opportunity to bring a female version of the antagonist onscreen. “I think that the kind of gender-swapping from male to female is, you look at graphic novels, you can look at comic books written so long ago,” she said. “And they’re like 50 years old or 40 years old. And it’s nice to like go, ‘Do you know what? This is a modern world.’ It’s, again, freeing, to be able to take that character and go, ‘Yeah, that can be played by a male or female,’ and that’s definitely forward-thinking. And that’s been amazing to be able to do.”

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