High Times Greats: Milla Jovovich

Milla Jovovich believed that bud should be legal before it ever was.
High Times Greats: Milla Jovovich
Milla Jovovich by Steve Bloom

In honor of Milla Jovovich’s birthday on December 17, 1975, we’re republishing Steve Bloom’s story from the November, 1994 issue of High Times below.

“Smoke homegrown!”

That’s Milla Jovovich’s message as she finishes a tune from her debut album, The Divine Comedy. She’s on a boat that’s circling the Statue of Liberty, playing a gig with her semi-unplugged band. One of the model/actress-turned-folk/pop-singer’s first live performances, it’s quite a revelation: This girl can sing!

Playing the stoner hippie chick to the hilt, Milla stared spacily throughout Rick Linklater’s pot flick, Dazed and Confused. Whether doodling pot leaves in class, palling around with her weed-dealer boyfriend or toking openly on several occasions, Milla’s Michelle exuded boredom. In her big scene at the climatic kegger, she strummed a guitar, looked above and sang, “Watch them fly…away.”

Months after Dazed and Confused had long disappeared from theaters, Milla Jovovich appeared in the lobby of this magazine with a huge smile on her face and guitar in hand. Just 18 years old, she’s been a fan of High Times for… well, we’d rather not say.

“It’s so funny,” Milla giggles. “I told my mom, ‘One day I’m gonna be in this magazine. It doesn’t mean you have to take drugs because you’re in this magazine. It’s just a very cool magazine to be in.’”

Born in Russia to an actress mother and doctor father, Milla grew up in California—first Sacramento, then LA. “It was really fun kicking it and hanging out,” she recalls. “Then it stopped being fun just hanging out all the time. That’s when I started not liking LA. Me and my friend climbed out the window of this club one time and never went back.”

Milla modeled at an early age, cashing in on her spectacular good looks. Then she began to act. “The first film I did was Two Moon Junction. Then I did some stuff for Disney. I even did a Married With Children episode a long time ago, which is funny. Yeah. I worked before Blue Lagoon.”

She’s probably best known for her starring role in Return of the Blue Lagoon. “I went through a period where I hated the fact that I did that,” Milla says of the 1989 teencore film. “I was fourteen. I was so young. I can’t even think of that little girl as me. I’ve grown up so much since then.”

Not content to be an actress/model, music called, and Milla started to write songs. “I would be in school and I’d get a melody in my head,” she says. “I’d sing it into my microphone. Writing on the guitar was difficult for me at first. I didn’t realize how easy it could be.”

Two years ago, Milla signed with SBK and moved to London. Initially, they paired her with producers who had their own ideas and material. She settled on Richard Feldman and Rupert Hine. “Richard would write the music around my melody. He seemed to understand where I was coming from—we did some good songs together. With Rupert, I already had the songs written, so we just arranged them together.”

The result of that collaboration is The Divine Comedy. “It’s my first realization of where I was at and what music I even wanted to hear coming out from the speakers,” she says. “Growing up, I listened to a lot of Joni Mitchell and Kate Bush. I love Kate Bush. Her old stuff is amazing. It’s really beautiful. The music that expresses me the best is more folk-oriented—acoustic, natural instruments. But the stuff I’m listening to mostly right now is funk and rap. Gang Starr’s on my CD player. It’s funny that the music you listen to and the music that expresses yourself could be so different.”

Now that she’s a pop musician, Milla watches the charts. She particularly appalled by the #1 UK status of the soccer song, “Come on You Reds.” Sweden’s Ace of Base is another target. “They’re just gross. They’re sick. To hear them butcher reggae or whatever they’re doing is cheesy. They freak me out. They’re an insult to real music.”

Milla delayed The Divine Comedy to film Dazed and Confused. “When I went out for the audition, the part that I thought I was going for was a different role,” she says. “When I got there, they didn’t want me for that part—they said I was too sophisticated. They asked me to do this other part. I really wanted to be involved because I liked the script, but I was in the studio then, recording, and I couldn’t just take three months off and go to Texas to do a part that’s not really worth my time doing. So they said I could write my own scenes to the film. I ended up spending three months in Austin.”

Milla may not have said much in Dazed and Confused, but she’s quite the chatty High Times interviewee. Her legalization solution? “Everyone should get together for one big event. But we can’t be smoking. We have to show people that we can get together without getting high.”

I doubt that a million marijuana marchers could go without a smoke. Milla pulls back a hit and smiles, “We can always try.”

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