September 23, 2016 12:50 PM

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There aren’t many women in this world that can make the claim that the great loves of their life were born of Resident Evil.

Unless you’re Milla Jovovich, and that makes it a different story. The actress and model met her husband, Paul W.S. Anderson, while shooting the first film of the franchise in 2002.

As the movie vaulted her further into stardom, it also vaulted her into marriage and motherhood, and Jovovich marvels at the life that the “T-Virus” has brought to her.

“I think that the franchise has definitely made me who I am today,” she told PEOPLE while attending the Chanel No. 5 L’eau launch dinner at the Sunset Towers in Los Angeles on Thursday night. “And I have two kids and an amazing husband because of it. I think that I’ve definitely become a stronger person through it.”

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And strength is necessary, especially as the 40-year-old actress is faced with dealing with some of the early forming personalities of her household.

Daughter Dashiel Edan is just shy of 18 months old, and already a welcome handful.

“Oh my God, she’s had a personality from literally the day that she was born,” the actress says. “She was born smiling.”

Jovovich adds, “By the time that she was 2 months old, she was cracking up at stuff.”

Not simply cute baby cackle, but pointed, informed laughter.

“She was this really smart, little 2 month old who knew [when] something wasn’t normal, that it was funny,” Jovovich says. “And now she’s just leaps and bounds, talking, she has more than 50 words in her vocabulary. It’s quite amazing to see this little sprite growing.”

And Dashiel’s doting older sister, Ever Gabo, is always looking after her.

“She is amazing,” Jovovich says of her 9-year-old. “She always makes her little sister laugh, and [she’s there] anytime [Dashiel] cries.”

“She has really stepped up to the plate in the most beautiful way. Because of the age difference, you don’t have all of the jealousy so she really is like a little mommy sometimes.”

A “little mommy” — with certain restrictions.

“She can’t pick her up because [Dashiel] is huge,” the actress says. “She tries to pick her up, but I’m like, ‘No, no, no. no. Don’t go there.’ “

— Reagan Alexander

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