Film Review's Ultimate DVD Main Selected FeaturePlay Movie: The Global Picture - Bridget Jones's DiaryPlay Movie: Region 1 Review - Jurassic Park IIIPlay Movie: Region 2 Reviews - ChocolatContents of this issueBuy it from our online stores VI DIRECT
Selected FeaturePlay Movie: The Global Picture - Bridget Jones's DiaryPlay Movie: Region 1 Review - Jurassic Park IIIPlay Movie: Region 2 Review - ChocolatContents of this issueBuy it from our online stores VI DIRECT

interview: tomb raider

From Ultimate DVD #24

DO YOU WANT TO PLAY?

Ultimate DVD finds out if Lara Croft presses all the right buttons for the gorgeous Angelina Jolie...

Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft

Disc review and full feature in issue!

DVD released Nov 13 (R1) Nov 26 (R2)

Oscar-winner for Girl: Interrupted, Angelina Jolie shows a new side to her skills as Lara Croft in the big screen adaptation of the Tomb Raider computer game.

Was it hard to be playing someone who existed initially as a series of pixels rather than a fully-formed character?

A lot of people have asked that, but the strange thing is that with most of the scripts we read there's nothing there but a few lines of dialogue and maybe a short description. So there was actually a lot more to Lara, and a certain amount of pressure in making sure the things about her that were very specific, that people knew and loved about her, were there. We put a lot of focus into making sure we had that.

How much physical preparation did you do?

It took about two and a half months, and then it was ongoing during the film. But that was probably the best way to become her, because with anything physical like that you get into a certain mindset and you want to win, you get bruised and aggressive and a certain kind of focus comes with that.

And what was the hardest part of that?

Probably the whole endurance aspect of it. To still be enthusiastic in the fifth month, in the last hour of the last week to be just as excited and into it and up for everything. But a lot of the things that were the most difficult were also the most fun. The bungee ballet probably took the most time to practice, but was certainly the most fun. And the weapons. I'm left handed so the first time I held the guns up the left one was very straight and the right one was uneven. It took a long time to get it right when I was getting them out of the holsters too. And the dog sledding was hard. I think when Simon [West, the director] asked me to walk backwards on a ladder, several feet above the ground, with things swinging about around me, to reload and shoot something – that was the single most difficult thing to do.

So did you sustain any injuries?

I have a burn on my leg from standing on the chandelier, I still have a little thing in my ankle because I tore some ligaments, and I have a few other little scars. But looking back, I was into Indiana Jones as a kid, I wanted to be him. I was, I think, a bit of a tomboy.

Playing Lara as a member of the English aristocracy, in the country where she was `born' must have posed a particular challenge too.

I was terrified of how the people who love Lara Croft would react. I'm quite nervous being in England because of that. There are undoubtedly people who think she should be played by a British actress. There are a lot of people who have really strong opinions about her. She was created by the fans, she was pulled out of the game and made almost into a real person in this very strange way. I think some people do think of her as a real person. You just hope that they're okay with the choices you've made, you just give it your best shot. It's a pressure you just try to deal with.

Have you encountered Lara Croft fans yourself?

I've met some. And it's really interesting, they take it all really seriously. They have ideas; we asked them recently if there was another film what thoughts would they have. They have very strong opinions. It's been good. Somehow the best thing is when they don't have a particular opinion about her or you, they come up and just talk about you as if you are Lara Croft. That becomes strange, when little kids point at me and call me her name. That kind of seals it. That's great...

Anwar Brett

Feature © Visual Imagination Ltd 2001
Image © Paramount Films. Not for reproduction

Continued in
Ultimate DVD #24

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