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Tuesday, 3 July, 2001, 16:08 GMT 17:08 UK
Angelina 'terrified' of playing Lara
Angelina Jolie in Tomb Raider
Jolie knows many fans take Lara "very seriously"
By BBC News Online's Rebecca Thomas

Tomb Raider star Angelina Jolie has admitted she was "terrified" of the part of Lara Croft because she did not want to upset the computer heroine's fans - particularly in Lara's homeland Britain.

Jolie was speaking ahead of the British première of Lara Croft: Tomb Raider in London's Leicester Square on Tuesday.

"I was terrified of what the fans might think and still am. We had to fill in the gaps about her character that is not seen in the game," said the Oscar-winning Jolie.

Lara Croft takes part in a Buddhist ceremony
The film-makers made Lara deeply spiritual

"But Lara was largely created by her fans. They pulled her out of the game and many take her very seriously.

"And it's especially nerve-racking being in Britain because Lara belongs here. Some people still believe she should have been played by a British actress."

Jolie, 26, stars as the danger-seeking, tomb-raiding aristocrat Lady Lara Croft in a movie adaptation of the hit computer games from Eidos.

In the film, Lara discovers an antique clock, containing a key to two halves of a mysterious triangle.

When joined, they give the owner the power to control time.

Lara goes off to exotic locations such as Cambodia and Iceland in an attempt to recover both pieces.

But, in the process, she comes up against the evil secret society the Illuminati who have the same idea and want Lara out of the way.


The movie, which also features Jolie's real-life father Jon Voight as Lara's father Lord Croft, opened in the US on 15 June.

The opinion among critics was mixed. But Jolie said US Tomb Raider fans had been generous.

Joon Voight also stars in Tomb Raider
Jolie's real and onscreen father Jon Voight

"It's very interesting and pretty good meeting the fans. Many of them have lots of suggestions and ideas about what they would want if there were to be a sequel.

"But the funniest thing is that many think I am her. I can walk into a room and people will call out her name and school children point and call me 'Lara'."

True to the computer game, Jolie's role involved some challenging and dangerous stunts.

To cope, the actress took on a strict regime of diet and workouts to bring her to the peak of physical fitness.

The stunts included fighting with killer robots, high-rise bungee "ballet", kick boxing and driving a pack of dogs over freezing arctic terrain.


Jolie insisted on doing most of the stunts herself. She told how she picked up a number of injuries, including torn ligaments in her ankle and a burn from a chandelier.

Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft
Jolie wanted to do her own stunts

But she added: "When I was a little girl I wanted to be Indiana Jones and I never think of women as not being strong."

Voight, who was also speaking to journalists, confirmed his daughter's physical skills.

"Angie was always very athletic. When I used to coach soccer, she was the best player on the team and the best at running in her class."

But, Jolie added, when she was at home with her husband Billy Bob Thornton: "I allow myself to be a woman."

She described her personal life as "far more interesting" than her career.

"Married life is great. My husband is my best friend. We have a laugh and he allows me to breathe."

British actor Iain Glen i
British actor Iain Glen is in the Illuminati

Jolie will be attending the London première of Lara Croft: Tomb Raider along with her father and other co-star Iain Glen.

But otherwise she said would not be going out while in the UK: "My husband is here with me," she explained.

"That means I'll be doing all I can to stay at home."

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider opens across the UK on Friday 6 July.

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See also:

29 Jun 01 | Film
Violent Lara Croft scenes cut
18 Jun 01 | Film
Tomb Raider guns to the top
28 Jun 01 | New Media
Q&A: The man who made Lara
12 Jun 01 | Film
Big screen Lara Croft unveiled
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