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Wednesday, 4 July, 2001, 06:01 GMT 07:01 UK
Thousands turn out for Lara première
Actress Angelina Jolie and husband Billy Bob Thornton share a kiss outside the Empire
Angelina Jolie and Billy Bob Thornton share a kiss
Around 4,000 fans gathered in London's Leicester Square for the première of Lara Croft: Tomb Raider - and were treated to a 20-minute walkabout by the film's leading lady Angelina Jolie.

The actress's father, Jon Voight, who plays Lara's dad in the movie, and her brother James joined Jolie and husband Billy Bob Thornton for the screening at London's Empire Cinema.

Jolie, who plays Lara, said she was reassured by the turnout.

She had been concerned at how audiences would react to a US actress playing the English character.

Angelina Jolie films
Hackers (1995)
Playing God (1997)
Gia (1998)
Pushing Tin (1999)
The Bone Collector (1999)
Girl, Interrupted (1999)
Gone in 60 Seconds (2000)
Tomb Raider (2001)
Jolie said her role could set young cinema goers a positive example.

"I'm hoping it's going to be empowering for everybody," she said.

"Hopefully it will inspire a lot of people to be strong and healthy."

Jolie shrugged off poor reviews for the film, based on the best-selling series of Tomb Raider computer games.

She said: "People think that I'm in denial - but I don't care.

"I love my work."

Natalie Appleton and her daughter Rachel
Natalie Appleton's daughter Rachel plays the young Lara
Voight said he was proud of his daughter's performance in the action movie.

"It gives her a chance to show off all that stuff I knew about when she was growing up, all the athletics she was good at school," he added.

Also at the première were former All Saints singer Natalie Appleton and her daughter Rachel, who plays the young Lara in the film.

Jemima Khan, the Fast Show's Paul Whitehouse, the Spice Girls' Mel C and EastEnders' Martin Kemp were also at the cinema.

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider opens at UK cinemas on Friday, 6 July.

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See also:

07 Apr 00 | Entertainment
Jolie lands Lara role
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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