After a number of dark, angst ridden characters - including your Oscar-winning role in "Girl, Interrupted" - were you desperate to do something different?
You know, in a way she's not so different as she seems from the other characters I've played. But this has been one of the most difficult things I've ever done. Lara's not dark or brooding, she's really clear about what she wants. I suppose that's the real difference from what I've done before. In some ways she's almost too capable, and I certainly don't recognise that quality in myself. I have to smack myself to try to take on the world like she does every day.
You've said that you first knew of Lara Croft when your ex-husband, Jonny Lee Miller, introduced you to the games.
Yeah, maybe there was something to Jonny playing it years ago and me just hating this woman, because she kept my husband up all night at the time. I'm actually terrible at the game, I kill her constantly, which I love to do because she makes these little sounds that I'm very fond of.
Was it hard, on top of all the physical stuff you had to deal with, to also cope with an upper class English accent?
That's weird, because it's an accent that you wouldn't usually put in an action movie. So somehow I really seem like a lady, but I'm really violent, then the next moment I'm drinking tea!
What did you have in mind when you were creating the character?
Every kind of sexy Italian female actor I've ever watched. And she's also like that crocodile hunter guy in Australia. At one point I had my doubts about it, I'm wondering if this is the sort of thing a serious actor would do, but then I got into it completely.
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