Simon West

Tomb Raider

Interviewed by Anwar Brett

Did you jump at the chance of directing "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider" when it came up?

I'd just finished making "The General's Daughter" and knew I wanted to do something light next time around, but when "Tomb Raider" was mooted I turned it down without even thinking too much about it. When it was offered again the idea of making an action movie with a female hero at its heart had really begun to appeal to me.

Was Angelina your first choice to play Lara?

She seemed obvious to me. As far as I could see there were no other actors of her quality who could do it justice, really, because the role requires this odd mix of the voluptuous womanhood with brains and wit and humour.

And a willingness to throw herself into the stunts that were required?

Well, you don't want to put your actors at risk of getting even slightly hurt, because apart form anything else that will mean at least a couple of weeks off. But Angelina really got into it, she's very comfortable with that kind of thing and did a lot of stunts herself.

There was, though, one unscripted near accident on location in Iceland, wasn't there?

We were stuck on a stalled boat in the middle of this freezing lake, slowly sinking into the water. I was trying to figure out how long it would take the safety boats to rescue us if we went under. It was like a scene from "Titanic" or something, we were getting lower and lower, when the driver suddenly got it going again and the water began pumping out.

Read a review of "Tomb Raider".

Read an interview with Lara herself, Angelina Jolie.

Read about the making of the film.

Read a profile of Angelina Jolie.

Watch Film 2001's exclusive report on the film.

Raid the official site.

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