Angelina Jolie Initially Said No to Starring in Simon West’s Tomb Raider

Angelina Jolie Initially Said No to Starring in Simon West’s Tomb Raider
Angelina Jolie is Lara Croft in Tomb Raider (2001) (Image: Paramount Pictures)

Before Charlize Theron took the mantle as the queen of action cinema, that title belonged to Angelina Jolie, starting with the role of Lara Croft in Simon West’s Tomb Raider (2001).

The film was the first time Jolie would do intense stuntwork. This fuelled her worry about whether or not she was suitable for the part. She told Collier, “I said, ‘I really didn’t feel like that character suited me.’ I actually didn’t at first want to do it; I said no.”

To ease her mind, Tomb Raider director Simon West was patient with her and explained he would give her whatever training she needed. “They said you can travel the world and train with the British Military and so I had three months of seeing what I could do. And I would encourage anybody to do that. Sign up for as much as you can, give yourself a few months, push yourself to the limit and see, ‘What can I do?”

She threw herself into the training to make her action sequences look as realistic as possible. All the hard work paid off as she gave an iconic performance as the video game heroine.

In the interview, she also talks about finding a happy medium between VFX and stuntwork to maximise authenticity. “And I do think the more we have in film that’s visual effects, the more it’s important to do your own stunts if you can because I think the audience knows the difference and it feels real when it is.”

If you want to catch Jolie doing some hardcore stunts watch Tyler Sheridan’s Those Who Wish Me Dead in theatres now.