Wed. Sep 27th, 2023

When it comes to action and adventure movies, it would be unfair to name Angelina Jolie’s Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. The movie follows the journey of British archeologist Lara Croft as she travels the globe in search of historical artifacts while fending off evil forces.

But did you know that the production team faced a number of obstacles behind the scenes?

The title character, a British aristocrat with a talent for archeology and a penchant for hot pants, rose to fame in pop culture in the late ’90s. In the era of lads’ magazines and Girl Power, Jolie’s adventurer character becomes an unprecedented digital celebrity. The legendary actress, then 26 years old, became a legitimate movie star as a result of playing Lara Croft.

However, the filmmaker claimed that things might have turned out a little differently behind the project if he had not pushed the 48-year-old actress.

Moreover, Jolie was being considered for the role even though other A-list actresses like Ashley Judd, Jennifer Lopez, and Catherine Zeta-Jones had a better reputation as Hollywood bad girls at the time.

However, according to director Simon West, the Maleficent actress could excel if given the chance.

Angelina Jolie Wasn’t as ‘big as some of the other actresses’
According to director Simon West, Paramount Pictures approached him several times before he agreed to helm the first Tomb Raider movie, which was released in theaters on June 15, 2001.

However, the 61-year-old veteran producer and director of movies believed Angelina Jolie could succeed if given the chance. He spoke candidly to Entertainment Weekly in 2018.

“Angelina wasn’t as big as some of the other actresses that were up for the part, who’d done bigger films and had a longer track record and bigger box office grosses. Some of their [images] were safer than Angelina’s, whose was quite dangerous. She had all sorts of thing written about her—some obviously not true. She was a young woman experimenting.”

He also recalled that the Eternals actress “did not hold back her words” and “lived quite an alternative lifestyle.”

West believed that Jolie had a poor reputation and spoke truth to power. He had a lot of difficulty getting her approved by the studio because he wanted an actress who would add something to the role.

And, according to West, Jolie, who was then 24 years old, brought this famous Angelina Jolie mythology with her:

“As this dark, crazy, wicked woman with a very particular and interesting personality.” “I wanted that mythology of Angelina Jolie to fuse with Lara Croft.”

She Was Even Ready for the Drug Testing Policies
Making sure that the cast and crew were drug-free while shooting was another significant challenge for the production team. The drug test rule plays a crucial role in maintaining the safety of the cast and crew, making sure that filming did not stop, and guaranteeing general safety. And Angelina Jolie was even ready to do a drug test for the film.

Simon West had such a strong belief in the actress that he took a plane to Mexico, where she was filming Original Sin, to clarify the studio’s concerns. He recalled this in Sherry Lansing‘s 2017 book, Leading Lady.

“She said, ‘Look, I want to do it, but I know what my reputation is, and I’ll do anything you want to prove that I’m worthy. I’ll be reliable, and I’ll turn up and I’ll work hard. I don’t care if the studio wants to drug test me every day.’”

It is true that filmmaking requires a certain amount of risk-taking, as Tomb Raider‘s production team demonstrated by pushing the envelope and making an action-packed movie. And this left viewers on the edge of their seats.

Angelina Jolie’s Tomb Raider movie remains a classic that will always be remembered in the world of cinema. The production team faced a number of difficulties behind the scenes, such as bra padding, drug testing regulations, and risk-taking.

But with persistence and dedication, they were able to produce a masterpiece that still holds audiences’ attention.

Witness the action-packed adventure, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider on HBO Max.

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