Alicia Vikander takes on the iconic Lara Croft in 'Tomb Raider' reboot
Oscar-winning actress Alicia Vikander stopped by BUILD Series this week to promote her role as Lara Croft in the all-new "Tomb Raider" movie. The "Tomb Raider" franchise encompasses numerous successful video games, two feature-length films starring Angelina Jolie, and even a comic book series.
Vikander now steps into the shoes of the iconic heroine in this reboot. She spoke about what drew her to the role and shared a little about her preparation work and workout regimen for the film.
"I grew up playing the game and saw Angelina Jolie's films growing up...I just thought it was a pretty amazing thing that with a character that has been with us for 22 years and also in a way was sort of groundbreaking for me as a young girl," she said. "That was the first time that I saw a woman in a video game and even Angelina Jolie, to see someone finally kick ass in an action film like that was pretty empowering."
Lara Croft has evolved over the years all the way to the current era of the "Tomb Raider" games. Vikander thought this origin story and "raw take on this role and universe" is something that audiences in 2018 could relate to.
The actress had a lot of prep work to do in order to transform into Croft. She told the audience that she looked up to female athletes and stunt girls she worked with over the years as inspiration to get into excellent physical shape.
"I'm quite petite. I was like 'Wow, I would love to see what it would take to get into that kind of physical shape,' and then I met Alexander Skarsgård, who is a close friend of mine," she said. "He actually called me up when he found out that I was going to be in this." The actor traded tips and recommended his go-to personal trainer for her to work with.
Vikander had to constantly eat five meals per day with an emphasis on complex carbs like brown rice and quinoa and having cheat days where she ate indulgent foods like pizza and pasta because "it's what your body wants!"
In addition to the increase in her dietary intake, the star revealed she got to pick up new fighting skills for the movie. "I got to learn a lot more skills and do MMA and boxing and climbing. It was an amazing experience, I use to be a dancer so I think I've always seen these kind of films and being curious and being excited to know what it's like to do this preparation for this kind of film."
One of the major action sequences you'll see in the movie involves Vikander's Croft in an MMA-style fight scene. "I think that was the day at work that I was most nervous," she said.
"Everyone knew I've been training. The crew, director and cast was kind of like curious, 'Is she going to do it?!? She's going to go up in there and kick some ass hopefully,' and I had these girls that I've been training with and then I got up there in the ring and I was going to do this and I remembered I was like, 'Can you please turn around and not look at me when I do the first take?' I felt like it was the big performance," Vikander explained. "It was fun!"
She added that she got hit in the face once by accident as a result of the production's incorrect shot angle which director Roar Uthaug eventually made the camera crew redo in order to get the right shot he wanted. By the time he got what he wanted, "I was down on the floor. Ugh ...at least I got to feel [what it was like]. I was thinking to myself, you know, because I haven't had a punch in the face [like that before], 'Wow now I've experienced that pain.'"
"Tomb Raider" starring Alicia Vikander as Lara Croft is in theaters now.