Copyright 2002

[ September 23rd 2002 ]

South African Jet-ski star Jeremy Phillips has revealed amusing details on stunt sequences shot while in Greece speeding across the clear-blue Mediterranean Sea as Angelina Jolie's body double in Par's Lara Croft & The Cradle Of Life, All Africa reports today. The 30-year-old world champion joined Jan de Bont and his production crew on the sun-drenched Aegean Sea island of Santorini in August for a grueling shooting schedule at the northern-most point of the island in the small costal town of Ia.

"They needed someone who could fit the body of Angelina and perform some really difficult manoeuvres on a jet ski," recalls Phillips, who escaped injury when one of the stunt attempts took a nasty turn for the worse. "They wanted either a barrel roll or a back flip on a jet ski. The problem was it's the Mediterranean and there are no waves and you need waves to do either. So I designed a ramp to try to copy the shape of a wave but it didn't work and I ended up crashing the ski. Eventually we settled for a barrel roll, which you can do by hitting a boat's wake."

The physiological aspects of performing as Jolie's stunt and body double presented Phillips with even more problems. "She's just a little shorter than me but we pretty much have the same frame," he said. "I had to wear a wig and had to shave my body. I wore a bikini and they added 'chicken fillets' - that's fake breasts in the movie industry. Thank God I didn't have to strap 'him' down. I wore a La Perla bikini that managed to keep it all hidden. Occasionally it would pop out and we'd have to stop filming. But I'd just tuck it back in and we'd continue."

Phillips scored the Tomb Raider stunt role in May after catching the eye of producer Shelly Clipard while performing in the US Pro Freeride Watercraft Tour held in Los Angeles. The former 1998 and 2000 world champion secured three titles during the tour. Paramount Pictures second Tomb Raider movie dramatically opens with a lavish Greek wedding, interrupted when the infamous volcano of Santorini, dormant for 10,000 years, spectacularly erupts and triggers a series of earthquakes which in turn spawns the rise of a ancient underwater ruin from the bottom of the sea.

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