Copyright 2000 Associated Press

[ December 7th 2000 ]

Angelina Jolie is nervous. Yes, you read that right. The Oscar-winning, headline-grabbing actress is actually worried about how her turn as popular video-game heroine Lara Croft will be received when the movie version of "Tomb Raider'' hits theaters in June.

"There are so many people who love this game,'' she said. "She's their girl, and you don't want to take away the thing they love about her. You hope you do justice to what everyone wanted. You pray you got it right.''

Lara Croft is the star of Eidos Interactive's "Tomb Raider'' video-game series, which has generated $500 million in sales since its 1996 debut. She's an archaeologist, photojournalist and British aristocrat, who travels the globe (wearing tight clothes, of course) seeking adventure. In a phone interview this week from London, where she was wrapping up filming on "Tomb Raider,'' Jolie said a lot of decisions went into taking Lara Croft from the computer screen to the silver screen. "We decided she was human now and she wasn't perfect. I gained weight and worked out and my shape changed,'' she said.

"She's a woman and she's curvy and cheeky and playful and wicked and we didn't try to make her macho.'' While she couldn't divulge much about the plot, Jolie, 25, said the role was one of the most physically demanding of her career. She had to learn boxing, kickboxing, yoga, bungee ballet, dogsledding, gymnastics and weapons training - some of which she already knew as an avid dagger collector. "It's like joining the army,'' she said. "I almost recommend to everyone sending themselves off to some insane boot camp and traveling the world and taking themselves out of their normal life and getting free.''

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