OR LARA CROFT ?
Copyright 2001 www.tombraiderchronicles.com
[ November 19th 2001 ]
Norris may be best known for her assured portrayal
of calm, collected Karen Marsden in ITV's Cold
Feet, but beneath that unruffled exterior there's
an adrenaline junkie simply bursting to get out.
diving? She finds it relaxing. Bungee jumping?
Any time. Trekking in the Himalayas? Loved it.
Driving very fast cars in the American wilderness?
Done it - she once had a blow-out in a Pontiac
Firebird at a horribly high speed. Then there
was the time she almost drowned while white-water
totally exhilarating," she says, as she recounts
the drama that happened earlier this year in New
Zealand. "And very dramatic, with lots of rafts
rushing along this fast-flowing river through
magnificent rocks and boulders and people shouting
with excitement and others waiting in pools at
the side in case anything happened.
thing I knew, I was being thrown out of the raft
and into the water with the instructor. For a
moment, I thought I was a goner because all I
saw was everyone in the boat shouting 'aaaargh'
and reaching out in a really dramatic gesture
to try to save us. It was one of those moments
when your mind goes blank and all you can do is
say: 'Oh God, oh God' over and over again.
once the initial panic was over, I did exactly
what I'd been told to do - I faced down river
with my feet out and my arms behind my back. They
soon pulled us out. It was very frightening, but
I'd do it again in an instant."
who's 34 and single, throws herself into things
with such determination - whether it's a new sport,
an alternative therapy (she has acupuncture and
reflexology as well as regular shiatsu massages)
or sampling a new vitamin pill that's just hit
the shops - that her friends call her Duracell,
after the supercharged batteries.
I'll try anything," she says. "I tend to run around
a lot and I can get obsessive about things - when
I'm into something, I am really into it. I've
been a bit of a water baby since I learnt to swim
properly. I find scuba diving incredibly calming.
It's a pity I can't do that near my home in west
London, but I swim instead, that's my big thing.
too tired to run at the end of the day, so I go
to the pool after work. It's my way of winding
down: I do half an hour of laps up and down the
pool, followed by a steam and a sauna. My other
main exercise is yoga, which surprised me because
I'd always thought it would be very boring - and,
of course, it's the complete opposite. I like
it from a mental relaxation point of view, but
I also enjoy the discipline of a class because
it's dynamic and gives me a really good workout.
lucky because I have a high metabolism, so my
weight is usually between eight and a half and
nine stone," she says. "If I find myself putting
on a few pounds, I don't mess around with silly
diets. I just eat three meals a day and don't
pick at anything in between. I've tried to diet
in the past, but I just can't - if I say the word
'diet', I start eating. I tried food combining,
because at least it's healthy. It gave me loads
of energy, but I didn't really enjoy it. I stuck
at it for about a month, which is a long time
for vitamin pills, if I see anything new in the
shops, I'll try it. I buy loads, take them probably
three times and if they haven't made any difference,
I ditch them. My bathroom cabinet is full of them
and every now and then I go through them and realise
that they're all out of date."
is currently filming a new television detective
drama with Robson Green but, in keeping with her
sporting tastes, she would love to take on an
action woman or Lara Croft-type of film role.
"I'd love to be in something like Terminator II,
with lots of sword fights, guns and unarmed combat,"
she says. "I'd like to be a bit of a baddie, do
loads of martial arts, climb up cliffs and then
jump off them, that kind of thing. I would also
have loved to have been an Olympic athlete. Athletes
fascinate me - their mentality and focus are just
amazing. It wouldn't bother me doing the same
thing year after year, I'd thrive on it.
a big regret that I didn't get the chance to play
many sports because I would have loved to. But
I trained to be a dancer from the age of four,
so any other sports were out of the question,
because it was thought you'd build up the wrong
muscles. At least the dancing gave me a good background
in the discipline of exercise, because I now find
I need to work out, more for my mental health
than anything else. If I don't, I get down, so
I try to keep a good routine going. On the down
side, dancing did give me a dodgy lower back.
doing something for myself is incredibly important.
One of the reasons I travel the world doing extreme
sports is because I am the sort of person who
simply can't bear just sitting at home waiting
for the phone to ring."