back to the library

Rhona's Interview (July 1997)

The Real Lara Croft
Rhona Mitra Eidos and Core are promoting more and more Rhona Mitra as the real Lara Croft. Maybe this is an indication on who will play Lara in the Tomb Raider movie. Rhona already as an acting career as you can find in the interview.

Adored by videogames players the world over, Lara Croft has become a household name and has graced the covers of the Sunday supplements and The Face alike. Now, the polygon Lara has come alive in the shape of Rhona Mitra. We talked to her about life as a PlayStation phenomenon, show-stopper about her forthcoming potential pop career.

Eidos are announcing financial results this morning and the corporate press have all asked for exclusive photographs, so I'm off to see my costume designer, Antonia Davis, for a few final adjustments. I arrive at Antonia's studio at around 10.30 after a hectic half-hour journey across London.

Antonia has designed some really cool outfits for pop stars like Tina Turner. She's got my new get-up ready and everything's been meticulously tailored to ensure that I look as Lara-like as possible. She's even going to spray the clothes with silicon to recreate the look. Well, everything seems to fit perfectly, and I mean perfectly - talk about skin-tight. I'll need several of these costumes because, unlike computer Lara, I actually need to change my outfit every day, especially when I'm working at trade shows such as E3.

The shows are great fun and it's such a buzz when you're instantly recognised. Everyone wants to have their picture taken with me so that they can publish it in their magazines. I've heard that PSM will be giving the game big coverage and that they'll be running the very first review when Tomb Raider 2 is finished, so I'd better make sure I'm extra nice to that Rob Pegley guy if I see him at the shows...

It's 12.30 now and I've just enough time to grab a quick snack before I arrive at Glassworks. This is part of Eidos and I'm here to pose with Charles and Ian for the next hour while the photographer takes shots from every conceivable angle. He also wants to take a few of me by myself for the PR manager to send out to the press. For these shots I have to recreate poses as seen in the game. It's not that easy to imitate Lara Croft as she's so agile and graceful, but I'll try to do my best without laughing. At times it can be quite embarrassing copying a computer-games character but at least I don't have to wear a spiky blue hedgehog outfit.

After the photo-shoot I have to drop into Naked Records. They are a wholly-owned subsidiary of Eidos and it was Nick Thorpe, the manager, who actually got me the job as Lara Croft. He introduced me to Charles and I was hired for two reasons: not only do I actually look like Lara, but I sound like her, too. Just goes to show that it's not what you know but who you know... The single has been ongoing for the past few weeks and it was partly recorded in the Amazon jungle. Dave Stewart, who's producing the single, insisted that we go there to capture the vibes (or something like that) and I must admit that it was an amazingly beautiful place. I've just got to re-record a few vocals for the latest mix this afternoon. The single should be finished in a few weeks, so watch out.

It's 4pm now and I've just had a call to say that Eidos are sending me on a media training course tomorrow. This will equip me with interview skills that will help me to work with the press. There'll be no excuse for me to get tongue-tied when I'm doing TV interviews. I hope I manage to come across as well as the computer Lara - I imagine that she'd be exceptionally cool, calm and witty when in front of the camera. Nothing seems to phase her. But I have quite a bit of acting experience already so I should be able to cope with the press and all their questions.

My latest TV role was in Jilly Cooper's The Man Who Made Husbands Jealous. I played Flora, but I won't tell you too much about it or I'll spoil the surprise! I've also been in The Bill and The Ghost Busters of East Finchley and have been in theatre productions and films too. Of all the jobs I've done though, this is by the the most taxing and interesting so far.

Article and pictures taken from the Official UK PlayStation Magazine August 1997, Future Publishing. The Croft Times