Karima Adebibe (2006 - 2008)

Karima Adebibe Full Name: Karima Adebibe
Age: 20
Star Sign: Leo
Hair: Brown
Eyes: Blue-Green/Grey
Profession: Model

Karima was born in the UK then brought up in Morocco before returning to England when she was seven. She lives with her mum in Bethnal Green in London’s East End. She has a musician boyfriend Terry, 27.

Karima, who appeared briefly in the movie Alien Vs Predator and had modelled for Coca-Cola, accepts landing the Lara role is a "huge break." It also saved her career.

She admits: "It has taken me a long time to get here. I was about to quit modelling. Going to all the castings was getting a bit tiresome and I wanted to do photography. "Then this happened. It must have been a sign to stick with it. "When I heard I had been chosen I was gobsmacked. I’m a Tomb Raider fan and played the games as a kid."

Karima will now go on a worldwide tour to promote the new game, starting in America next week followed by visits to Canada and Europe, including the UK. Karima admits winning the part will not sink in until the first time she is mobbed by blokes desperate for her autograph.

She says: "Lara Croft is one of the sexiest women on the planet so to be cast as her is such a huge compliment. At the audition I had to get into the costume and the first time was very nerve-racking. But it is so empowering and exciting to realise you are about to become a fantasy figure. I have to act as Lara, so I am having elocution lessons and learning how to be a lady all over again. I’ve also got to go on an SAS training course and learn how to ride a motorcycle. Becoming Lara means being strong, ladylike yet rugged and very sexy. As Lara I can do anything I want and not have to explain it. After all, who is going to mess with me?"

But while she is ecstatic, there is another man in her life who has a slight worry. She says: "My mum was very happy for me but Dad said, ‘Oh dear, what are you going to be wearing?’ "

What does Lara Croft mean to you?
Karima: Lara Croft Is the epitome of British class, beauty and strength. She's an independent and ambitious female version of Indiana Jones. Her fearlessness and adventurous nature takes her on all kinds of journeys across the globe. She is proficient in many languages and is highly educated. Lara has been created to fulfill the ultimate fantasy character for both men and women. Lara's got it all.

Is your personality similar to Lara Croft in any way?
Karima: I certainly hope so! As well as indulging my feminine side, I’m also a tomboy at heart who loves to be challenged in sport and adventure. I always welcome the opportunity to travel and discover new cultures. I also liken myself to Lara with my dry sense of humour, I think we like to give our men a hard time!

Do you play computer games?
Karima: One of the first computer games I ever played was Tomb Raider with my sister, and we were addicted to it! Unfortunately I don't get to play as often as I would like these days.

Lara loves to travel, where has your job taken you to in the world?
Karima: I have been lucky enough to travel to Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Morocco, Holland and Czech Republic.

How did you feel when you found out that you had won the role of being the new face of Lara Croft?
Karima: It’s probably been the most exciting thing that’s ever happened to me. I pinch myself and I still can’t believe it! I remember the last day of auditions and leaving the Eidos offices with feelings of uncertainty. The competition was high and I knew the final decision would be difficult. I was so anxious when I received the call and almost couldn’t believe what I was hearing when they told me I was going to be the new face of Lara Croft. I'm so glad I made it, I'm so glad to be here!

What do your friends and family think of you as Lara Croft?
Karima: Well my dad LOVE'S it and my sisters are envious! I've become strangely popular within my family and friends lately, I wonder why?

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