In rounding out the cast, the filmmakers then brought on a diverse ensemble of acclaimed talent.
One of the most hotly discussed casting choices was the question of who should play Lord Croft, Lara's father. As names were bandied back and forth, the name that emerged as front-runner was Jon Voight, Angelina Jolie's real life father.
"As a father, spending time with your children is the greatest thing, and to be in the same profession as your children and to be able to work with them is the deepest joy," says
Voight. "To find ourselves in the adventure of the work was quite daunting to us because we wanted to do it right, we wanted to have our moment together. I was pleased and touched that Angie wanted this to happen, and I was nervous, and she was nervous. But when we were in the work it was good, and we both had a tremendous amount of fun."
Explains Jolie of Lara's relationship with her father, "Her father died when she was eight. She never met her mother, who died in childbirth. And so she was raised by a father who educated her very well and traveled the world. He was an explorer, and though she was very young when he died, he left many different journals and set up a whole world for her to grow up in."
"It was very exciting to have a genuine father and daughter playing these roles," adds West.
Voight, savoring his role as Lara's father, says, "There is warmth to Lord Croft - humor and a touch of the
To play Manfred Powell, adversary of Lara's father, Lord Croft, and now Lara's sworn enemy, the
filmmakers enlisted gifted stage and screen actor lain Glen. "Powell is an intellect and a wit," says Glen. "He is a worthy adversary for Lara. He is incredibly astute: fast thinking and able to see into people's strengths and weaknesses. It is his ability to pinpoint Lara's Achilles' heel that allows him to lead her treacherously close to her own demise."
Alex West, Lara's fellow tomb raider and occasional adversary, is played by the rising young actor Daniel Craig. "Alex is an American. He and Lara Croft may or may not have been involved in the past," says Craig. "So he takes the job with Manfred Powell because he has offered him a lot of money, possible fame, excitement — and perhaps the chance of seeing Lara again."
Noah Taylor plays Lara's sidekick and tech guru, Bryce. However, in reality Taylor is just the opposite. Says Taylor, "Personally, I don't drive, I have trouble changing light bulbs; and I am just now embracing computer technology. I have never played the Tomb Raider game in my life!"
Chris Barrie, who plays Lara Croft's butler, Hillary, was delighted with the opportunity to play off of Taylor's Bryce. "I have been cast as the slightly stiffer, more disciplined character playing off the more wild, laid back, messy character of Bryce, and for me it's a natural thing to switch into," says
Julian Rhind-Turt is cast as Powell's assistant, Mr. Pimms, and brings to the role a gawky eccentricity. Leslie Phillips plays Mr. Wilson, a trusted colleague and friend of Lara's father, Lord Croft. Veteran actor Richard Johnson plays a powerful member of the Illuminati.
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