type
Movie
Genre
Action Adventure
June 27, 2001 at 04:00 AM EDT

Lara Croft has been kicking butt ever since the big-screen adaptation of the video game ”Tomb Raider” hit theaters on June 15. But the intrepid archeologist, played by Oscar winner Angelina Jolie, did leave a few stone monkeys unturned. EW.com conducted a dig of our own to give you the answers to your burning questions about the toughest chick flick of the summer.

How did Jolie measure up to the videogame Lara’s cartoonish upper proportions?
Although some viewers have surmised that CGI was used to give Jolie an extra boost in the cleavage department, the actress says that costumers used padding to bring her from her normal 36C to a 36D. (The videogame Lara is estimated to wear a 36DD bra.) Director Simon West claims their size made him consider using a wide-angle lens. ”The main decision was whether to shoot above the breasts or below the breasts,” he says. ”They’re such a big thing to frame around.” Enough said.

What ever happened the Internet rumor that Denise Richards was supposed to play the lead?
Don’t believe everything you download: Richards may have made the list of potential Crofts, but she wasn’t at the top of it. ”The casting process is so overblown,” says producer Larry Gordon. ”There were a lot of people interested, according to their agents, but there was no question once we saw Angelina’s name on the list that she was the perfect person.” And despite Jolie’s offscreen rep for being a wee bit nutty, she turned out to be a real trouper, shrugging off tarantulas in Cambodia and mile-deep cracks in the ice sheet when filming moved to Iceland. ”I like to say she was the only problem I didn’t have on the set,” says West.

Did Jolie really do all her own stunts?
Give some credit to clever film editing! ”No actor does all their stunts in a big action movie, and if they say they do, you tell them I said it was bulls—,” growls producer Gordon. ”But she did do more than we would have liked her to do.” Jolie wasn’t always safety first, either. ”She had no fear, so some of the time was just spent trying to persuade her to put her safety harness on,” says West. ”I had to say, ‘No, you can’t jump 100 feet across the room, because you aren’t Lara Croft and when you hit the ground you won’t get up.”’ Though production was shut down for one week after Jolie tore ligaments in her ankle, she remains stoic about the experience: ”It’s like being a boxer. It’s part of the job.”

Why was Jolie’s ex-husband Johnny Lee Miller hanging out on the set?
Never fear, Jolie hasn’t ditched her current spouse, Billy Bob Thornton. Though Miller (”Trainspotting”) did visit Jolie, who wears a capsule of Thornton’s blood around her neck to feel closer to him, she swears she and her ex are just pals. ”I am very lucky that I had a beautiful first marriage and that we separated because we’re meant to be friends,” she says. ”He’s very encouraging.”

Who’s that familiar looking guy who plays Bryce, Lara’s computer nerd sidekick?
If you don’t remember Noah Taylor’s gig as the bespectacled band manager in Cameron Crowe’s ”Almost Famous,” you may recall him as the the adolescent piano whiz David Helfgott in 1996’s ”Shine.” After that film’s Oscar-nominated success, Taylor, 31, left his native Australia for London to escape his image as a tortured screen teen in films like 1987’s ”The Year My Voice Broke” and 1991’s ”Flirting.” ”I had to start from scratch,” he says. ”I started to grow facial hair and my teeth became suitably rotten to allow me to play a broader spectrum of people.” Nothing like a little gingivitis to give a character that extra oomph.

Are there any plans for a sequel, and will Jolie be in it?
”I’d love to keep doing it,” she says. ‘It’s not a bad job. For me, it only comes down to whether people like the movie and want us to do another one.” After a $48 million opening weeking, it’s a good bet that Lara’s game ain’t over.

Send your Burning Questions to BurningQuestions@ew.com

type
Movie
Genre
Action Adventure
mpaa
PG-13
runtime
97 minutes
director
Simon West
Cast
Rachel Appleton,
Chris Barrie,
Mark Collie,
Iain Glen,
Leslie Phillips,
Julian Rhind-Tutt,
Noah Taylor,
Complete Coverage

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