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Lara Croft Models: Where are they now?

July 30, 2017 Kate Sykes 2 Comments




In 1996, during the promotion of the first Tomb Raider game, four models including Katie Price were hired by Eidos to dress as Lara Croft at ECTS (European Computer Trade Show - the UK's largest gaming convention at the time) to pose with fans and give out goodies. Following it's popularity, one of those models, Natalie Cook, soon became the face of the new fictional heroine every gamer loved and therefore set the mark for a new initiative for live-action Laras which would go on until 2010.
In this article, we explore what happened to those eight ladies since donning the iconic ensemble.

NATALIE COOK (TOMB RAIDER 1)


There is very little information about Natalie Cook after she retired from tomb raiding but in November 2016 for the franchise's 20th anniversary, she was a special guest at Play Expo in Manchester, UK, for which she wore her original costume and took photos with fans on both days. She was also a judge in the cosplay competition.

Here she is posing with our very own Kate Sykes!


RHONA MITRA (TOMB RAIDER II)


Don't think we need to tell you what happened to English actress Rhona Mitra's career after she hung up her Lara boots but incase you missed it...
Mitra dove into playing a long string of strong female characters in films such as "Shooter",  "Doomsday", "Underworld: Rise of the Lycans" and "Hard Target 2".
She has also acted in a number of TV series, her most recent role being Dr. Rachel Scott in "The Last Ship".
From left to right: Doomsday, Underworld: Rise of the Lycans, Strike Back, Hard Target 2.
Find out more on her IMDb page.

NELL MCANDREW (TOMB RAIDER III)


McAndrew had a successful career in glamour modelling following being "Tomb Raider III"'s official model. She was a TV presenter on "Racing Rivals", "Born to Fight", "It's a Knockout" and "The Big Breakfast".
Moving into fitness, McAndrew made a few instruction videos, the first of which "Peak Energy", released in 2002, became a best seller.
She has run in many a marathon and for the 2008 Great North Run, she even dressed as Wonder Woman for charity. In March 2012, McAndrew became the first woman to cross the finish line in the National Lottery Olympic Park Run.
Last year, she released "Nell McAndrew's Guide to Running".

LARA WELLER (TR4: THE LAST REVELATION)


Again, it's unclear what Lara Weller has been doing in the years before and after the 10th anniversary photoshoot with four of the other Lara models but that same year, she stepped back into the Croft persona to help a friend open his game shop MadForce and did an informal interview reflecting on her days in the role.

See tombraidercollection.com's exclusive video here...

LUCY CLARKSON (TR5: CHRONICLES)


The youngest of the models, taking on the role at the age of just 17, Clarkson said in an intervew with GameTap that she "modelled herself on Lara Croft".
Having suffered from an eating disorder, she became a spokeswoman againgst "size zero" and a campaigner for healthy living.
She was a regular presenter on BBC News 24 and is a celebrity patron for SPANA (Society for the Protection of Animals Abroad).
Lucy now lives in Miami where she is still modelling and does fitness instruction.
She sings too. You can listen to her cover of the Spice Girls' "2 Become 1" here...
Last year, in full Lara style, Lucy accepted a challenge from This is Fashionable to learn how to power surf!


JILL DE JONG (TR6: THE ANGEL OF DARKNESS)


Jill de Jong moved to the US and aside from modelling, ventured into acting, appearing in several commercials which you can see some of in her showreel here...
She also starred in an independant film about a female assassin entitled "Jillian".
De Jong then moved to focus on models' well being and founded the "Models Do Eat" initiative, providing food recipes and health coaching.
For this, she interviewed non other than Lucy Clarkson whom she struck up a friendship with after they met up in their home state of Miami.

KARIMA MCADAMS (TRs: LEGEND & ANNIVERSARY)


Then known as Karima Adebibe, she took on the role following the development take-over from Crystal Dynamics.
The first speaking Lara who did training in fire-arms and in combat with the SAS, she promoted Legend and the 10th anniversary remake of the first game.
After that, she continued modelling and also appeared in "Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows" and "Vikings".
She turned to focus on her acting career, studying in New York City and is currently attending LAMDA (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art).
Very recently, she played the role of Miriam Attar in the ITV drama, "Fearless"
in which she acted alongside Helen McCrory.

ALISON CARROLL (TR8: UNDERWORLD)


Known as "the live-action Lara Croft", action being the key word, Carroll incorporated her years of gymnastics experience into the role with a special routine she performed in character while on tour.
After over 2 years as the final model, she continued her passion for acting, appearing in "The Kid" and "The Gridiron". She also starred in independent films, "Live is an Art" and "Amsterdam Heavy".
She also founded "The Lightning School of Gymnastics" and choreographed the winning junior team at the British National Championships.  

You may see her as another certain action herione...

Most recently, she did the motion-capture for the main character of Aloy in the PS4 game "Horizon: Zero Dawn".


We think it's clear to see that aspects of who Lara Croft is have rubbed off on these ladies' lives and careers in one way or another.

Who was your favourite model? Let us know!

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2 comments:

  1. Interesting little article about one particular aspect of Tomb Raider history. It's nice to know the models are doing well.

    ReplyDelete