Exclusive Interview with Debora Carminatti - Former Lara Croft Performer at Movieland

June 13, 2018 Kate Sykes 0 Comments

Prior to the reboot of the Tomb Raider franchise, there were several theme park rides around the world inspired by the original movies starring Angelina Jolie. One of which, "Tomb Raider Machine" in Movieland in Italy, still operates today. Similar to Universal Studios, this theme park hosts movie inspired shows and visitors can also meet the characters.
We spoke to Debora Carminatti who portrayed Movieland's own Lara Croft in 2007.

TDD: How did you get the job at Movieland?
DC: I had just arrived in Italy and I’d decided to do a summer job to learn Italian. I used to be a superfan of amusement parks so [I] decided to apply for a job at Movieland Studios. I was thinking of working in the ticket booth or shops but they proposed a place for me as an entertainer, and I decided to accept despite the shyness. I was scared but it was a wonderful adventure!

TDD: I remember seeing a photo of you in an outfit like Angelina Jolie’s though the final result for the park was the outfit from Tomb Raider Legend.
What was the process of getting your costume?
EXCLUSIVE. DC: Behind the scenes - first test (yes I was blonde 😁).
DC: Movieland Studios has a fantastic team of professionals who do the research and prepare the costumes - trying to respect the look of the original characters as much as possible but also adapting it for the reality of this kind of job for those who do it. For example, there were 2 versions of the same costume, one for the hot days and another for the rainy/cold ones, with a couple of copies of each.
EXCLUSIVE: Warm costume.
EXCLUSIVE: Normal costume.

TDD: Other than performing for the ride’s pre-show, what kinds of things did you do as Lara Croft?
DC: Movieland hosted the Parksmania Awards that year, and I participated as Lara Croft at the opening show, considering that Tomb Raider Machine was the novelty of the park. I also did small shows with a group of dancers around the city to promote the park.
EXCLUSIVE: Debora performing in the "Tomb Raider Machine" pre-show.
TDD: Was there any coaching for posing and movement?
DC: Like the costumes, the park had professionals for the choreography, to help us with poses and movement, to organise the pre-show scene inspired by the film, etc. At the time, they had a lot work to do with me, considering that I wasn’t a dancer nor an actress and I was also a bit shy! As a normal girl (not a real artist) I’ve learned to face some fears, to be at the centre of attention and to greet everyone without being afraid… hard work! hahah
EXCLUSIVE: Debora with Ellery Sinclair (longtime Movieland visitor).
TDD: Compared to the other characters you played at the park, what was it like to play Lara?
DC: It was a great honour to play Lara! I used to follow and love Tomb Raider's movies/games. It was incredible to see all the people’s affection towards the character, especially the children who watch Lara and consider her an example of strength and courage! In that moment you try to do your best to keep the magic from the cinema/games and bring it to life.
EXCLUSIVE: Debora posing with visitors.
TDD: What is your fondest memory from the experience?
DC: I met some wonderful people among the staff members and park’s fans. I think I’ve never had such fun before that year. I have a lot of respect for the veteran staff, like [Silvester] Stalone’s lookalike, [Antonio] Banderas' lookalike or the Blues Brothers lookalikes, for example.
I remember, in the group of people that I was more connected with, we used to work with lightness and joy. We were together every day for months (with sun or rain above our heads) trying to entertain people. Also, ourselves as in the most beautiful picture I have from those days... I call it, Miss Croft THE WINNER! 😀

Thank you so much to Debora for taking the time to do this interview and for providing all of these photos!
You can see Debora and the ride in action in this video and find some more exclusive photos below...

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