news\ Jul 10, 2012 at 10:27 am

Tomb Raider has been 'emotionally and physically draining' for Lara Croft actress

Re-imagining an iconic game series like Tomb Raider isn't easy. Just ask Lara Croft actress Camilla Luddington who described her work on the reboot as "some of the most emotionally and physically draining work that I've ever done."

"When I got this role I never thought I would cry so much. I just thought I'd be kicking butt. That's the Lara I thought I'd gotten myself into," Luddington said during an interview as part of a new video series that goes behind-the-scenes of Tomb Raider's development.

That's right, gone are the days of the Lara Croft who could so easily conquer the world. It looks like Luddington's Lara Croft will still be the same kick ass hero we're used to playing as, but we might see a part of Lara Croft we might not have been exposed to before. It appears, from early footage of Tomb Raider, that the Lara Croft we'll see is a more vulnerable character who wears her emotions on her sleeve and experiences pain like we've never seen before in a Tomb Raider game. Some have even likened what Lara goes through in the game as "rape", though Crystal Dynamics has repeatedly attempted to shake that comparison (and have failed miserably).

"We're used to seeing Lara as cold-hearted, almost a killer. She's a badass, but in this you'll see her struggle," Luddington explained.

As part of the makeover, Lara Croft gets a new look that replaces her iconic shorty short wardrobe with pants now. *GASP*! I know, a big, dramatic change. That doesn't mean this Lara Croft isn't sexy in her own way.

"Obviously she's a video game icon. But she's also a sex symbol," Luddington said. "She fights for what she believes in. She's courageous. I think that's sexy."

"The shorts are gone, which I'm sure most guys will think is a bummer," she joked. "I like her new look. She's still gorgeous, but now she's a person."

That seems to be the approach Crystal Dynamics is taking with this new game and the vibe I've been getting with these early looks at the game. It looks like this Tomb Raider will explore the human side of Croft, the one that can't kill or handle death so easily. The "person" side of Lara, which I'm anxious to see.

As Luddington describes, that first kill was "probably one of the hardest things" she had to film.

"She has to fight for her life," Luddington concluded. "It's fascinating how she reacts to that. She doesn't just walk away from that first kill. It really gets to her and you see her become Lara Croft."

This was the first episode of The Final Hours of Tomb Raider, a new behind-the-scenes documentary web series hosted by actor and gamer Zachary Levi. It is designed to give fans an "unprecedented, fly-on-the-wall perspective of game development and highlight the key creative forces responsible for re-imagining the iconic video game franchise Tomb Raider."

In the next episode, Levi will explore how Lara Croft becomes so brave when he sits down with the writers who crafted the origins story of Lara Croft.

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