If you haven’t seen Tomb Raider (opens in new tab) yet (or have somehow missed every single trailer and TV spot), you might be unaware that the movie features one of the 2013’s game most iconic scenes in Lara’s troubles travelling through the Devil’s Triangle in an attempt to reach the island of Yamatai. For Alicia Vikander, who plays Lara Croft, it served as the backdrop for some of her toughest stunts.
For everything Alicia Vikander went through, they may as well have literally chucked her in the sea (wait, they already did that (opens in new tab), didn’t they?). Far from being a wet and wild weekend in the Far East, the Swedish actress’ time filming the big scene involving the Endurance sounded pretty taxing.
“The Endurance had been outside the set in Hong Kong and they put it on the biggest gimble so the entire boat could rock inside and then they had water cannons surrounding me from all angles and they just shot down me and Daniel [Wu, her co-star] over and over again,” Vikander explains. I’m getting seasick just reading that.
That’s not even the half of it. For Lara’s big jump, everything had to be set up to make sure it looked real. Director Roar Uthaug, he of Wave fame, is well adept at controlling the currents, like a Norweigan Neptune. It’s no surprise, then, that he made Alicia Vikander face the brunt of it.
“There’s a moment where I open up this door and the wave comes at [Lara],” Vikander tells me. “I flew about two-and-a-half meters every time. Every time we had to do it over again I was like… ugh.”
It turned into a dreaded Pavlovian response for Vikander who says “I could hear the click go off and I was like ‘it’s coming at me’… it was about not trying to hit the back wall. But it looked very cool and felt amazing too trying to do your own stunts.”
The moral of the story is: doing your own stunts may look cool, but make sure you get your double in for when they bring out the water cannons. I’m sure it’s something she’ll remember for the sequel.