“I suppose his vendetta, if there is one, really comes from anger and frustration at the last seven years of his life, at the mundane kind of aspect of his life, which is looking for this tomb, you know? He’s wasted his life and has missed his family, looking for this thing that Lara Croft’s father had the coordinates for,” Goggins said of what drives Vogel in the film. “And you meet him not at the nascent stage of his journey or the apex of his journey, but literally on a Wednesday of the longest week of his life. And he’s just exhausted.”
He added, “This man is ready to get off of this island, and he will do anything to achieve that end.” As for how much of a bad guy Vogel is in the grand scheme of the story, Goggins would only describe Mathias as “a cog in the wheel, and what the audience doesn’t know is how big of a player he truly is. And I won’t ruin that for you, because I think that you need to see the movie in order to answer that question.”
Goggins, by his own admission, is not a gamer nor has he seen the original two Angelina Jolie Tomb Raider movies although he was aware of them. The actor — whose credits include Justified, The Shield, Vice Principals, and The Hateful Eight — explained why he didn’t feel the need to familiarize himself with the actual Tomb Raider games once he booked the role.
“I didn’t play this game initially, and I certainly didn’t play this game once the opportunity came to kind of go and tell this story. Because I knew that everyone else would have done that, and therefore that voice would have been served,” Goggins said. “I felt the way I could best contribute to this story is to have someone that wasn’t beholden to the mythology of Lara Croft. Someone that looks at the story based on the merits of the story. And I think you need a lot of different voices in order to try to pull something off like this.”
He continued: “And my job, the way that I saw it, to service my director, my studio, and most importantly, my fellow actor, Alicia, and the audience, was to be as authentic and three-dimensional as I could be with the parameters which I was asked to play in. And for me, that didn’t necessitate learning this game. It, for me, necessitated learning, for Mathias, what his life had been like up until that point. And I felt like we did that. You know, I think the world of Alicia and I am just blown away by her very realistic interpretation of Lara Croft. And, you know, I’m so grateful I had the chance to tell this story in this way.”
Goggins is a huge admirer of his co-star Alicia Vikander, calling her “one of the greatest actors of her generation.” He said that “she already had a fan in me, and now she has a friend for life” after making Tomb Raider together: “I genuinely believe that Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, that this new incarnation, this kind of origin story of this very, very, very powerful, powerful woman is, what you’ll see is, on screen, is a true reflection of the time that we had, man. I mean, we were in South Africa for almost four and a half months, you know? And when I wasn’t working, I mean, I traveled all over Namibia and Mozambique. And just – we worked really hard, and we played really hard, and tried to tell the best story that we could.”