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Walton-Goggins.net

Your only news source for all things on actor Walton Goggins.

Category: Interviews

Telegraph India: Meet Lara’s Nemesis in ‘Tomb Raider’

Telegraph India: Meet Lara’s Nemesis in ‘Tomb Raider’

Telegraphindia.com –TV man Walton Goggins — he’s done everything from Criminal Minds to CSI, The Shield to Sons of Anarchy — scores a biggie with his turn as Mathias Vogiel, the antagonist in Tomb Raider, the latest reboot of the blockbuster videogame, that’s now playing in cinemas. A chat.

Prior to becoming involved in Tomb Raider, did you have any experience with the videogame franchise that inspired it, or a frame of reference for what a phenomenon it was?

The answer is yes. But my experience with videogames began and ended with Pac Man, Donkey Kong and Galaga! [Laughs] I grew up at a time when videogames really weren’t a part of my culture — and we couldn’t afford it. So, I never played the Tomb Raider game. But when I shared this news with my nieces, nephews and godchildren, all of a sudden I became iconic in their eyes! For them, my association with Lara Croft made me a hero — even though I’m playing the antagonist! [Laughs]

In some ways, I think it was good for this film to have a principal actor who was initially unfamiliar with the character of Lara Croft or her adventures in the games. When reading the script, I wasn’t influenced by the legacy or feel any pressure to uphold a vision that the audience might expect. Therefore, my motivations could be pure.

What can you tell us about your character, Mathias Vogel, and how you connected with him as an actor? 

Mathias is a man who has been searching for the fabled tomb of Queen Himiko for seven years, to no avail. He holds no dreams of changing the world. He’s not interested in the fact that his discovery holds the potential to unleash threats beyond imagination. It’s just a job to him, and he wants the job to be over. The one bright spot is an unexpected arrival. In some ways, Mathias is in awe of what landed on his doorstep in the form of Lara Croft.  He’s overwhelmed by her presence. And then his journey begins.

I thought that idea was bold and different and three-dimensional. It was something I could sink my teeth into and contribute to the story we wanted to tell. Mathias’s need to move on with his life is a big part of who he is, which, in some ways, I think is even more destructive than pure villainy. He isn’t at the nascent stage or the apex of his journey. You’re meeting a guy on a Wednesday of the longest week of his life. Mathias is exhausted and has few options. I’m sure that there was enthusiasm and passion at the beginning of his search, but by the time we meet him in Tomb Raider, he’s not full of potency and vigour.

I think audiences are no longer interested in one-dimensional antagonists. I’m lucky to have been a part of some seminal stories featuring multi-dimensional adversaries, beginning with my role in the television series The Shield (where he played Detective Shane Vendrell). So, portraying Mathias was very satisfying for me as an actor, and I hope it’s satisfying for the audience.

What do you think Alicia Vikander brings to Lara Croft, and how did you find working with her?  

I think Alicia is one of the greatest actors of her generation. She’s a very special talent. And while I knew Alicia socially, I was so looking forward to playing in a sandbox with her, and I wasn’t disappointed. The truth is that Alicia is amazing, and I applaud her incredible commitment to playing Lara Croft. I’ve been lucky over the course of my career to have some really good chemistry with a lot of different kinds of people. And working with Alicia was everything I had hoped it would be.

Can you talk about the dynamic we’ll see unfold between Mathias and Lara Croft? 

It’s complicated with Walton and Alicia on screen together, and it’s complicated — and very exciting — when Mathias and Lara are on screen together.  There’s a lot going on between them. What I think is going to surprise the audience is that they’re meeting a man, Mathias Vogel, who doesn’t have a lot of information. He’s tasked with finding this tomb, and he knows only a little of what might be in it. Mathias has two daughters that he hasn’t seen for seven years.

Suddenly, a young woman — Lara Croft — shows up, and she’s around the same age of one of his daughters. For Mathias, it’s beautiful, sad and exhilarating to be able to just talk to someone different, and to be close to youth and someone who reminds him of his family. So, in some ways, her arrival is the answer to his prayers, both negatively and positively.

How did you find the experience of filming in South Africa, in what looked like some rugged terrain? 

I thrive in those conditions. Filming in South Africa and getting to experience that culture was a fantastic experience. I’ve dedicated my life to travelling and submersing myself in other cultures.  When I wasn’t working, I took off and spent almost three weeks travelling all over South Africa and Namibia. I spent five days with the Himba tribe on the Angolan border, and then made my way to southern Namibia and then bounced over to Mozambique to do some scuba diving. So, the conditions on Tomb Raider were far from challenging.  It was like, throw me into the briar patch! [Laughs]

Are the specific aspects of cultures of South Africa and the country itself that made a strong impression on you?

I really came to understand the effects of apartheid. The struggle of South Africans is living history. I met people who ran cooking schools in the townships. I spent 10 days on a safari up in northern South Africa and spent time with some Shangaan people in their village. I also visited an orphanage for youngsters and another for teens, and hung out with them. I was deeply touched by their struggle and inspired by their resolve. It was incredible.  I fell in love with that country and with those people.

You’ve worked with some amazing filmmakers during your career. What was it like working with Norwegian director Roar Uthaug, who is making his first American studio film with Tomb Raider? 

I think Roar’s Norwegian film The Wave is extraordinary. I was so taken with his ability to convey what was happening to this town, family and community in a very visceral way. Roar did such a good job visually of taking the audience through the experience of the anticipation of this cataclysmic natural occurrence. I thought, ‘Wow, I can’t wait to meet this guy’. Then, in a wonderful conversation we had via FaceTime, I found that Roar not only understood my take on Vogel, he encouraged and supported it. I wanted to do everything I could to help him realise his vision for Tomb Raider. He did an incredible job.

What do you hope audiences experience when they see Tomb Raider in cinemas?

We wanted to honour the place of this young woman, Lara Croft, in the imaginations of people all over the world. So, whether you are a fan of the Tomb Raider videogame or new to the character, I hope that that you will appreciate the passion behind this interpretation of Lara Croft.

Video: Walton Stops by CONAN

Video: Walton Stops by CONAN

In case you missed it, Walton was on CONAN this past Thursday to promote his newest film Tomb Raider. You can check out some clips from his interview below:

Video: Walton stops by Breakfast Television Toronto to Promote ‘Tomb Raider’

Video: Walton stops by Breakfast Television Toronto to Promote ‘Tomb Raider’

Video: ‘Tomb Raider’ Clips, B-Roll and On-Set Interview

Video: ‘Tomb Raider’ Clips, B-Roll and On-Set Interview

Watch Walton in 3 new clips from Tomb Raider including his exclusive on-set interview and B-Roll footage taken while filming.

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Video: ‘Tomb Raider’ Promotion Interviews

Walton has been busy promoting his new film Tomb Raider since around mid-February ahead of it’s release March 16th. I’ve went ahead and made a easily accessible YouTube Playlist with all of these promotional interviews that have been posted of Walton discussing the film and his character. You can view those videos below:

IGN: Walton Goggins Explains ‘Tomb Raider’ Villain’s Motives

IGN: Walton Goggins Explains ‘Tomb Raider’ Villain’s Motives

“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.”

Tomb Raider opens in theaters March 16th.
Source: IGN.com

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