Click to view in high resolution.
“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.”
Video: ‘Tomb Raider’ Official Trailer
Video: ‘Tomb Raider’ Official Trailer
Walton Goggins is an actor who makes whatever he’s in better just by being there. Every film or TV series is improved when it has Goggins. It’s impossible to look at his work and not be a fan, and I’m glad he’s been able to find success over his career. Earlier this month, he landed arguably one of the biggest roles of his career thus far when he nabbed the villain role in the upcoming Tomb Raider reboot. Getting to play the antagonist in a blockbuster film is no small feat, and Goggins has already played some incredibly memorable baddies in his career.
Christina Radish recently spoke to Goggins about his upcoming History Channel series Six (which premieres January 18th), and during their conversation, he talked a little about what appealed to him about this new adaptation of the popular video game franchise:
The idea of a Tomb Raider reboot became interesting when Alicia Vikander was cast as Lara Croft, but it became even more interesting when you were announced as the villain, or antagonist. What was it about this telling of the Tomb Raider story that spoke to you?
GOGGINS: I’m just so excited about it! I’m such a big fan of Alicia and this director, Roar [Uthaug]. Quite honestly, the script feels like it’s already been in the world, in some ways. The structure and the foundation of this story is so solid and so interesting. It’s so unbelievably entertaining, and yet it’s real in the journey that it takes you on. And this person that I get to play is confused and angry and desperate. I’m just looking forward to getting in his head. I’m really, really, really excited about it.
Goggins then talked about what it is about villain roles that he finds so appealing, and he provided a thoughtful breakdown of how he goes about choosing any role, whether the character is good or evil.
When you play antagonists that are so memorable that they’re thought of alongside the story’s protagonist when people think of that particular TV show or movie, does it give you pause when the next one comes up?
GOGGINS: Yeah, I suppose. On one level, I think about it in those terms. In another way, I just go where the work is and where people are extremely passionate about telling their story and where they’re capable filmmakers, no matter how long they’ve been doing it. It’s about whether they understand what it is that they’re asking themselves to do and whether they really want to say something. That’s always been my motivation. This thing that I did after Six, Three Christs, I don’t know if there’s an antagonist in the bunch. Maybe schizophrenia is the antagonist, or maybe it’s how we view those that aren’t like ourselves. Maybe that’s the antagonist. It was just an incredible opportunity. And Tomb Raider is an incredible opportunity. People have only seen the first season of Vice Principals, but when you see where the show goes, there’s so much more than whether or not those are bad guys. That’s what I’m interested in playing, regardless of what side he’s on. I’ve had some opportunities lately to play the hero, and they just haven’t been about the right thing. They haven’t spoken to me, in that way. But Six certainly did, and Three Christs did, and lord knows that Tomb Raider did.
Goggins also talked about how it was a variety of factors that led to him signing on for Tomb Raider:
When Tomb Raider came your way, was it the script that sold you on it, or did you also wanted to talk to director Roar Uthaug first?
GOGGINS: It was threefold, to be quite honest with you. I think Alicia is one of the greatest actors of any generation, let alone her own. And I saw Roar’s movie The Wave last year, and I wanted to meet that filmmaker. And then, it was the script. It always starts with the story for me. I couldn’t believe I was reading what I was reading. I couldn’t believe that it continued in this way, and the ball was never really dropped. It was the combination of those three things. I understand why Alicia signed on for it. Those things don’t happen every day. And then, you go forward and you just try not to be result-oriented and you try to do the best job you can possibly do, before you move on to the next one. It’s a good life! I’m just grateful to be a small part of that life.
We’re still waiting on the first successful video game adaptation, and there’s no reason it can’t be Tomb Raider. It’s got two strong lead actors with Vikander and Goggins, Uthaug showed he had directing chops with The Wave, and if there’s a good script, it could make for a solid adventure film.
Tomb Raider opens March 16, 2018.
A week ago today, we reported that the upcoming Tomb Raider reboot has finally found its villain, with The Hateful Eight and Justified star Walton Goggins coming aboard to star as the antagonist, alongside Alicia Vikander as Lara Croft. No details have been confirmed about this character, or if he will be based on one of the villains in the video game series. While promoting his new History Channel series Six, based on the real life exploits of Navy SEAL Team Six, Walton Goggins shed some new light on this character. Here’s what he had to say, teasing that this villain is much more complex.
“Is he a villain? Sure, that is an easy description. An antagonist, for sure. But [like other characters] I have been so lucky to have the opportunity to play over the course of my career, there are real reasons behind his antagonism, and it’s not what you’d expect. He is very complicated, and his motivations are pure.”
The actor added in his interview with Yahoo! Movies how excited he is to take on this role, adding, “I’ve got my d-n Tomb Raider saddlebag! I am ready to get lost in a godd-n tomb!” While very little is known about the story, it has been confirmed that this reboot is based on the Square Enix video game reboot that hit the shelves in 2013, with the story reportedly following a young Lara Croft, as she searches for her father. While he wouldn’t offer any specific plot details, Walton Goggins did reveal how much he admires director Roar Uthaug and his co-star, Alicia Vikander.
“This director is an extraordinarily talented filmmaker, and Alicia Vikander I’ve met a few times, we have some friends in common, but I just think she’s one of the greatest contributions to any generation of actors, man. That for me was just a wonderful opportunity. But more importantly, the story is so good. It’s so good! I think I can say this: For me, it’s like Raiders of the Lost Ark meets a genre version of the Joseph Conrad novel Victory: An Island Tale. I just jumped at the chance.”
This summer, MGM set a March 16, 2018 release date for Tomb Raider, which is currently the only movie slated for release on that date. It will arrive one week after Disney’s Wreck-it Ralph 2 and one week before Lionsgate’s Robin Hood: Origins, Sony’s Peter Rabbit and 20th Century Fox’s Annubis. It remains to be seen how many more characters need to be cast in Tomb Raider, as we inch closer and closer to production starting early next year.