Interview: Anna Tyrie, Tomb Raider Fan Film and More Actress

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We are big Tomb Raider fans here at Retro Gaming Magazine, and why not?  What other lady in gaming has kicked so much butt and done so much cool stuff?  Certainly not Princess Peach/Toadstool, all she could do is get kidnapped and hauled away to some far off place only to wait for Mario to come save her.  Lara Croft was the first lady of gaming (Samus Aran was not in front of gamers nearly as much).  We recently had a chance to sit down with a major fan of Ms. Croft, Anna Tyrie who has gone a few steps beyond just being a fan.  Anna makes fan films based on the Tomb Raider franchise for fun and for the experience she gains from being in front of the camera in the role of Lara.  Check out our interview with Anna, find out what kind of gamer she is then hit up her Youtube channel for her videos- they rock.

Retro Gaming Magazine: Please introduce yourself to our readers.
Anna Tyrie: Hello, my name is Anna Tyrie, I am actress based in the UK.  I have had an eclectic career so far, appearing in many different productions, two of which were Tomb Raider fan films, Tomb Raider Ascension and Tomb Raider The Lost Valley.

RGM: To say you are a Tomb Raider fan would be a slight understatement, making quality videos like The Lost Valley and Ascension is obviously not easy.  At what point did you decide you had to put your spin on the Tomb Raider franchise?
AT: I have been a huge fan of Lara Croft and the Tomb Raider franchise since I was very young, I mean whats not to love about this amazing character and the exciting adventures she has.  The fan films, however, grew from the passion and drive of the two incredible directors Stephen Reynolds (Ascension) and Graham Jones (Lost Valley).  Both of these guys are passionate fans of the franchise as well as talented film makers.

Ascension came about when Stephen and I were working on a short called ‘Open Call’ in which I was playing a rogue police officer.  During the gun training people were throwing around comments about me looking like Lara Croft and that’s what got the cog turning in Stephen’s mind.  We both shared a love for Tomb Raider and I told him I would be up for shooting an action feature and he came back to me with the Ascension script.

Graham Jones contacted me after seeing my performance in Ascension and asked if I would collaborate with him on a project called Lunatix, which I did and loved his style of filming and animation.  He would regularly mention a Tomb Raider script that he wanted me to do, and eventually I said well let’s just do it.

RGM: Which is your favorite Tomb Raider game?
AT: I grew up as a gamer owning my game stations including an Amstrad, Nintendo, Gameboy, Playstation, etc and Lara Croft was one of my favourite characters but I find it difficult to pick a favourite Tomb Raider game, as I equally enjoyed all the adventures.  Of course, the graphics and complexity of the games improved as technology moved forward and that was exciting but no I loved every experience equally.

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Anna running away from the T-Rex in The Lost Valley

RGM: What inspiration do you look for when creating fan films?
AT: I think initially with Ascension we wanted to do something original and give our take on how Lara Croft became the hero she is today, and that was liberating to have that freedom.  However that did bring an equal amount of criticism from fans of the franchise as it did positive reactions.  I think that really took me by surprise actually.
With The Lost Valley we wanted to stay as true to the game as possible.  Studying every detail from costume to how Lara moved etc. This has been so well received by the fans and so the temptation is to continue making films that stay true to the games.  Although I don’t think there is any harm is throwing out a few new ideas and adventures.

RGM: Will we see more of you as Lara Croft in the near future?
AT: Next year I hope will be an exciting year in terms of making fan films, there are a few irons in the fire. :) Just watch this space.

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Showing off her self defense skills in Ascension, Anna makes short work of her adversary

RGM: What are some video games that you enjoy playing?
AT: I am an obsessive gamer so I do have to be careful and keep myself away from it if I have lots of work to get on with.  I am loving GTA, as I am sure millions of people are, the work that has gone into that game is incredible.  And besides the epic games I am also a bit of a geek, playing things like Words with Friends, Risk and Bejeweled on my phone when I am on the move.

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The Lost Valley is definitely aimed at action and adventure

RGM: Other than Tomb Raider videos, what are you up to?  Will we see you on television or in movies?
AT: I have a number of other projects awaiting funding at the moment, so it is a waiting game.  So in the meantime I have been making my own videos for YouTube and setting up a few other creative businesses.  I am consumed with wanting to be a strong successful woman and so I take my lead from Lara and try to be strong and independent.

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In Ascension, Anna takes to spelunking like any true Tomb Raider would do

RGM: In closing, is there anything you would like to tell your fans?
AT: The Tomb Raider fans are amazingly loyal and I just want to say a huge thank you to them for their support and positivity.  I hope to continue to make films that they enjoy.On behalf of the Retro Gaming Magazine team, I would like to thank Anna for taking the time out to jump into the hot seat and answer a few questions about her work.

For more of Anna’s work, check out her Youtube channel.  Head over, watch some vids and leave some encouraging comments, she is working hard to create quality entertainment.

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