Brit Gymnast Is New Lara Croft For TOMB RAIDER: UNDERWORLD

Super-flexible Alison Carroll assumes the Lara Croft mantle to promote the latest Tomb Raider game.
Sexy Tomb Raider Lara Croft has a new face...and body.

Eidos Interactive has announced British gymnast Alison Carroll as the latest flesh-and-blood avatar for the famed videogame archaeologist.

23-year-old Carroll will portray Croft for the next year, promoting the newest installment to the gaming franchise, Tomb Raider: Underworld. She succeeds past Crofts such as Nell McAndrew, Rhona Mitra (now starring in her own Underworld) and, of course, Angelina Jolie, who starred in the films Lara Croft Tomb Raider and its sequel The Cradle of Life.

Eidos reps said the agile native of Croydon, England, embodies the essence of Croft--"brawn, brains, and beauty."

Sharing Lara's strength and grace, Carroll is particularly suited to this latest iteration. Featuring an all-new engine that exploits the capabilities of current game consoles, Tomb Raider: Underworld presents a redesigned Croft with the athleticism and skills of a world-class gymnast. Carroll has more than 12 years of gymnastics training and has competed globally.

In Underworld, unprecedented challenges put Lara's experience and training to the ultimate test.

"It's unbelievable how realistic her movements are in Tomb Raider: Underworld," Carroll said, "and it's so gratifying to be able to use my years of gymnastic training to portray such a beloved character."

To prepare for the role, Carroll is embarking on a rigorous regime that includes survival, combat and semi-automatic weapons training, as well as world archaeology coursework. She also gets early access to the game in order to study Lara's movements, techniques and personality.

Carroll beat out hundreds of superheroine hopefuls to become the new Croft and is aware of her good fortune. "This is a fantastic opportunity, and I look forward to embracing Lara's world."

Ironically, the morning of her first major meeting with the producers got her in the Croft mindset, when she got locked in her own apartment. "I am on the first floor and the only way out was over the balcony in true Lara style. I chucked my bags over the balcony, over I went, then jumped on to the fence and got down. We got to the meeting on time to find out I’d got the role!"

The voluptuous brunette is more than happy to ditch her job as a golf club receptionist to travel the world meeting breathless Tomb Raider fans.

"I'm single and having fun," she told Britain's The Sun newspaper. "I'm not looking for a long-term relationship as most men can't keep up with me. But playing Lara Croft, the sexiest game heroine there is, should get me a few more dates!"

Tomb Raider: Underworld, co-published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment in North America, ships in November for PCs, the Xbox 360, PS3, PS2, and Nintendo's Wii and DS. For more information, visit the official site at

[Thanks to LESLIE KATZ at CNET and NICOLE CARTER at the NY Daily News.]
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