The history of Lara is fraught with discussions over just what "kind of girl" she is, and reignite whenever Lara seems to have evolved. In the new film -- which echoes the 2013 game reboot -- Vikander's Lara is a bike courier, defined more by her developed abs and upper arm strength than her breasts and bare legs. She trades shorts for pants and guns for a bow and arrow.
Lara inevitably brings up complicated conversations about objectification and representation, but for McAndrew, embodying the character was simply a positive experience. "Part of the physique of Lara Croft is obviously that she trains hard as well because she's athletic," she says. "So in a way, it's good that I've always enjoyed exercising and training, because that helped get me that job looking back."
She also traveled the world at a young age and was treated like a pop star at events where she was greeted by throngs of fans. On the road with Tomb Raider III, McAndrew as "Lara" posed on Bondi Beach and in front of Milan's famous cathedral. She flew to Nashville for photo opportunities, flanked by Elvis impersonators. Occasionally, buff security guys followed her around to ensure her safety around adoring fans. "He [was] there to make sure everything's OK," McAndrew says, "but also, I think, to create that kind of image as well of what they wanted to achieve." In photos she's held on to over the years, McAndrew appears in a signature outfit, surrounded by hordes of (mostly) dudes dying to see her strike the classic Lara Croft pose.
She doesn't remember ever feeling "threatened or uncomfortable," however she often was very hot: A rubber costume doesn't mix with large groups and bright lights. "I did sweat a lot," she says.