|tv guide tv show fl cable tv listing food nbc ca nj tx court tv dish internet tv cbs dvd digital tv home fox schedule station tv reality show web tv music movie abc online tv global live tv local ny nj|
Mitra was on August 9, 1976, in Paddington, London, England, UK. Having arrived in the United States from the U.K. only a short time ago, Rhona Mitra is fast becoming one of today's most sought-after young actresses. Mitra, who sizzled on the big screen opposite Kevin Spacey in The Life of David Gale, recently starred opposite Goran Visnjic in Spartacus. Mitra's previous film credits include High way men, Sweet Home Alabama, Ali G Indahouse, Hollow Man and Get Carter. Mitra, along with Andre Braugher and Ruben Blades, starred in the critically acclaimed ABC series Gideon's Crossing. She was a series regular on Party of Five, and starred in the BBC miniseries The Man Who Made Husbands Jealous.
Rhona Nathasma was born to Nora ( Irish) and Anthony ( Indian) Mitra, in Paddington, central London. Her early years were nothing out of the ordinary. However, she did suffer the divorce of her parents in 1984. "It's a confusing heritage. I never know if I want to be running across the fields with no clothes on or sitting in the pub drinking Guinness." -Rhona Mitra, on her Indo-Irish background. In 1984, eight-year-old Rhona was sent off to boarding school. Several years passed at two different all-girls schools, but Rhona and her energetic spirit were not fit for the discipline those English establishments offered and she was subsequently expelled from both of them. A teenager back in London, Rhona Mitra lacked direction and became involved with the wrong crowd. Mitra was enveloped in the club scene and developed a drug habit that tied into the all-night and day raves she attended. Four years passed before she finally realized that her yearning to act and be in the public eye could not be ignored. Turning her life around, she attended drama school for one year.
With newly acquired acting skills, she hit the British casting calls with much fervor, landing a one-time appearance in the series, Ghostbusters of East Finchley, in 1995. Mitra's career continued to progress when she filmed her first movie, Monk Dawson, the following year, although it was only released in 1998. It was her appearance as a mischievous schoolgirl in the three-part miniseries The Man Who Made Husbands Jealous that really established her as a budding young talent.
After the encouragement of friends and family, who always claimed she had a likeness to a certain butt-kicking video game character, Mitra auditioned and received the part of Lara Croft, from the Tomb Raider action series. As Croft, she attended trade shows and participated in media events, always in character. In fact, she had breast enlargement surgery to further her image as a true Croft look-alike. Further showing off her skills, Mitra cut tracks for the video game's soundtrack along with Dave Stewart, formerly of the Eurythmics. The whirlwind of shows, rabid fans and crazy e-mail requests lasted nine months, enough to establish a solid background for Mitra in the United States.
Mitra's first major leading role post-Croft came in 1999's Beowulf, alongside Christopher Lambert. She was featured prominently in the trailor for the film Hollow Man, but actually had a bit part in the movie, making it clear that she served as eye candy to reel in audiences. Mitra had a more prominent role in several episodes of FOX's Party of Five as Holly, a British medical student romantically involved with "Bailey" (played by Scott Wolf). Throw in some spreads for some men's magazines, and Mitra became one highly publicized fox.
In 2000, Mitra landed a permanent role on the ABC medical drama Gideon's Crossing, but unfortunately, the show tanked after one season. The bigger highlight that year came with the release of Get Carter, in which she shared a steamy love scene with Sylvester Stallone. Returning to England, Mitra appeared in Ali G Indahouse starring (of course) Ali G, the popular gangsta comedian. Her most recent role, in 2002's moneymaking romantic comedy, Sweet Home Alabama, is evidence that she is slowly but surely breaking into Hollywood circles.
Despite these recent numerous accomplishments, Mitra still needs a breakout role to further cast aside the modeling misconceptions that hang over her at times. With two highly anticipated films coming out in 2003 -- The Life of David Gale, starring Kevin Spacey and Highwaymen, starring James Caviezel -- we hope this will be the year when her hard work really pays off. Completely focused on success -- and single, we might add -- Rhona Mitra will surely be in the spotlight more and more, and not just because she's a knockout.
We have to admire the dedication Rhona Mitra has for her craft. After becoming the official living embodiment of the video game character Lara Croft, she realized that to properly "become" Croft, an increase in breast size was needed. Having gone through with the plastic surgery (incidentally, her father is a renowned cosmetic surgeon) only proves that this woman is truly willing to go all the way in the name of her profession.
From video games to raunchy scenes on British television and in the film Get Carter, Mitra has expanded... her capabilities and is now considered much more than a beautiful model. In fact, it was acting (in her hometown of London, England) that initially brought her fame.
At this juncture in her career, Mitra has covered all bases, even singing a track for the Tomb Raider soundtrack (recorded by Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics), provocatively entitled "Getting Naked." We must credit her for being fearless in the face of convention because, after all, being a model for a fictional character is not your run-of-the-mill job.
Although video game enthusiasts will never forget her days as Lara, it is Mitra's ability to break out of her former day job and grow as an actress that impresses us. She is a wild, untamed Brit who is unafraid to use her smokin' bod both as an attractive tool and a weapon. And if that's the case, lock and load!
With Mitra, you get a truly adventurous woman bent on having fun above all else. Naturally a personable, easygoing individual, her wild streak (she was kicked out of two British boarding schools) is the spice that sets her apart. Refreshingly, she does deny the importance of her looks or the fact that selling sex worked well for her. Mitra's honesty, quirkiness and strong control over her career make for a woman who gives off a "real" and relatable image. Overall, she is one unique beauty.
It is not often that we encounter a twice crossed-over artist (from video games and TV to the small screen and the silver screen), and even though Mitra's singing skills were not displayed quite so publicly, she still tried her hand in the studio, in addition to the modeling and acting. Of course, she is not an actress in the same vein as Gwyneth Paltrow, but it's clear that Mitra can hold her own wherever she appears. Acting out thousands of loyal boys' (and men's) fantasies as Lara Croft is not easy, nor is being "harassed" by an invisible attacker in the film Hollow Man, so by all accounts, Mitra certainly has that "je ne sais quoi."
At home in Britain, Mitra made a name for herself with sordid performances in movies like The Man Who Made Husbands Jealous. Initially relying on her live action role as Lara Croft to gain fame on a global scale while the Tomb Raider video game became a top-seller, she landed bit parts on the popular FOX show Party of Five and on the short-lived medical drama Gideon's Crossing. She portrayed a doctor in both network TV shows, (okay, a med student in Party of Five), a far cry from the relic-hunting virtual heroine Croft.
Her move to film involved a bit part in Hollow Man, starring Kevin Bacon, as well as an erotic scene with Sylvester Stallone in Get Carter. A truly notable performance came with her portrayal of "Kate," the attractive secretary in popular UK personality Ali G's film, Ali G Indahouse. Another notable role arrived in 2002, where Mitra portrayed Reese Witherspoon's best friend in the romantic comedy, Sweet Home Alabama.
Although Mitra was long considered for the lead role in the film adaptation of Tomb Raider, that idea fizzled, and she parted ways with the game's creator and publisher, Eidos Interactive. However, her impersonation of the sexiest virtual superwoman will never be forgotten, along with her singing debut on the Tomb Raider game's soundtrack. Of course, the magazine spreads she has done aren't so bad either.
With an Indian and Irish background, Mitra is the owner of a killer pair of legs, shapely hips, and those wonderfully enhanced "accoutrements." For all those hung up on statistics, the numbers don't lie: 34DD-24-35 are some impressive measurements. Whether a video gaming fan or not, there's no denying how great Rhona Mitra looks in short shorts and a tight tank top. Moving beyond the cyberworld, she has quite literally let her hair down and moved on to acting and posing for out-of-this-world pictorials.
While our preferred style for Mitra involves bringing out her Lara Croft costume from the depths of her closet, she has often chosen provocative pieces even when not posing for the camera. Her taste seems to range from the naughty to the nice, from low-cut and midriff-baring shirts to sweaters and jeans. Now concentrating on acting as much as modeling, classier elements have made their way into her wardrobe, but she will never succeed at making us forget the fashion items that made her famous in the first place.
Rhona Mitra stars in ''Spartacus''
Rhona Mitra stars as "Varinia" in Spartacus, the four-hour USA Network Original Miniseries based on Howard Fast's acclaimed novel of the same name. Mitra can currently be seen starring as "Tara Wilson" on The Practice.
Goran Visnjic stars as "Spartacus" in Spartacus. Visnjic captured Hollywood's attention when he made his American debut in the critically-acclaimed motion picture Welcome to Sarajevo, directed by Michael Winterbottom. He currently stars on NBC's critically-acclaimed drama ER as "Dr. Luka Kovac."
Spartacus was filmed on location in Sophia, Bulgaria. Six countries were scouted before Bulgaria was picked as the filming location. The real Spartacus was born in Thrace (modern Bulgaria), and his birthplace is within easy driving distance of where the movie was shot.
The crew on Spartacus included natives of 14 different countries: Slovakia, England, Hungary, Italy, Austria, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Denmark, Germany, Malta, Morocco, Croatia, Spain, and the United States. Approximately eight languages were spoken on the set on any given day. Catering on the set of Spartacus was responsible for feeding an average of 500 people a day. The final battle scene used over 1,000 live extras.
The Roman Forum set in Spartacus was laid with real stone, and over 36,000 square feet of stone was used. 220 construction workers took part in the construction of the sets. Approximately 1,800 swords and daggers, 1,000 shields, and 2,500 pairs of sandals were used during the filming of Spartacus.
Rhona Mitra started her career in the UK
She appeared in theatre plays, and later had small parts in UK programmes such as "The Bill" and "The Ghostbusters of East Finchley" in 1995. She also had a part in the UK film "Monk Dawson", filmed in 1996, which wasn't released until mid-1998.
Her next role came in the 1997 3-part TV adaptation of Jilly Cooper's book "The Man Who Made Husbands Jealous", as Flora, a mischievous schoolgirl. In the same year, she starred in her first proper film, "A Kid in Aladdin's Palace", playing the young princess Sheherazade.
For the following 9 months, Rhona portrayed Tomb Raider character Lara Croft. Her brothers and boyfriend used to comment on how much she looked like Lara, and she was eventually convinced enough to go along and apply for the job, which she got with relative ease.
She made appearances at E3 and ECTS, promoting the release of Tomb Raider 2, and even recorded a CD album, "Come Alive", with Dave Stewart of the Eurhythmics.
However, Rhona didn't want to just be a model for marketing purposes, she wanted to breathe more life into the Lara role. Eidos didn't like where it was headed, and consequently they dropped Rhona. A trip to Romania followed, to film "Beowulf" with Christopher Lambert, where she played Kyra, a troubled woman with a dark past.
The music show "The Pepsi Chart" on the newly formed Channel 5 in the UK was the next stopping point in Rhona's career, where she presented the programme for a while. Soon after leaving, she headed to the USA, to further her acting career.
In mid to late 1999 she filmed a small part in "Hollow Man", playing the neighbour of Sebastian, who would befall a truly bizarre attack.
Around the same time, Rhona appeared in several episodes of the American teen drama "Party of Five". She played Holly, an English medical student trying to stay over in the US. Heading into 2000, Rhona appeared alongside Sylvester Stallone in the remake of a British film, "Get Carter". Here she played Geraldine, a mixed-up, but ultimately honest woman with no place to turn.
Her career has since settled down, playing Dr. Ollie Klein in the medical drama "Gideon's Crossing". This was cancelled in May 2001, leaving the page open for the next chapter of her career...
Rhona Mitra's comedy 'Ali G Indahouse'' on DVD now
Rhona Mitra stars in his side-splitting, outrageously funny feature film - Ali G Indahouse!
Ali G is a gangster wannabe. He dresses like a rapper, tries to speak the hip-hop lingo, and fantasizes about getting in street fights. The only problem is that he's white, British, and lives at home with his Nana. He's also a moron. Ali G is his funniest when he's trying to be cool and simply isn't. He drives a car that is all fixed up like it's from the "hood", but it's a British mini that he drives the speed limit. He insists on ‘keeping it real' and getting ‘respect', but he can't seem to even spell it. When he rallies his fellow British homies to infiltrate a mansion, they wear camouflage that is made of bright colors. All this comes together to make a unique stupid character.
Unfortunately Ali G also resorts to a lot of disgusting sexual humor. He graphically describes giving oral sex to women. He fantasizes about having an enormous penis which they provide a glimpse of. He allows his dog to suck his penis as well. It gets more disgusting from there. If you're into that sort of comedy then it won't bother you, but it was a bit too graphic for my tastes.
Sacha Baron Cohen, who plays Ali G, somehow managed to get Michael Gambon to play the Prime Minister in this movie. Rhona Mitra, who now stars in The Practice spinoff, co-stars as Kate Hedges. I have no idea how he talked them into taking these roles, but they help raise the level of the film slightly.
As you would expect, the soundtrack is full of rap music that is just about as profane as the dialogue. Again, if you're offended by the profanity then the music won't do much for you either.
In the end Ali G is a fun concept with a lot of amusing moments, but the disgusting sexual content was enough to offset anything that was funny in the film.
Deleted scenes and Outtakes – There are a number of deleted scenes included here. One shows Ali G getting in a West Side Story type of fight with a rival gang member wielding a booger. Another scene features more of Ali G getting in trouble when meeting the Queen. Included in this batch are a few outtakes. One shows the dog Tupac actually nipping Ali G's crotch. Then there are flubbed lines, etc.
Behind the scenes featurette – Ali G takes you on a tour of the set to meet the extras, the cast, and the crew. Again, it's all done in character so it is pretty funny stuff.
Learn to talk like Ali G – This translator lets you know what Ali's street lingo means in English. Ali G Indahouse is rated R for strong sexual content, pervasive crude humor, language and drug content.
Rhona Mitra: From Video-game Goodies to Big-screen Baddie
People have a way of confusing flesh with fiction, as Rhona Mitra discovered after her body was digitized into famous video-game vixen Lara Croft. "People thought I was her," Mitra explains. "Women would write me letters blaming me for their breakups."
Sharp and self-possessed, Mitra shouldn't worry about being mistaken for anyone (or thing) too much longer. Within weeks of moving to Los Angeles four years ago, the UK native, 26, began landing work, including parts in Hollow Man  and TV's Party of Five. And now, in the current The Life of David Gale, in which she plays a bad grad student who frames Kevin Spacey's university professor, Mitra gets her first real chance to flash brains, as well as body, onscreen. "I feel as if I've earned my stripes," she says.
Her evolution from cybermodel to successful, working actress has been a while in coming -- and cautiously planned. A popular TV show host in late 90s London, Mitra considered making the jump to LA but thought better of it. "I wasn't ready," she explains. "I needed to wait until I knew I had the goods. I think you don't come here unless you're invited." Having recently wrapped her first lead, in the upcoming thriller Highwaymen, this focused, whip-smart beauty should be asked back plenty.
Killer-Queen Rhona Mitra
Actress, singer and the delectable human form of Tomb Raider's Lara Croft, Rhona Mitra is not to be messed with. Sex and video games don't usually mix too well. Indeed, the popular view is that men who play them have such poor complexions and social skills that they've been forced to replace pleasures of the flesh with bashing the hell out of pixellated monsters. In short, successful users of the chat-up line "I've top-scored on Story Of Thor 2" are few and far between.
However, there is one exception to the rule. In November 1996, Tomb Raider appeared, featuring the adventures of Lara Croft. The premise of the game was that Lara, the daughter of an English aristocrat, had decided to forego her inheritance in favour of travelling around the world in search of ancient artefacts. As with most adventure games, this involved plenty of running, jumping, swimming and shooting. But unlike other games, its central character became the computer world's first sex symbol, and Lara Croft quickly catapulted Tomb Raider to the top of the games charts. With her ample chest and powerful thighs, Lara was created as the gamer's ultimate fantasy figure and the strategy worked.
Now, for the imminent release of the sequel, Tomb Raider 2, Lara is made flesh. And fortunately for us, it's in the form of 22-year-old actress Rhona Mitra, a woman sexy enough to equal the charms of the video character. As well as appearing in the press campaign for Tomb Raider 2, Rhona has recorded an album as Lara (produced by ex-Eurythmics guitarist Dave Stewart), from which the single, Getting Naked, is to be released next month. There is even talk of a Tomb Raider movie, for which Rhona ought to be a shoe-in for the lead role - a heady jump from her last big part, playing a teenage seductress in Jilly Cooper's The Man Who Made Husbands Jealous.
So, to celebrate the arrival of the new sexiest woman in Britain, what did we do? Take lots of fantastic pictures of her? Of course. Ask her a shed-load of questions about what it's like to play a character invented to satisfy the libido of a twenty-something programmer? Certainly. But first we took her to London's Trocadero centre to see if she could cut the mustard in the original gaming arena - an amusement arcade.
The truth is, she's pretty adept. She powers past three (male) opponents on the arm-wrestling machine, gives a credible display at dynamo-hockey and is equally at ease bombing about on the virtual skateboards. Her strongest suit, though, is the bowling range. After a slow start, three spares in a row see her powering into the lead as FHM skew yet another ball into the gutter. Only two consecutive (and highly suspicious) zero scores in the last two rounds barred the way to victory. And, perhaps not surprisingly for a woman who's beaten stiff competition to play the most lusted after computer game character of all time, she doesn't accept second place for long. "I let you win, you know," she smiles triumphantly.
Games fans are notoriously obsessive. Are you ready to be pursued by blokes thinking you really are Lara Croft?
After The Man Who Made Husbands Jealous I had a lot of bizarre fan mail. I remember receiving a beautifully typed letter from 12 boys in Exeter asking if I'd marry them all. Apparently I was supposed to be shared on some kind of weekly rota system. I was thinking, "Hmm, two a day. How am I supposed to manage that?" And I've already had people post notes on the Lara Croft websites thanking me for improving their sex lives.
And how exactly have you done that?
They get their girlfriends to dress up as Lara, like I do. Apparently, it works wonders for them - maybe it's the rubber outfit.
Do you think it's scary that there are men out there fantasising over a computer-generated character?
No, because men will fantasise about anything. Compared to a sheep or whatever, I think Lara's quite a healthy fantasy. What's wrong with wanting to sleep with a computer-generated character? She's got a perfect figure, after all.
Talking of creating perfect figures, there was a story in one of the tabloids about you having a breast enlargement operation performed by your dad...
That was rubbish. My dad is a surgeon and he does do some cosmetic surgery, but he doesn't perform breast operations. I don't think he was too bothered about it, though - apparently a load of people phoned up the hospital where he works, the next day asking for tits like Rhona Mitra.
But you have had your breasts enlarged.
Yes, but my dad had nothing to do with it.
Where does the name Mitra come from?
It's Indian - my dad is from Calcutta. But I'm also part Irish. It's a confusing heritage. I never know if I want to be running across the fields with no clothes on or sitting in the pub drinking Guinness.
The Lara Croft single is called Getting Naked. When was the last time you were naked in a public place?
I don't think going starkers in a public place is especially commendable. You can go to Stringfellow's for that. Although they don't even get it all off there, do they? The song is really about one night stands and a woman saying that she'll go so far but not the whole hog. Why does all frolicking have to end in penetration?
Does Lara have sex, then?
I should bloody well hope so. I'm sure she wouldn't be the woman she is unless she did.
You recorded half of the album sailing down the Amazon in Dave Stewert's boat. If the boat had run aground, would you have been prepared to eat him in order to survive?
Hmm, he hasn't really got enough fat on him...
That beard could have been a bit tough to chew as well. Maybe you could have stuck it on your face when you'd finished eating the rest of him.
I would have worn the beard proudly. It's a fine feature.
You were expelled from two boarding schools. Naughty girl, were you?
No, I just had a problem with complying with rules. I went to a convent school and it was totally ridiculous. We weren't even allowed to go into town at the weekend. So we used to nick holy wine from the church and drink it in the potato patch at the back of the school. I remember one time me and a few girls ended up dancing in the garden at four in the morning, wearing nothing but Wellington boots.
Is that why they kicked you out?
No, that was for taking a sixth-former's car and driving it down to the local boys' school. I was only 14. I left stuffing under my bedsheets but one of my friends told on me and the headmistress tracked me down. They put me in this room with bars on the windows to punish me. I was stuck in there for a whole week with just a rosary for comfort, having my dinner brought in on trays. The only time I got out was to say confession to the school priest. After that, they booted me out. Then at the next school the other girls used to blame me whenever they got caught for something, so all the parents wrote in and said they didn't want me at the school. I crammed my exams in London and did fine.
You recently said that Lara represents the woman of the future. So what is the woman of the future going to be like?
She'll be more robust. In order to be strong in the mind, women are going to have to build up their bodies. Having a big arse will be alright, having a big pair of breasts will be alright, as long as they exercise as well.
We had a discussion in the office about men of the future, and we reckon that evolution will make their heads and penises bigger.
Sounds good to me.
Okay. Let's test out your credentials for playing Lara Croft. To start with, when was the last time you raided a tomb?
Er, I haven't. I only raid my friends' wardrobes. And my dad's drinks cabinet when I was a kid.
Would you take on a bear unarmed?
I'd probably try and cuddle and sweet-talk it. I've charmed men worse than bears.
Can you handle yourself in a fight?
Absolutely. I had the whole Swiss Army after me once. I was ski-ing with friends and we were getting hassled by some guys who wanted us to dance. They ended up calling us dykes and then turned nasty. I kicked one in the ribcage. It turned out that he was with a load of Swiss army guys and they chased us up the road. We ran faster than them, though.
Some Tomb Raider websites feature a nude Lara Croft. Would you ever emulate them and do Playboy?
I'd never say never. But not right now. It's not even negotiable.
What about the orgasmic noises Lara makes when she bumps into walls? Have you been perfecting those?
Oh yes, of course. Listen. [Makes weird orgasmic noise not unlike "Uuh!"].
Lara spends most of her time in caves full of gun-wielding nutters. What's the most dangerous situation you've been in?
I got buried under the sand in Tunisia. I've just shot a film there called A Kid In The Arabian Knights. We were supposed to be mocking up this sandstorm and I was buried right up past my head, but I couldn't breathe because the sand was so heavy. I had to breathe through a bamboo straw for about 20 minutes. The crew were setting their cameras up and I was screaming, "Hurry the fuck up, I'm dying under here."
Did you use to play computer games when you were growing up? I remember getting hooked on Jet Set Willy on the ZX Spectrum.
I had an Atari. I used to play that tennis game where you had two bats at either end of the screen and had to try and keep the ball in play.
You mean Pong!
That's the one. But I used to do a lot of weird things to entertain myself. Do you remember those portable tape recorders that had flat speakers on the top? I used to put a piece of cellophane on top of the speaker and crumble biscuits on top of it. I'd then play Super Trouper by Abba at full volume and watch the crumbs jump up and down with the vibrations.
Blimey. You were easily pleased.
That's not all. I loved pouring yoghurt all over my dog and watching him lick it off himself. And when my parents had dinner parties I'd chop up his dog food into chunks, put cocktail sticks in it and then walk around the living room in a sari asking if anyone wanted hors d'oeuvres.
The guests must have loved you. Have you carried any bizarre habits or phobias into adulthood?
I can't sit still. That's why I'm very difficult in a relationship. Men get jealous of me travelling - they don't understand that just because I disappear on my own doesn't mean I'm going to shag someone else.
Have you always been faithful?
Always. But I can appreciate why people wouldn't be. It's like ice-cream - you can really love vanilla, but you still want to try some other flavours just to make sure that you really do love the vanilla best. I haven't actually been out with that many men. I've been in two relationships which have taken up five years of my life. The second one of those has recently ended and since then I've concentrated on my work.
What kind of man do you go for?
I like healthy-looking guys with good, clean skin. And I like men who have brains but are still very childish. Immature guys.
Are you actually any good at Tomb Raider?
Yeah. I finished it in about two weeks.
I heard that Bruce Willis has bought the rights to the Tomb Raider movie and that Demi Moore is pencilled in to play Lara. Could you have her?
Oh yeah, of course.
Be careful. After filming GI Jane, she's quite buff these days.
So am I. And I'm younger than her. The idea of her playing Lara is sacrilege. She has to be a posh English girl with a stiff upper lip.
Finally, elsewhere in this issue we discuss the phenomenon of lesbianism. Have you ever been tempted by the charms of another girl?
Any woman who says she hasn't isn't truly a woman. Even if you don't go as far as doing something physical, you should be able to appreciate the female form. Men are beautiful too, though.
Rhona Mitra is a real-life Lara Croft
Rhona Mitra is more than just the new face of the Pepsi Chart Show. She's a sky-diving, lager-drinking movie actress, and she's having fun on her terms. Oh, plus she collects pants.
Rhona Mitra arrives for the interview fresh from the dentist, still recovering from a healthy injection of Novocaine. Twenty minutes ago she was mumbling and dribbling, now tears are running down her face. But she's not unhappy, it's just the wind on the café roof terrace making her eyes water.
Dressed in army combats and a thick camouflage jacket, she looks like she'd quite happily storm an embassy you pointed her at. It's not what you'd expect, but then Rhona's sex-kitten media image doesn't do justice to the real Rhona.
She agrees that she's a bit of a tomboy. "Yeah. I'm not really a girlie. I can be once in a while, but then I tend to fall off the heels." she laughs. "I do paint my nails, though. I think I've been portrayed as a bit more sex-kitteny than I am. I'm quite a smurf really. I revert back to being very immature a lot."
The image of the career girl planning her way to fame soon dissolves as you realise that 22-year-old Rhona is only here because it's fun. She's done a stint as the human face of Lara Croft, the Tomb Raider girl, and now she's presenting the Pepsi Chart show on Channel 5, but it's all come about just because it seemed like a good idea at the time.
She's lived through dark, druggy years on the London club scene and come out the other side with a determination to have fun on her terms, doing the things she wants to do.
A lot of the sex kitten image came from the classic tabloid story in the Sun. The story claimed that Rhona's father - a prominent cosmetic surgeon - had done Rhona's boob job for her. "It was an absolute load of rubbish, but I eventually traced it back to where it came from. I was speaking to this girl in the toilets of a night club. She'd been admiring my boobs and I said if she wanted to she should go right ahead and get a boob job done. It was only later I found out she was a friend of Andy Coulson who used to write the Sun's showbiz column."
But why bother getting them done in the first place? "We had this Australian girl staying with us when I was a kid and my mum used to say what great tits she had, and I thought, yeah, I'm going to have great tits when I'm older, too. But when I did get older they just never arrived, so I decided that I should go out and get myself some anyway."
The Sun story may have been nonsense, but Rhona's figure is always worth a few column inches. She's shorter than you'd expect, but no less stunning for it. Her dark skin and sharp good looks remind you that her father is half-Indian, but her feisty self-belief definitely comes from her Irish mother. Her drinking habits, though, seem to be the result of her London upbringing: "I'm a lager drinker. I'm quite a stupid lager drinker." she grins. "I do like my lager, and..." she pauses. "Mashed potatoes."
Becoming the living embodiment of Lara Croft brought out that feisty side of Rhona developed an ill-deserved reputation for being hard to work with. While she seems a little embarrassed at the memory, she insists it was for all the best reasons. "I did give them a hard time. I said: "I'm not doing that, I'm not doing that, and I'm not doing that!" she says, gesticulating. "I was really determined that I would not crucify the name and the image of Lara Croft." Rhona, it seems, just found the tits and arse stuff too obvious. She says she wanted to do something deeper, and (seriously) always saw the levels of the game like the levels you go through in life. Like, heavy, man.
Born in Paddington, Rhona left London for a Catholic boarding school education in the country. "It was my choice; I wanted to go out and experience the fields." On leaving, she returned to the capital with no real plans. What followed was four years of serious partying. "Between '89 and '93 I was a wild child, a real nutter." She took odd jobs to keep her head above water, and, for a while, worked in the cloakroom at Brown's nightclub.
"They were long, shitty hours," she recalls. "As you'd expect, we had loads of celebrities in. Robert Downey Jr used to come in when he was filming Chaplin in London, and he'd say to me: 'You speak English so beautifully, can you say these lines for me?' He'd tell me his lines and I'd say them back, and we'd be sitting there as I took him through his lines."
An ex-boyfriend of Rhona's also used to run the VIP room at the Ministry of Sound when it first opened: "I was down there a lot. I was always really into the music rather than the scene. Sometimes I'd just sit there with a friend of mine and we'd listen to the DJs. We'd listen to the way they could bring people's emotions up and down just by mixing records in, like it was a finely composed piece of music. I used to go to raves like Raindance, but I was never into the whistles and white gloves. I mean, you can stick five pills down your neck for a weekend but what do you get out of it?"
By her own admission she flipped out for a couple of years - "I was a complete loon, but I don't regret a bit of it" - but eventually the clubbing and the drugs started to take their toll. Now it's not something that she's keen to go back to.
"I got it out of my system fairly early, when, thank God, the clubs were actually quite good. It was great when everything was starting out. There were new DJs, it was new music, and we'd just got over the Manchester thing. Everyone was really into it and genuinely having a good time. I got out of it when it all started diluting, which was probably a good time. From what I've heard the clubs now they've changed a lot; besides, I'm much more into being able to get up the morning and go paintballing or go-karting and have a clear head on my shoulders. Every once in a while I will go down to the Blue Note because I really like good drum 'n' bass, or I'll go to Bar Rhumba. But mostly I'm big into having loads of people round and cooking fat meals and drinking loads of red wine."
So does she indulge in drugs anymore? "No. Definitely not. I don't hang around people or situations where ... hang on, that's actually a load of bollocks. I mean, the whole industry is like..." she trails off. "I like my lager." she laughs. "Getting pissed is much more fun." But she still smokes the odd spliff, no? "No comment." she says, grinning. But her stories of turtle sanctuaries and nudist beaches in Mexico seemed to owe more than a little to the local weed.
When she got out of the club scene Rhona enrolled in a three-year course at drama school which, she says, gave her a lot of self-discipline. But she left after one year when she thought she'd learned enough.
Right now, Rhona is in the early stages of her acting career and fame is coming slowly but surely. She had groupies, but isn't yet often recognised in the street. She's also wary of giving away too much and becoming a personality - something she feels could compromise her acting.
For the meantime, though, the Pepsi Chart Show is proving a real laugh - "It's like babies-make-TV." She recently met Robbie Williams on the show and discovered they shared a passion. "The first time I met Robbie I was really pissed off because I'd just lost my Darth Vader watch and I'm a huge Star Wars fan. So when I was introduced I was like: 'Oh, right. Hi.' He asked me what was up and I told him I'd lost my Darth Vader watch. He said: 'No way! That's awful!' He's a big Star Wars fan, too."
On the day of the Ministry photo shoot, Rhona turned up brandishing a huge, green plastic light sabre, much to everyone's surprise. It's a prop, however, that seems made for her and you can't help thinking she was criminally over-looked for the new Star Wars movie.
Rhona and Robbie almost had a lot more in common. It's not well known, but Rhona co-wrote and recorded an album with Dave Stewart when she was playing Lara Croft. Bizarrely, the album was recorded during two weeks up the Amazon. "I was pinching myself the whole time, it was the most bonkers thing ever. One minute I was doing a play in Battersea Arts Centre and the next I was on a boat up the Amazon with this rock god, both of us with feathers on our heads, writing mad songs and drinking rum." A pop career doesn't appeal, though. "I think there are just too many people getting signed without great music and they haven't got a passion for it, and that's wrong."
Acting is still her first passion and recently she's been working on the forthcoming film Beowulf with Christopher Lambert in Romania. "Everyone said to me don't do it, don't go. It'll be a nightmare. And it was!" she screams. "Romania is a hell-hole."
Previous film shoots have been a bit more fun and Rhona enthuses about working in the Tunisian desert where some of the original Star Wars was filmed. Screen offers continue to roll in and, with a higher profile, the parts are getting more interesting. "I've got another film that I'm doing in a couple of months' time, but I can't talk about it until it's all signed, sealed and delivered. It's big, though, and it's weird. I'm very excited."
Rhona lives with her cat Smaug, and boyfriend Sacha - a professional musician and producer - in Primrose Hill in London. She confesses she's very much in love. "He composes songs for me, kind of funky soul stuff. I see him playing amazing things on the piano and just go, ooh!
There's nothing particularly physical that I find attractive in a man. It's men with a passion for something that I find attractive. Generally, I don't think I'm particularly sexual, no more than anyone else, though I am very creative. When I was on my own in a hotel room in Romania, I had the imagination to keep myself occupied." she says with a coy smile.
She might not consider herself very sexual, but she's certainly very sexy. At the photoshoot she's at her cutest when she's relaxed and having a laugh - thrusting her hands down the front of her trousers and shifting her hipsters down bit by bit until you get a glimpse of her underwear. And on the subject of underwear, Rhona manages to throw another curve ball. "I wear G-strings usually, but I've got into wearing Day of the Week pants.. or none at all!" she laughs.
"Actually, I collect pants! I frame them. Tacky marketplaces on holiday always seem to have these leopard-skin pants that are really raunchy but really tiny, like they're for a two-year-old. Well, I collect them from all over the world and I put them in frames with glittery backgrounds." Right. Are there any other bizarre hobbies we should know about?
"I go sky-diving. It's not for the adrenaline buzz, it's more a will-power thing. I was interested to see how much fear I would have and, er, it's not a lot actually. I got quite bored when I was hanging in the air. I want to do it without a parachute next."
Rhona reels 'em off…
When was the last time you cried?
"Two days ago. I had an argument with my boyfriend."
Kate Winslet or Kate Moss?
Celine Dion or the Spice Girls?
"Oh! er, the Spice Girls."
Pepsi or Coke?
"Er ... Oh, shit."
Teletubbies or South Park?
Sunday evening, night in or night out?
Trainers; Nike or New Balance?
Scary movie or a weepie?
If you were a superhero who would you be?
"Spiderman. Because he can climb walls and he's got a cool outfit."
Breakdance revival: pad of bollocks or the real deal?
"The real deal, yeah!"
A wild Brit Rhona Mitra
She is lipsmacking, chartpresenting, tombraiding, skydiving, goodbuzzing, hiptalking,highwalking, fastliving, evergiving, coolfizzing...
In the not-too-early hours of a Thursday morning in a young woman's bed in a flat somewhere in north London, Gary Lineker is about to stick it in. And, were it not for an untimely phone call from your Sky reporter to arrange lunch, Gary might have got away with it. "You woke me up," croaks the young woman's voice on the other end of the phone. "Lineker was just about to score!" Rhona Mitra has been having some weird dreams of late - she blames this one on a documentary she watched about the jug-eared Sultan Of Scoring. These days the words "Gary" and "Lineker" are more likely to conjure up an image of a bag of crisps. Similarly the words "Rhona" and "Mitra" are very much synonymous with Tomb Raider totty Lara Croft, even though she has nothing to do with her any more. A political ding-dong within the company that hired her to portray the pneumatic computer figure saw Rhona walk away with a media-engorged profile and her eye on loftier stuff.
Half Indian, half Irish and - on the on the morning of this interview - half asleep, Rhona has already blazed a biographical trail worthy of any film script in itself. The pitch would read something like this: doctor's daughter gets thrown out of posh public school for being a pain in the arse and heads for London clubland where she nearly kills herself on E and coke. She's saved by a moment of clarity, a boob job and a place at drama school. The ending hasn't quite been sorted out yet, but you get the feeling it's not going to disappoint. Currently fronting the Pepsi Chart Show on Channel 5 and with two films heading towards a cinema near you - plus the obligatory hush-hush projects on the go - the ball is rolling at a pace that even Lineker would find hard to control these days.
Rhona has a reputation for throwing the odd wobbler, yet for someone who has just been woken up she is in surprisingly good humour. She is willing, it seems, to talk about almost anything. In fact, her publicist thinks she talks too much.
Ms Mitra finally arrives for lunch half an hour late sporting sunglasses, a vibrating mobile phone and profuse apologies. "I was up playing Star Wars Monopoly last night," comes the explanation. "I just had no idea what the time was. Sorry."
So how did it feel to be a hand-shandy fantasy for the joystick generation?
The only time I noticed it was when I went online and all the blokes were being very unimaginative and very crude. Just talking about wanking. They were saying, "I've got my Kleenex out." And I said, "Do you know what, you're really boring? When you've got something exciting to say, then I'll log back on."
The publicity surroundng Lara Croft hasn't been that bad for you though...
It's good and bad. Trouble is now I get every magazine wanting me to do a photoshoot rolling around on the floor in a soaking wet bikini growling. That's not me.
What would you like to do?
I wouldn't mind going on Fantasy Football. I get invited to do The O-Zone, Richard And Judy and Live And Kicking, but I'd really like to do Fantasy Football.
Do you like footie?
I've always been a Spurs fan. I used to go to Tottenham v Arsenal matches but I don't go any more.
Do you miss it?
I miss all the chants. Some of them are really cruel. (She mimics a libellous chant) "Posh Spice takes it up the..." Horrible.
Are you a lager lout?
I'm trying to cut down on my lager. I go through phases. I think as you get a bit older the hangovers get a bit worse.
If lager makes you drunk, what makes you grumpy?
I go absolutely bonkers if people sit there and play PlayStation. My boyfriend plays games with other people and they sit there after dinner and play. I hate it when that happens. A lot of people's relationships have been ruined by PlayStation.
Have you ever rolled a fat one and thought about your place in the universe?
Yes, in Mexico with these really old blokes who'd taken too much peyote. I was there for three months and sat by the river with them and drank mescal and smoked a couple of joints. One of them turned to me and said, "Let's go to the moon," and I said, "Yeah, OK," like it was the most normal thing in the world.
You hang out with some strange people...
I do manage to attract people from many walks of life. The other day a friend of mine said: "The weird thing about Rhona is whenever I get to see her she's always with some random nutter."
Do you have any embarrassing photos that could come back to haunt you?
A mate of mine came round one afternoon and we did a shoot called "Decadence", based on ladies that have nothing to do with their afternoons. We all dressed up in PVC and went round the house and picked up ordinary objects - cans of peas, tea bags - making them look really erotic.
You went to boarding school. How posh are you?
I could have ended up really posh if I hadn't rebelled against the system and got thrown out. If you're born into money and have the double-barrelled name then you end up with the Labrador, the Range Rover and the house in the country. I've got a very solid Irish mum, and my parents didn't pressure me.
You once ended up drunk in a monastery...
I was the nearest boys' school to us, and it was run by monks. You get so caged in and you aren't allowed to do that much, so when you do get time out you make the most of it. I had some mates down at the school. It was one Sunday afternoon and we got leathered on holy wine and then I got busted.
Do you ever get the urge to drop a tab of acid and hang out with the Pope?
No, the Pope wouldn't be my first choice.
You're not a big fan of Catholicism?
It's about dark and light and it's based on guilt - you always feel like you're doing something wrong. I think Catholicism is pants.
What was it like living with a load of girls at school on a hormone rush?
Absolutely insane. Any time a man came onto the premises all the girls would go ballistic. The word would spread like wildfire and they'd all rush off and put on some make-up and some nice clothes and saunter around hoping to get noticed. When you had school dances and they shipped in boys from the local sixth form there'd be girls hanging out the windows gagging for it. I have two brothers so I was surrounded by boys when I grew up and I was used to them. When they left, the girls either became raving nymphomaniacs or got married immediately.
That's the ultimate male fantasy - getting trapped in a school full of Catholic girls.
That reminds me of that scene in Monty Python where this bloke gets caught in a convent. All the girls are going: "Oh please, we need a good whipping. Please, we've been naughty. Spank us! Spank us!"
You said when you got into drugs and clubbing you turned into something of a bitch.
It was more about being self-opinionated. It bordered on arrogance. You believe that everything you say or do is fine and everyone else is off their rocker. You burn a lot of friendships that way. That's when you find out who your real mates are. I think it's an age thing. I look at young girls now and they are very self-obsessed. They think that their parents are crap and have no idea about anything.
Have you ever had therapy?
In drama school you are taught to strip away the layers and find the real you and you slowly build back up. That was my therapy.
Did you pretend to be a small tree?
No, but I can do you an amoeba.
Did you enjoy student life?
It's great. You get to do absolutely bugger all but smoke dope. Actually it was quite strict. If you didn't turn up, they'd boot you out. There was a lot of shagging going on, though. I remember it became really cool to be bisexual - to mess around. I think that's a trait of drama school.
Did you ever indulge?
Oh no. I had a boyfriend the whole time I was at college. But I got hit on. It used to happen a lot. It's calmed down now, though. But that's every man's fantasy - two women.
What's your big turn-on?
Passion. I like a man who's passionate about what he does. I also like this bit (slides her fingers along the groin channels). I find them really sexy. I have been known to smell a man like a puppy-dog. Earlobes are quite sexy too. And feet. I'm thinking of getting into reflexology.
If you were God for a day, what one thing would you change about men?
They should be born with a knowledge of what goes on downstairs, around a lady's parts. They should be given a map at birth, an A-Z to find their way round.
If there was one thing you could change about women what would it be?
I'd make them all happy with the size of their bums. I think men are more fixated with women's bums than women. Maybe if I was God I'd wipe out men's fascination with bottom sex.
Does sex get better as you get older?
I'm only 22! I haven't had that much experience. It's more about who you're with, how well you know them.
Are you any good at one-night stands?
I didn't like them very much, so I knocked it on the head. I felt dreadful. It's worse for a woman. But then again I know there are some merciless hags out there that pile through them with no remorse whatsoever. I personally can't deal with it. I've been in a relationship for a year now.
What's guaranteed to bring tears to your eyes?
There's nothing more excruciating that getting a bad wedgie when you're water-skiing.
When your pants go right up your arse. It's a good idea to wear large pants when you're water-skiing.
Do you still go skydiving?
Yes, I was watching a programme the other day when they were doing naked skydiving. It's so cold up there. All the men get little winkies. All the women had headlights - stick-out nipples.
You've had a boob job. Do you have any problems with altitude?
No, I don't.
How do men react to them?
Don't ask me, ask a bloke.
Another Reason to Love England
Sultry Brit Rhona Mitra, star of Get Carter, is the most grown-up 3-year-old you'll ever meet
What's your biggest asset?
My absolute ability to walk into most situations feeling that whatever the outcome, it's fine. You go into everything headfirst, and even if it's not the path you expected, you feel it was still the right choice.
That must get you in trouble a lot.
Oh yeah. I'm always in trouble, more or less. It's weird how people always think that trouble, or the side path, is something that's incorrect.
I understand you were expelled from convent school at 13.
We had a twenty-four-hour vigil for a nun who was ill, which meant you could go from your bed to church and pray for her and come and go as you pleased. It was about the most liberating time I had in that place. So I went down to the oratory, stole the holy wine and put it in the holy-water bottle. They locked me up for two weeks and sent a priest to my room every day so I could say my act of contrition. And then they decided to expel me.
Eventually, you sort of stumbled into an acting career.
I needed to do something. My mum said, "You've always been a great little actress; go to drama school."
But you dropped out.
I got bored after a year of people telling me to be an amoeba, fucking live and breathe Chekhov, wank, wank, wank. Waste another three years when I could be working? It was shite.
For a while, you were hired to play the invulnerable video-game vixen Lara Croft at trade shows.
It was a two-dimensional thing: guns and tits and ass. And what I saw her as was very iconic. She was a representation of an attitude, not male or female. I breathed stuff into her they never wanted. They got the wrong girl to do the job.
Did it teach you anything about yourself?
I think I'm very much a divide between a chick and a bloke. I don't ever feel that I am in any way more feminine than masculine. I don't try to utilize or manipulate my sexuality to gain what it is I need in life.
Isn't getting your breasts enhanced manipulating your sexuality?
No. I'll tell you what that's about. If I were a boy, I'd be a tit man. I like tits. That was for my own fun. That happened way before I started acting.
Best piece of advice?
Always remain below the age of 5. It's just something I do every day. I check to make sure I'm not growing up.
Five-year-olds are awfully selfish.
That's why you don't want to be 5. Three is perfect. Think about it. Three-year-olds do it all: "That's my thing." "That's where I'm going." "I'm going to do it." "What is that? Can I have it?" Didn't pan out, just move on to the next thing.
Is there anything you don't understand about men?
I grew up with two brothers on either side. I pretty much get it. Except L.A. men.
Homo Los Angeles.
I know why I'm getting facials, why I'm getting manicures, but why are you? Men in L.A. ask you whether your shoes are Prada or Miu Miu. How the fuck do you even know?
And they can't fix a car.
But I can. You have to when you have a car like mine - a '66 Dodge Dart convertible. Aqua. Called Diana. Old cars I generally have a big soft spot for.
Your father is a cosmetic surgeon. Did he want you to grow up to be a doctor?
And now you are, sort of, on the series Gideon's Crossing.
Yeah. It's really bizarre. My father looks like a fat version of Peter Sellers in The Party. He's a genius. I can't even begin to comprehend the intricacies of where his mind is on a day-to-day level. I'm faking him and what he does.
You're half Irish and half Indian, but you play a Latino Jewish New Yorker.
Alejandra Klein. I make a mean kosher burrito.
Did you have a schizophrenic upbringing?
I find the two [cultures] to be quite similar. Very grounded, very rooted. It's about family and food.
Your first film gig was playing the girl who gets raped by scary invisible man Kevin Bacon in Hollow Man.
I had to mimic being raped by someone who wasn't there. I think getting raped with the actual, live contact is probably more helpful than not having one there altogether. It was one of the most bizarre things I've ever had to do.
Do you have any phobias?
Wind chimes. It's the whole nails-on-the-chalkboard thing.
Maybe it's a past-life thing.
I don't know, but it drives me nuts. I had to ask the neighbors to take theirs down. I hate being that person. But it drives me nuts.
Halloween. We don't celebrate it like you lot do. I think it's fantastic that grown adults run around going, "What am I going to be?"
What do you still want that you don't have?
I have a fantasy about this great table. This table is going to be where my kids draw and color. It's where we eat and drink and where my friends play their guitars. It's going to be this fulcrum of goodness. A table you can do handstands on. Huge and sturdy. I mentioned this to my mother, and she said, "Jesus, what do you want a feckin' bairden like that fer?" But I know when I have that, I will have arrived.