When Jolie was cast in the role, she was just 24 and had far less star power. But one thing she had that didn’t do her any favors was a wild reputation.
The baggage she had acquired from her infamous lifestyle mismatch and subsequent press was a source of concern for the studio. To protect their investment and ensure she doesn’t become a liability on set or, worse, shut down production, Jolie would have to submit to blood and urine tests. People should also be hired to look after his physical and mental well-being during production. But despite all the criticism and doubts, Jolie was determined to play Croft and rise to the challenge no matter what stood in her way. Director Simon West spoke about the ordeal in the book “Leading Lady: Sherry Lansing and the Making of a Hollywood Groundbreaker.” In an excerpt (via People), West recalled, “[Jolie] said, ‘Look, I want to do this, but I know my reputation and I’ll do whatever you want to prove I’m worthy.'” The filmmaker went on to say, “She said, ‘I don’t care if the studio wants to test me every day.'”
With the odds against her, she managed not to let herself be slowed down. In the end, Jolie passed all the tests, exceeded expectations, and overall had a truly remarkable experience.