11 March 2016

Last year, I spoke to three wonderful cosplayers about their adventure on the London Underground to promote "Lara Croft GO". The group were selected by Crystal Dynamics and Betty Brown PR to travel across the city as Lara on launch day, awarding commuters with iPad Minis. Instructions on how to win a tablet was included in copies of the Metro.

One of the cosplayers was Laura, also known by Laura Eliza in the cosplay community, whose first venture into the hobby began with Tomb Raider 2013. With a following of hundreds, Laura's adventures on Facebook details her journey through each incredible cosplay, photoshoot and promotional event. While Lara Croft Go's launch provided an opportunity for her to represent the Tomb Raider on an official level, Laura has actually portrayed the heroine on launch days in the past in game stores.

You can read the full London Underground article, HERE and check out the full interview with Laura below:

Tell us a little about yourself!

I'm Laura, I have a law degree and I'm a qualified teacher in the post-compulsory sector. I've been taking some time out over the summer to relax and work on some costumes! My hobbies include cosplay/crafting, gaming, singing, drawing and painting Warhammer figures. I've been playing video games for as long as I can remember! I've got an etsy store where I sell some of the items I make: https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/LauraElizaCosplay

When did you get into "Tomb Raider" and cosplay?

I watched the first few Tomb Raider games being played when they were released. I was only three when the first game came out, so the first one I played myself was Tomb Raider IV: The Last Revelation, on my SEGA Dreamcast in 1999. The first time I 'dressed up' as Lara was when I was fifteen; school leaver's day was fancy dress and I got the 'Tomb Raider Anniversary' fancy dress costume for a low price on eBay. A few years later for a bit of fun I wore that costume at a local beach and put the pictures on Facebook, where Sara LaRochelle of laracroftcosplay.com found me. I made the Doppelgänger outfit from Tomb Raider Underworld that Halloween and then Sara really helped me get into cosplay properly; my first full cosplay was Lara Croft from the 2013 rebooted Tomb Raider.

Photo from the Official Tomb Raider Blog.

How did you become involved in the Lara Croft GO event?

Lynn Daniel from 'Brown Betty' contacted me, Lisa and Helen via e-mail, after Rachel forwarded our details, asking if we'd be interested in the PR stunt for Square Enix.

Was this the first you’ve cosplayed as part of a promotional event?

Yes and I'd love to do it again.

[Editor Note: Laura actually promoted Rise of the Tomb Raider and, I believe, Tomb Raider Definitive Edition at Super Games World in the past, but this was her first role as an official Lara Croft cosplayer for Crystal Dynamics.]

How did you prepare for the day ahead?

As I travelled from the North East and the journey was eight and a half hours, I stayed with some relatives, so I went down a couple of days early. I had to get a train in to the offices at 5.42am, so I made sure I got plenty of rest the night before and had a coffee when I got there!

What was your impression of the event, how did the day go?

I had a fantastic time and we were all really well looked after. It felt very special. We enjoyed each other's company and loved chatting to people on the tube and in the stations.

Photo from the Official Tomb Raider Blog.

How many people came up to you during the event?

A lot! We had 3 iPads each as prizes for the lucky commuters who whispered the pass-phrase to us. We all travelled on the same train from Farringdon to King's Cross, in four different carriages, the intention being for us to all split off and go to various tube stations. As I stepped off the train I had my first winner; rounding the corner the second and as I got pictures with him, the third and final winner approached, so the prize giving was over rather rapidly for me! People were still running up to me to say 'Lara Croft GO' and I had to tell them that I had no more prizes but most people just seemed happy enough to 'meet Lara Croft', it was a great feeling.

As you were interacting with the public, did you feel safe throughout the event?

Despite being a Northerner quite unfamiliar with London and being in such a huge and busy city, I had no safety concerns whatsoever during the event. We each had an escort to travel around the tubes with us and they carried the iPads in backpacks.

What kind of steps did the team make to ensure that everything went smoothly?

The Brown Betty team were very friendly and welcoming, they made sure we had everything we needed and that we all felt comfortable. They got each of us hot drinks and a copy of the 'Metro' newspaper with the Lara Croft GO feature while we were getting our makeup done in the morning. I've never had my makeup done professionally before so that was lovely!

What cosplays are you working on now or planning?

I'm currently working on Lara Croft from the upcoming 'Rise of the Tomb Raider' and my next planned cosplay is Xiuying Hong from Shenmue II.

A huge thank you to Laura for taking time to do this interview!
You can follow her adventures on her Facebook page, Laura Eliza Cosplay.


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