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Angelina Jolie films Tomb Raiders II

By BETH POTTER

NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct. 3 (UPI) -- Sweaty savannahs and sparkling lakes are the backdrop for Angelina Jolie's stunts in the new Tomb Raider flick.

Jolie is in the East African country for two weeks for the filming of "Lara Croft and The Cradle of Life: Tomb Raider 2."

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With its varied topography, Kenya was chosen by directors looking for something "beautiful and unusual," says Susan d'Arcy, a Paramount Pictures publicist who is on location with the crew. South Africa was also considered.

"If fits in with the story of the birth of civilization, and we were looking for incredible locations," d'Arcy says.

A tribal group will be shown in some scenes, d'Arcy says. In other scenes, wild animals are walking by in the background. The oldest ancestors of man have been found in Kenya, so the locations are historically accurate. Filmmakers are currently at Lake Naivasha, known for its large population of hippopotamus and crocodiles.

Jolie is doing many of her own stunts for the film.

Government corruption has hindered the crew's progress slightly, d'Arcy says, noting that it has gotten worse since she was last in Kenya as a publicist for "Gorillas in the Mist," a movie about anthropologist Diane Fossey. But the country's wide variety of locations have worked out well because of its large number of airstrips and other tourist infrastructure to support the 200 cast and crew members, d'Arcy says.

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"When you have a circus like this in town, it's tough anywhere," d'Arcy says. "But moving a big group of people around where the infrastructure is not as good as we expect in the West is even more difficult."

Other recent entertainment filmed in Kenya includes a TV segment of Survivor, which aired this spring. Tomb Raider II is scheduled for release next summer.

Billy Bob Thornton's former wife was named a United Nations "goodwill ambassador" after filming much of the last Tomb Raider in Cambodia and getting interested in refugee issues. She adopted a baby from Cambodia, d'Arcy says.

Tomb Raider is an action-adventure movie based on a video game. The first Tomb Raider grossed $47.7 million its first weekend. It holds the record for the biggest movie opening ever with a female star. Paramount Pictures in London declined to release budget figures for the current Tomb Raider flick.

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