SA actor Keenan Arrison: Working with Alicia Vikander was a dream come true

2018-03-13 06:01

Cape Town – When Tomb Raider opens in cinemas on Friday not only will some of the scenery be familiar but some of the cast will too. 

Local actor Keenan Arrison, best known for his role in The Wild, plays a mercenary in the upcoming Hollywood reboot. 

In an interview with Channel24 Keenan tells us more about his role, working alongside Academy-award winner Alicia Vikander and walking the red carpet at the London premiere. 

A big fan of the game and the films starring Angelina Jolie, Keenan says it is a big honour and blessing being a part of the franchise. 

His character Rocket is one of five mercenaries who works for the antagonist Mathias Vogel played by Walter Goggins. 

“In this team of five, Rocket is the fiery loose cannon, always ready for action. Hence the name, (pocket) Rocket. He is part of an elite special ops force of mercenaries, selected to be on the island.”

He continues: “Their job is to oversee the ‘dig’ in search of a hidden cave which holds a secret treasure. They have been stuck on this island searching and digging for seven years, when suddenly the key (Lara Croft) arrives to the island-in search of her father.”

Rocket has a number of fight scenes for which Keenan underwent gruelling and intense training. 

“The stunt team put us through our physical paces with technical fight sequences and choreography, helping us to perform and deliver confidently.”

He continues: “The weapons training with the armourers was a week-long boot camp at a secret location where we learned all we needed to know about the types of weapons and how to handle them skilfully, effortlessly and most importantly, safely.”


One of his scenes is alongside Alicia Vikander which, for Keenan, was a dream come true. 

Speaking about his experience working with her he says he learnt so much from her. 

“I spent 3 to 4 days with her on set alone for this major scene. The scene itself has a great deal of chemistry between us and she made it easier for me as an actor to bring so much to my character onscreen. She made me look good more than anything and the scene turned out great in the end.”

Walking the red carpet at the UK premiere was a surreal experience for Keenan. 

“It was a mix bag of feelings that I can’t explain, but I felt so proud of the movie as well as how the SA cast, crew, stunt teams and cinematography team did such a great job with this movie.

“Being on the red carpet was a phenomenal experience and it’s something I think we should strive for as South African actors and filmmakers, where we have our films treated with such quality. This is one of my proudest moments in my life.”

(Photos supplied: Keenan Arrison)

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