ANGELINA Jolie plays action hero Lara Croft in the summer movie “Tomb Raider,” but there was a time she absolutely despised the video game hero — because her husband was so devoted to her!

“I ended up hating Lara because she was the one keeping him up all night and not me,” Angelina admits about her first husband Jonny Lee Miller’s obsession with the video game that introduced Lara.

“Lara came between Angelina and her husband and Angelina grew to despise the character,” said a source.

But Angelina learned to forgive Lara — after she divorced Jonny!

“Now she even plays the game with the children of her second husband, Billy Bob Thornton. But she’s not very good at it — in fact, she ends up getting Lara killed all the time!”

While making the movie Angelina found out just how dangerous Lara’s world is.

“Angelina came dangerously close to death during a ‘bungee ballet’ scene,” said the source. “At one point she was hanging off a wall and nearly dropped 40 feet to the floor. She really was panic-stricken. The look of terror captured on her face is authentic.

Jon Voight was divorced from Angelina’s mom when she was 2 years old.

“Angelina didn’t completely escape injury, though. When she jumped over a 3-foot-tall box and landed badly, she sprained her ankle and tore ligaments in one foot.”

The actress prepared for the role by starting a tough fitness regimen three months prior to shooting, the source added.

“She gave up her old staples of coffee, cigarettes, alcohol and sugar in favor of protein– heavy foods to pack on some pounds, build muscles and strength. She made herself into someone she used to hate, a woman with curves AND muscles.

“Her take on the action character has definitely changed. Now she says, ‘Lara is the perfect woman in my estimation.’ “