Avatar: The Way of Water star Sam Worthington, the film’s underwater scenes had him “struggling with the fear of dying.” Avatar: The Way of Water star Sam Worthington says that the film’s underwater scenes were his biggest challenge to date.
The Avatar sequel comes over a decade after the original film initially hit theaters in 2009. James Cameron returns to the director’s chair for the film. Returning actors include Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver (albeit as a different character), and Stephen Lang. Avatar 2 will also add new actors to its cast including Kate Winslet, Michelle Yeoh, and Oona Chaplin. As the title suggests, water is a critical element in The Way of Water. The water in Cameron’s Avatar sequel is computer-generated, a fact that has already been praised by VFX artists based on the film’s trailer. Even though the water in the final film was made with CGI, the actors still had to film scenes underwater in order to replicate the proper motion capture movement for their characters. These underwater sequences saw The Way of Water’s main actors performing incredible physical feats. Winslet notably held her breath for seven-and-a-half minutes for one Avatar 2 scene, breaking Tom Cruise’s on-film breath-holding record from Mission Impossible.
Sigourney Weaver Playing Jake & Neytiri’s Kid In Avatar 2?! Despite playing first movie, Sigourney Weaver is returning to play Kiri, a new character in Avatar: The Way of the Water. Why is Sigourney Weaver playing a teenage Na’vi in Avatar: The Way of the Water after her original character died in the first movie? In 2009, James Cameron pushed the boundary of visual effects (again) with Avatar’s groundbreaking CGI, which was supported by a strong cast made up of the likes of Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, and Sigourney Weaver. Avatar’s breathtaking VFX gave the Na’vi highly realistic movements and expressions, as well as an extremely accurate reflection of their actors’ performances. The fact that some of the cast played both a human character and their Na’vi avatar only linked them closer to their blue counterparts.
Sigourney Weaver’s Dr. Grace Augustine, the Avatar Program’s lead scientist, supported Jake Sully’s decision to defend Pandora from an aggressive attack by Resources Development Administration. Unfortunately, her efforts led her to stand in the way of Stephen Lang’s Colonel Miles Quaritch, who mortally wounded her human self. Despite Jake Sully’s attempts to permanently transfer her consciousness to her Na’vi avatar through the Tree of Souls, Dr. Augustine succumbed to her wounds.
Worthington too says the underwater scenes film were excruciating in a recent interview with Empire (via Deeper Blue). According to Worthington, the “restraints” and “constrictions” of both freediving and working with the motion capture technology add additional difficulty to the underwater scenes. While Worthington attempted to maintain his stellar performance under said constraints, he also was grappling with “the fear of dying” while holding his breath underwater for that long.
Avatar: The Way of the Water as a Na’vi character, the obvious explanation seemed to be that the transfer of Dr. Grace Augustine’s consciousness had somehow succeeded. After all, she said she saw Eywa, Pandora’s principal deity, shortly before she died. However, Sigourney Weaver was later revealed to be playing Kiri, Jake and Neytiri’s adopted daughter. Although unexpected, this casting choice is inspired. First, it gives Sigourney Weaver another chance to participate in future Avatar installments without erasing the emotional impact of her original character’s death. Secondly, it avoids turning resurrections into a cliché, as Miles Quaritch’s return as a Na’vi already provides an unexpected twist in the sequel.