Sigourney Weaver reveals that she had to deal with some pretty intense James Cameron feedback during Avatar: The Way of Water production.
Sigourney Weaver reveals that she had a very intense interaction with director James Cameron while filming Avatar: The Way of Water. Weaver, who stars as Kiri, features heavily in the sequel, which takes place over a decade after the original Avatar. With Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) and Neytiri (Zoe Saldaña) desperately trying to keep their family alive and safe while the forces from Earth continue to try to colonize Na’vi, they are forced to join the Metkayina clan. With the humans closing in, the Na’vi are forced to arm themselves once again and try to retrieve their stolen child, Spider (Jack Champion).
Weaver’s Kiri is the adoptive daughter of Neytiri and Jake, and throughout the film, she grows more comfortable connecting with the world of Pandora. Unlike her character, Weaver was rarely actually comfortable on set, nor as Kiri, who is an incredibly important Avatar character. The Direct reports that, in an interview with D23 Magazine, she found herself struggling with her place on the set of Avatar: The Way of Water. According to Weaver, Cameron decided to take a harsh step to get her to settle in by calling her out in an incredibly brutal way. Check out her quote below:
“I was in agony about Kiri most of the time. I had no idea what was actually coming across. I couldn’t keep track of it. I didn’t want to be thinking about that, and Jim never said anything. One day I blurted out some whiny complaint about not getting any feedback, and Jim just turned and said in a serious voice, ‘You have to stop being insecure. It’s really inappropriate for who you are, how old you are, and what you’ve done in your career.’ So, that shut me up. I heard him loud and clear.”
Why Is Avatar So Intimidating?
While Cameron may have been needlessly harsh with Weaver, he was right that her experience does make her worry over Kiri unfounded, especially given the performance she turned in. Having starred in Alien, Finding Dory, and The Cabin in the Woods, Weaver is already well aware of how to manage an important role. Weaver’s character is the key to Avatar, a franchise that has already earned over $4 billion in ticket sales alone, so it’s understandable that she would be nervous about her performance.
When taking into account the conditions under which the Avatar movies are filmed, it’s easy to see why Weaver was unsure how her performance was turning out. The performers in Avatar are working in motion-capture suits (and many of the scenes for the second film were shot underwater). Additionally, Weaver is playing a 14-year-old character in the film, the daughter of her character from the previous film. All of this would elicit insecurity from even the most experienced of actors.
What’s Next For Sigourney Weaver
Weaver is likely to stay busy with the Avatar franchise for quite some time. While most of Avatar 3 and the first act of Avatar 4 have already been filmed, Avatar 5 is not yet in production, and it is likely that Kiri will play a major role in them going forward, given her emergent power. Avatar aside, Weaver is also set to star in The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart, an upcoming Amazon show about a grandmother and her young, traumatized grandchild. While audiences are reeling over Weaver’s Kiri, it may be more relaxing for her to return to playing a character on dry land for a little while, before returning to the Avatar franchise after Avatar: Way of Water.
More: Avatar 2’s Earth Tease Is Its Biggest Original Movie FixSource: D23 Magazine (via The Direct)