72-year-old Sigourney Weaver plays a teenager in ‘Avatar 2’

Fans of “Avatar” have known for some time that Sigourney Weaver will return for the impending sequel, “Avatar: The Way of Water,” but considering that her character, Dr. Grace Augustine, perished in the first film, her return has been a huge question mark. It turns out that Weaver is portraying a teenage Na’vi who is the adopted daughter of Jake (Sam Worthington) and Neytiri in “The Way of Water,” in addition to a brand-new role (Zoe Saldana). Yes, thanks to James Cameron’s motion-capture technology, Sigourney Weaver, 72, is portraying a teenage girl.

“I think we all pretty much remember what we were feeling as adolescents,” Weaver told Empire magazine, which exclusively revealed the character, Kiri. “I certainly do. I was 5’ 10” or 5’ 11” when I was 11. I felt strongly that Kiri would feel awkward a lot of the time. She’s searching for who she is. I was thrilled to be given that challenge by Jim.”

“As an acting challenge, it’s big,” added Cameron, who also directed Weaver in “Aliens.” “We’re gonna have a 60-something actor playing a character [decades younger than] her actual biological age. Sig thought it was all kinds of fun.”

Cameron added, “Sigourney just became younger. She looked younger, she had more energy, and she never quite stepped out of Kiri for our whole capture period. She had a glow on her face and lightness in her step and a fun spirit.”

Weaver filmed “Avatar: The Way of Water” as she was turning 70, and she held her breathe underwater for six minutes while filming one scene in the movie. The longer Weaver and other cast members could hold their breaths, the more takes Cameron could film in a single take. The actor trained with elite military divers in order to hold her breath underwater for minutes on end.

Written by Virginia Scott


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