Sigourney Weaver on Playing a 14-Year-Old in Avatar Sequel

Sigourney Weaver reunites again with James Cameron in Avatar: The Way of Water, this time as an orphaned 14-year-old Na’vi named Kiri. In an interview with the New York Times, Cameron and the 73-year-old actress joked about what an obvious choice she was.

This being Avatar, Weaver’s performance involved a fair amount of motion-capture.

“I remember when Jim finally made the decision, he said, “You can do this because you’re so immature. Nobody knows this but me, but I know that you’re just 14 at heart,” she told the Times. “And I think Jim is about 16, so he’s not off by much! But it was incredibly exciting to set loose your inner 14-year-old and to refine it, because being 14 is not all fun. I think we all remember how excruciating it can sometimes be and how unjust things seem in the moment. If you’re playing someone as sensitive as a 14-year-old girl who’s been uprooted, that’s a whole world of adventure you get to have as this character.”

To be clear: Na’vi is unrelated to the characetr Weaver played in the first Avatar, released 13 years ago. Fifteen years have passed between the films, which means Weaver’s character wasn’t born yet around the events of the first Avatar.

Cameron had the highest grossing film ever with 1997’s Titanic — and the film’s star, Kate Winslet, joins his new cast. He topped his own record with Avatar. The Times asked him about what he’s learned from the experience of topping himself.

“You can’t think in those terms. If I brought that into every decision I make, then it’s like, ‘OK, is the color that’s going to go on the back of this Ilu going to make the difference of $10 million global gross?’ I have to remind myself constantly to just have fun and enjoy the day because otherwise you’re competing with yourself.”

Avatar: The Way of Water will arrive in theaters on December 16, 2022.

Main image: Sigourney Weaver as Kiri in Avatar: The Way of Water.