Veteran actor Sigourney Weaver, who is starring in upcoming James Cameron film Avatar: The Way of Water, learned parkour to train for the movie.
Sigourney Weaver learned Parkour while filming Avatar: The Way of Water. James Cameron’s 2009 film Avatar stands as the highest-grossing film of all time and is set to return to the screen this year with the first of four sequels. Starring Sigourney Weaver, Zoe Saldaña, and Sam Worthington, the original film introduced audiences to the beautiful world of Pandora, home to intelligent alien species the Na’vi. While Worthington and Saldaña will return to the franchise and reprise their original roles of Jake and Neytiri, Weaver will have a new role in the film.
In Avatar, Weaver played the role of Dr. Grace Augustine, the head of the Avatar program and a scientist with a close relationship with Pandora and the Na’vi. After her death in the original film, fans were uncertain of Weaver’s return in Avatar: The Way of Water, which is set over a decade after the events of Avatar. In a surprising twist, Weaver will reportedly portray Jake and Neytiri’s adoptive daughter, Kiri, in the sequel. Based on the minimal information shared about the character, Kiri may share a connection to Dr. Augustine that hints at some form of reincarnation possibly having taken place. After playing the middle-aged scientist, Weaver will be playing a teenage character in the new film, which involved lots of physicality and training on the actor’s part.
In a conversation with Interview Magazine, Weaver got candid about what her return to the franchise has entailed. After previous reports that she trained to hold her breath for over six minutes, she has offered more details about the impressive amount of physical exercise required for her Avatar 2 role. Among the skills she had to learn for the role, the 72-year-old actor took up Parkour. See what else the training entailed below:
I don’t voice this, because I know that I’ll get teased mercilessly about what a wuss I am, but I think that everyone enjoys working with Jim because he does demand so much. On Avatar: The Way of Water, I was older than a lot of the other people, and we had to do a lot of parkour. We had to do burpees. We had to do freediving. Don’t you love these jobs where you have to learn some really outlandish thing that you keep with you for the rest of your life? Freediving, especially, I’m grateful that we spent a year doing that.
Weaver’s dedication to the film is commendable. Despite being older than many of her co-stars, as she says, she did the work alongside everyone else and threw herself into the physical demands of her new role, which will certainly be reflected in the final cut of the sequel. Weaver has previously stated that playing Kiri in Avatar: The Way of Water required a different approach than any of her other roles. Beyond the physical rigor Weaver has already detailed, it’s likely that viewers will see a whole new side to Weaver in her Avatar 2 character.
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After garnering a historic $2.8 billion at the box office, Avatar left monumental shoes for its sequel to fill. Plenty has changed in the box office landscape since 2009, but the buzz surrounding the Avatar sequel has luckily been high. After 13 years of hype, an extraordinary budget, the advent of game-changing underwater CGI technology, and three sequels already lined up after this one, the pressure is high for Avatar: The Way of Water. Hopefully, Avatar returning to theaters on September 23 will breathe more life into the franchise ahead of the sequel’s long-awaited debut in December.