Zoe Saldaña on How James Cameron’s Oceanic Love Inspired Avatar 2

Avatar is an epic science fiction film at heart, but underneath the action and adventure is an environmental message. As beautiful as it is, Avatar is a cautionary tale about the climate crisis. Colonizers mining valuable resources on Pandora and uprooting the Na’vi from their land directly refers to what’s happening on Earth. Zoe Saldaña, who stars as Neytiri, credits Avatar’s environmental politics and messaging to the passionate beliefs held by James Cameron.

Cameron’s love for the environment is no secret, due to his work as a documentarian for National Geographic. Specifically, Cameron is an avid deep-sea explorer who has produced oceanic documenters like Aliens of the Deep and Voyage to the Bottom of the Earth. It’s Cameron’s affinity for the ocean that Saldaña credits (via Good Morning America) as a driving force behind Avatar: The Way of Water.

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Saldaña also discussed the rigorous underwater training she underwent for Avatar 2. Learning to hold one’s breath underwater for minutes is no easy feat. However, she credits Cameron for providing the necessary tools and resources to complete the difficult assignment. 

“Jim will present the challenge, but it’s not like he doesn’t present the resources as well,” said Saldaña. “He surrounds you with world-renowned people and within five months of you taking this training, you get to discover a side of you that you thought you would never ever see about yourself. It’s kind of rewarding.”

You can watch the full interview below.

Avatar: The Way of Water heads to theaters on Friday, December 16.

Do you think The Way of Water will be more successful than the original? Let us know in the comment section below!

Recommended Reading: James Cameron: A Retrospective

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