Sigourney Weaver Explains Her Approach To Playing Kiri in Avatar 2

Over the last 40+ years, Sigourney Weaver turned in a wide array of memorable performances on the big screen. But her appearance in Avatar: The Way of Water might be one of the most challenging roles she’s ever played. Mainly, because it tasked her with embodying a character several decades her junior. After playing Dr. Grace Augustine in the first Avatar, Weaver will return in the film’s sequel as Kiri, the adopted teenage daughter of Jake and Neytiri. And while speaking with Empire, she discussed how she went about crafting the young Na’vi’s personality.

Picking up several years after Avatar, The Way of Water finds Jake, Neytiri, and their children abandoning their home in Pandora’s forests when new invaders arrive. The ensuing change in scenery will have a profound effect on Kiri in particular. But it sounds like her own struggles to adapt mirrored the hurdles that Weaver herself faced behind the scenes.

“What I loved about what Jim [Cameron] did was that she is a very typical adolescent,” said Weaver. “She’s very self-conscious, filled with all these emotions that come from being thrown into this new reality and missing home. So, I had a lot to think about as Kiri, and I had to work in a completely different way than I’ve ever worked. That was very exciting for me.”

The sequel’s mo-cap aspect wasn’t anything new for Weaver, whose original Avatar character also memorably appeared in Na’vi form. Regardless, the production’s complex nature prompted her to revisit some of the tools she learned during the early days of her career.

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

“I think the way I started with Kiri was just standing, feeling my body bit by bit, as if I was fourteen,” explained Weaver. “Just trying to get that feeling back in my body and always coming from there whenever I had a scene. So, it took some kind of rerouting of the way I work. But I had done this exercise in drama school where if you say your character has blue eyes, you wait until you feel as if you are looking through blue eyes.”

“Every time you described something, you would add that on to your physical being,” continued Weaver. “You just felt it and it kind of blossomed inside you. I found that exercise was extremely important getting into Kiri because I didn’t want to play an adolescent, I wanted to become an adolescent. And I didn’t want to become any adolescent. I wanted to become her.”

Avatar: The Way of Water will hit theaters on December 16.

Are you looking forward to seeing Weaver’s performance? Let us know in the comment section below!

Recommended Reading: James Cameron: A Retrospective

We are also a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate advertising program also provides a means to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.