Zoe Saldaña on Playing Mother to Sigourney Weaver in Avatar 2

After 13 years, Zoe Saldaña is set to reprise her role as Neytiri in Avatar: The Way of Water. Other actors set to appear in the Avatar sequel include Sam Worthington, Stephen Lang, Edie Falco, and Cliff Curtis. However, when speaking with Empire, Saldaña praised the performances of two actors in the sequel: Sigourney Weaver and Kate Winslet.

Weaver, who played Dr. Grace Augustine in Avatar, will now star as Jake and Neytiri’s adopted daughter Kiri. Despite being younger than Weaver, Saldaña jumped at the opportunity to play Weaver’s mother in the sequel.

“It’s a dream come true [pauses]… It’s not even a dream come true. I would have never dreamt in my wildest dreams thought I would be playing some kind of maternal figure in any role that Sigourney Weaver would have been playing,” said Saldaña. “And yet James Cameron provided us the setting and the technology and the story for us to be able to stretch that far. It was exhilarating. To see a master like Sigourney Weaver morph back into a child-like form. It’s quite amazing. Very inspiring.”

RELATED: Sigourney Weaver Explains Her Approach To Playing Kiri in Avatar 2

Kate Winslet joins the cast as Ronal, the wife of Tonowari (Curtis) and a diver for the Metkayina tribe. In The Way of Water, Neytiri and her family must flee their section of Pandora due to war. The Sully family seeks refuge with the Metkayina, who live by the water. Saldaña explains how Winslet’s transformation in Avatar was seamless due to her professionalism and acting prowess.

“Oh, my God. I was like, ‘Too many dreams coming alive, I don’t think I can take it.’ Kate Winslet was a professional. I don’t even know how to describe it. It would be like, ‘Roll camera’ and she would hold her breath for seven minutes. She became this Metkayina. Omaticaya means ‘of the land’. The Metkayina tribe are ‘of water’. She immersed herself in all things Pandora,” said Saldaña. “It almost felt like she had a little bit of FOMO when the first movie came out, and now that she and Jim were going to partner up again, she was going to run with it. We were trying to keep up.”

Avatar: The Way of Water arrives in theaters on Friday, December 16.

Are you excited to see Saldaña return as Neytiri? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below!

Recommended Reading: James Cameron: A Retrospective

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