Zoe Saldanha Admits That “Jim Challenged Me” While Discussing Neytiri’s Difficult Journey Through “Avatar: The Way of Water”


With all due respect to Vin Diesel’s favorite phrase “Fast and Furious” “Family” (which we will no doubt hear again and again on the eve of the release of “Fast and Furious X” later this year), the new blockbuster “Avatar: The Way Water is actually connected with family ties and how mothers and fathers fight like animals if they feel their children are being threatened. Director James Cameron spoke at length about how, in his opinion, his sequel “Avatar” is rooted in the concept of a mixed family, because when we meet again with Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) and his true love, Neytiri (Zoe Saldanha), they have built their own clan. And because this unit is under threat, Saldana felt that this time Cameron was testing her… in a way that was not in the first film.

Neytiri is a real “Mother Bear” in Avatar: The Way of Water, going to great lengths to protect her children—even those like Sigourney Weaver’s teenage character Kiri, who may be from another mother. True love knows no boundaries, and Saldanha understands this better, because she herself has become a mother since she appeared in the original Avatar. When I mentioned this in our exclusive interview for Avatar and how it could affect her preparation for the role of Neytiri in the sequel, the Guardians of the Galaxy actress explained:

Funny, I just shared this with Jim. This is the first time I’ve seen in a minute. And I felt that in Avatar: The Way of Water, Neytiri challenged me the most because Neytiri challenged the most. For the first time, she’s just struggling with what’s in her heart. And it’s just love. She falls in love, falls into this abyss… this feeling of love and curiosity for this other person. In Avatar: The Way of Water, she struggles with fear. And there is so much anger and unresolved conflict in her heart. …Jim challenged me. He knows where this woman, this creature, is. And he knows where she should be. So we’re working backwards, and he won’t even let me get in her way. She has a journey that is very connected.

In particular, in this film, the journey involves loss. If you’ve watched the movie (and judging by the box office, many of you have watched the movie), there’s a scene featuring Neytiri that allows Zoe Saldanha to carry her soul. It’s unforgettable, mainly because it shakes you to the core. While the Academy never recognizes motion—capture performances — otherwise Andy Serkis would have won many well-deserved Oscars – the emotions displayed in this single scene with Neytiri should evoke Saldanha in any conversations about actors when the time comes for the awards. It’s a shame that will never come true.

James Cameron will have more opportunities to challenge Zoe Saldanha, as she is expected to return in the next sequels of “Avatar”, which may begin to appear in two years. And make sure you check out this list of upcoming Zoe Saldanha movies, because a major Marvel sequel is coming to theaters in May, and we know you’ll want to be in the spotlight to see how the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise wraps up this screening. stories.


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