Twenty-five years after the release of Titanic, Kate Winslet is playing his second james cameron film, Avatar: The Way of the Water.
The long-awaited sequel sees the Resources Development Administration return to Pandora. This time around, they’re not just after unobtainium. The GDR wants to colonize the whole moon. But, someone stands in their way, Sam WorthingtonIt’s Jake Sully. When Jake comes to learn that the RDA and a recombinant version of Colonel Miles Quaritch (Stephane Lang) have specifically targeted him, he decides it’s best for the Sully family to leave the forests of the Omaticaya clan.
Jacques, Neytiri (Zoe Saldana), and their four children head to the seas of the Metkayina clan and that’s where they meet Winslet’s character, Ronal. Ronald and Cliff Curtis’ The Tonowari are the chiefs of the Metkayina. While Tonowari is a little more open-minded about upholding the Na’vi tradition of granting safe haven to any refugee seeking sanctuary, Ronal is much more reluctant to accept the Sullys and have them endanger his people. .
Why exactly is Ronal more reluctant to accept strangers than his partner? I asked Winslet that during our interview before The way of the waterwas released on December 16. Here is what she said:
“I think what I thought was really important to convey is the feeling that Ronal is absolutely the matriarch. She’s the leader of her clan, and I think she’ll stop at nothing to protect that. and to protect what they’ve created. They really care and look after not just their family, but this whole village, this whole community, the Metkayina clan. So the idea that whatever comes from the outside could pose some sort of threat is something I think, as a mother she just instinctively feels and feels very suspicious. She loves her little tribe. She loves her family. She wants them to have their freedom and that they weren’t in any way, I guess, restricted or possibly threatened. It was important for me to really play that side of her.”
As for Tonowari, Winslet took a moment to sing the praises of the actor behind the Olo’eyktan of the Metkayina clan, Cliff Curtis:
“Cliff is just wonderful. I think he and I both wanted to play those roles because of those characters’ commitments to family. He’s really a family man, and that sense of community, and his heritage. Maori was something that he really, I felt, both consciously and unconsciously, was able to bring to this role. Tonowari is such a powerful figure, and I think Cliff brings that as an actor. And he’s very warm, very inclusive and kind.
Winslet also touched on the experience of capturing underwater performances, a type of performance she dubbed “the purest form of action”. She explained:
“In many ways, motion capture is almost the purest form of action, and people wouldn’t really think that because you don’t see us as real people. You see the blue version of us as than actors. But to capture that, you have cameras watching you from every angle. You also have a helmet and helmet camera that captures every muscle and movement of your face, so you can’t hide. Even your eyeballs, the movement of your eyeballs is And so in terms of performance you really have to deliver because you want this camera to see everything you’re doing because you want as many of your facial muscles to be repeated in your Na’vi version of yourself. So it’s quite an intense and demanding experience, but I absolutely loved it.”
An intense and demanding experience, but not without a bit of fun. Some of Winslet’s younger co-stars namely Trinity Jo-Li Bliss who was only seven when filming began, instituted a swearing pot. Slip and use a swear word? Money for the pot! Which word cost Winslet the most money? Here is what she said:
“Well, it’s a word that starts with ‘F.’ And yes, it was me who had the most problems. Trinity regularly said “Kate! It’s $5!” Yeah, I got in a lot of trouble most of the time and was pretty broke because of the swearing jar.”
Avatar: The Way of the Water premieres exclusively in theaters on December 16. For more on the making of the film, check out my interview with James Cameron below: