Zoe Saldana (44) is Neytiri in Avatar 2. The warrior princess in full body blue, returns in the sequel Avatar: the water way (in theaters). What are the differences between this and the first film, we asked her. Getty photo
The indomitable and courageous Neytiri, the Na’vi princess of the Omaticaya clan who became the wife of Jake Sully (Sam Worthington), is back. We’re back on Pandora.
Avatar: The Way of Water by James Cameron was released in Italian cinemas three days before the American ones (with cinemas sold out for weeks). Zoe Saldana (Neytiri, on Earth) did not hold back. Before the premiere in Los Angeles you participated, this time as a human warrior, in the entire press campaign of a film defined as epochal. The first of 5 (maybe six, with a prologue) planned sequels of Avatars (2009).
Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) and Jake Sully (Sam Worthington), the Marine who in the first film, for the love of the warrior princess and freedom, transformed into the leader of a Na’vi clan
Selective actress Zoe Saldana laughs. «I’m a sort of employee of serial cinema. Star Trek, Guardians of the Galaxy, Avengers and now too Avatars. It was a real joy to find colleagues and cast artists. Avatars And Avatars 2 they are films that required a great physical effort from all of us actors. but above all aalso spiritual identification with our characters. I deeply love my Neytiri. She is a strong-willed woman, who creates a family of her own and defends it from everything and everyone. If necessary, she knows how to be one warrior, but she is sensitive, vulnerable. I like how James Cameron portrays the women in his films. I would say in an “essential” way».
Zoe Saldana at the premiere of Avatar 2: The Water Street in Los Angeles. With her her husband, the Italian artist Marco Perego married in 2013: he took her surname, exactly like her wife. They have three children, twins Cy and Bowie, and Zen. ANSA photo
Zoe Saldana in Avatar 2: The Style Interview
When she was offered the first Avatars what did you think when you read the script?
I quickly realized that the film was about human nature, of the dreams and mirages of which we are capable. James Cameron’s cinema has translated all this into high-level cinematic images, shot after shot.
What are the most important themes of the story for you?
The environmental ones. James is always attentive to the binomial “dreams and reality”. He was able to speak to the world. I remember when in Ramallah, Palestine, the pacifists wore the Na’vi habituator to protest against the wall erected by the Israelis. Essays have been written on the meanings of Avatars: I’ve read them all, over the years.
And in this new film, what should we “watch” above all?
The family is at the heart of the script. And the film is not just a second act. Our protagonists have grown up, they have created a family. Avatars 2like the first film, is a journey. “Family is our fortress”, says Jake talking to his wife, or to me. The family is a safe nest, a cave. And I would like to suggest that viewers look carefully at the many children.
Children are the revelation of Avatar: The Water Way
It’s true: they are one of the surprises of this second act.
Absolutely yes. Also for them, as for the adults, the costume designers have chosen particular clothing, appropriate for the Na’vi. The aquatic creatures are fantastic in my opinion, rendered very well by the 3D.
For Cameron, water was the guiding element of the first film…
It still is, but in a different way. The script this time also deals with everyday life. In our family there is also a adopted son and it is a character that will appeal to the very young. Spider is an orphan of Pandora, and Jack Champion playing him is wonderful. Then we talk about natives driven from their lands and by those seeking wealth. I was amazed, is the right word, at the vision of Avatars 2. For the expressive force of so many sequences and, above all, for how technology is perfectly merged with the themes of the film. Here you are: Avatars 2 manages to transform spectators into visionaries.
This year we also saw it in Amsterdam: How do you choose the scripts?
They have to instinctively involve me. For Avatars I also underwent rigorous training. For the first film, I learned to shoot a bow, ride a horse, practice martial arts.
You are also a producer of television series…
Yes, I really enjoyed making and playing From Scratch: A memoir of Love, Sicily and Finding Home. The script of the series is based on the best seller by Tembi Locke. I like TV mini-series and movies with a following because they connect with loyal audiences and new viewers.
For her portrayal of singer, pianist, composer Nina Simone in the 2016 film, she received acclaim and severe criticism in equal measure. Law or negative judgments?
Sure and I take notes. It had been really challenging playing Nina. For an actor it is very different the work that goes into recreating a real character or a fictional one, as in Avatars. Although for both films I worked with wigs, prosthetics and hours of makeup!
What will remain in the memory of the viewers of this second installment of Avatars?
I wish the film in its entirety. And then, in particular, some images of the Moon, the children running, the forests of Pandora. And the spirituality of a world where imagination and fantasy come true.