Sigourney Weaver Admits She 'Had Some Concerns' Filming Underwater Scenes for Avatar 2

"I didn't want anyone to think, 'Oh, she's old, she can't do this,' " Sigourney Weaver said of filming challenging underwater scenes in Avatar 2

Sigourney Weaver
Sigourney Weaver. Photo: David Fisher/Shutterstock

Sigourney Weaver is opening up about the upcoming Avatar 2.

The actress spoke to T magazine, telling the publication that she filmed her underwater scenes in a large tank with weights around her and that professional divers led her back to the surface during breaks.

"I had some concerns," Weaver, 71, admitted while recounting her experience on the James Cameron film set. "But that’s what the training was for. And I really wanted to do it."

She continued, "I didn’t want anyone to think, 'Oh, she’s old, she can’t do this.' "

Weaver prepared for the role by taking diving lessons in Hawaii and Key West, Florida. She also trained with a coach who had previously worked with military divers and learned to hold her breath for more than six minutes with the help of supplemental oxygen.

"My hope is that what I receive from the universe is even more outrageous than anything I can think of," Weaver said. "I don’t really say to myself, 'Well, you can’t do this.' Or, 'You can’t do that.' Let me at it! And we’ll see."

sigourney weaver
Sigourney Weaver in 2009's Avatar. Courtesy Everett Collection

Weaver is reprising her role as Dr. Grace Augustine in the upcoming sequel to the blockbuster 2009 film. The movie will see the return of Sam Worthington and Zoë Saldana, and new additions in Kate Winslet, David Thewlis, Vin Diesel, Michelle Yeoh, Jemaine Clement, Oona Chaplin and Edie Falco.

Last week, fans were given a new behind-the-scenes photo of the film showcasing the new human science lab on Pandora.

Previous first looks teased the film's underwater scenes — which were filmed in a custom 900,000-gallon tank — as well as depicted stars Winslet, Saldana, Worthington and Weaver.

Sigourney Weaver. Avatar/ Twitter

Although production on the highly anticipated Avatar sequels shut down in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, director James Cameron and crew were able to return to New Zealand in June to continue filming.

While the delay meant that all the sequels, which are being filmed consecutively, saw their release dates pushed back, Cameron recently shared that he’s been making some great progress.

"We’re 100% complete on Avatar 2 and sort of 95% complete on Avatar 3," Cameron told Arnold Schwarzenegger last month during their chat for the 2020 Austrian World Summit.

“We’re very lucky in that we chose this as our production site years ago," he added, as he praised the way New Zealand handled the pandemic. "We’re able to operate. We’re able to shoot and have a more or less normal life here. We were very fortunate, so I don’t see any roadblocks to us getting the picture finished, getting both pictures finished.”

Disney has now set Avatar 2's release date for December 16, 2022, and Avatar 3 for December 20, 2024. The fourth and fifth movies will hit theaters in 2026 and 2028, respectively.

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