Zoe Saldaña Says She 'Was Moved to Tears' Watching Footage from 'Avatar 2' : 'I Was Speechless'

"I can get choked up just talking about it," admitted Zoe Saldaña, who said she was able to watch 20 minutes of Avatar 2 in late 2021

Zoe Saldaña. Photo: Frederick M. Brown/Getty

Avatar 2 will be worth the wait, according to Zoe Saldaña.

The 43-year-old actress, who played Na'vi character Neytiri in James Cameron's original 2009 sci-fi epic, recently told Kevin McCarthy in an interview promoting her new movie The Adam Project that she has already seen some of Avatar's long-anticipated sequel — and it made her emotional.

"I can get choked up just talking about it, because I was able to see just 20 minutes of the second installment, right before the year ended, last year," she said. "And I was speechless. I was moved to tears."

According to Saldaña, Cameron, 67, is "a big crier" with "a heart of gold," despite being "a very firm man" who is "very focused" on his craft.

"But he does have a very delicate heart, which is why he protects it so much," she said. "And I think that he's able to have an outlet through the stories that he creates."

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When asked specifically about the "technical" aspects of filming some of the movie underwater, Saldaña said Cameron "was finally able to crack that challenge — that whole thing that you can't imitate water, virtually, through performance capture."

"That was just a challenge that he had taken upon himself, and it took him years, and he did it," she added. "He did it. It's powerful, it's compelling."

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The "story" as a whole is a "compelling" one, in fact, according to Saldaña — and "a leap" from the record-breaking first film.

"I think that you really have to brace yourself for it, but it's going to be an adventure that you will not forget," she said.

Zoe Saldana
Zoe Saldaña in Avatar (2009). Disney

The original Avatar currently sits as the No. 1 highest-grossing movie of all time (not adjusting for inflation). It also received nine Oscar nominations — including for Best Picture — with three total wins.

Despite its success, Cameron told Entertainment Weekly in December that, given the state of moviegoing amid the pandemic and beyond, he worries whether the subsequent installments can match Avatar financially.

"The big issue is: Are we going to make any damn money? Big, expensive films have got to make a lot of money," said the filmmaker, who also directed the No. 3 movie with the biggest box office, 1997's Titanic. "We're in a new world post-COVID, post-streaming. Maybe those [box-office] numbers will never be seen again. Who knows?"'

"It's all a big roll of the dice," he added.

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