Sigourney Weaver is playing a brand new, youthful character in Avatar: The Way Of Water

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Sigourney Weaver playing a teen Na'vi in Avatar 2
Sigourney Weaver playing a teen Na'vi in Avatar 2

Sigourney Weaver

If there’s one thing that the Avatar movies are about–besides, uh, environmentalism and imperialism and all that good stuff–it’s pushing the boundaries of film technology. James Cameron may be the foremost expert in movie magic, and for his next trick, he’ll turn a 72-year-old actor into a teenager.

That’s right, Sigourney Weaver may have died in the first Avatar movie, but Empire magazine reveals that she’ll return in Avatar: The Way Of Water as a brand new character. Specifically, she’s playing Kiri, Jake and Neytiri’s adoptive teenage daughter. Who’d’ve thunk?

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Weaver, of course, is approaching this unusual choice as a marvelous acting exercise: “I think we all pretty much remember what we were feeling as adolescents. I certainly do. I was 5’ 10” or 5’ 11” when I was 11. I felt strongly that Kiri would feel awkward a lot of the time. She’s searching for who she is. I was thrilled to be given that challenge by Jim.”

Millie Bobby Brown and the rest of young Hollywood must have been busy that day (and all the other many days of the long-gestating Avatar franchise), but hey, who can complain about more Sigourney Weaver. “As an acting challenge, it’s big,” Cameron tells Empire. “We’re gonna have a 60-something actor playing a character [decades younger than] her actual biological age. Sig thought it was all kinds of fun.”

Weaver, again, is in her 70s, but perhaps the director is employing a bit of flattery here. Or maybe there are other older actors playing Na’vi youths in this movie and he’s just getting them mixed up. Regardless, he has nothing but praise for his Alien collaborator in this new and unusual endeavor. “Sigourney just became younger,” he says. “She looked younger, she had more energy, and she never quite stepped out of Kiri for our whole capture period. She had a glow on her face and lightness in her step and a fun spirit.” Sounds bonkers, but that’s showbiz for ya!