James Cameron recently sat down with Vanity Fair to talk about the 20th Anniversary of Titanic and the questions inevitably went into Avatar 2 territory, where the director shed some light on Kate Winslet’s character. Production of Avatar 2 is currently under way with Cameron filming parts 2 and 3 together and then coming back to do the final 2 installments in his ambitious Avatar plan. The total budget for all of the movies is said to be over $1 billion and James Cameron is looking to break new ground along the way.
Kate Winslet plays Ronal, a sea dwelling alien according to James Cameron. Cameron told Vanity Fair that she was a part of the “sea people” or “reef people.” Cameron previously explained that the sea people, a clan called the Metkayina, live on giant oceanic reefs and are ruled by a man named Tonowari, who is played by Cliff Curtis. It isn’t clear at this time exactly how Winslet’s character fits into this exotic, undersea Pandorian world, but she is rumored to have a pretty large part according to reports and it’s Kate Winslet, she’s not going to come work with James Cameron again after 20 years for a cameo.
After working with James Cameron in the water for Titanic 20 years ago, Kate Winslet is back and in the water yet again. When she signed on to do the project, she told Cameron that she wanted to do all of her own underwater work. The director obliged and the actress has undergone training in freediving and holding her breath for long periods of time. When talking about the underwater preparation, James Cameron had this to say.
“The one thing she did do is demand that she do all her own water work. I said, ‘All right, that’s fine, we’ll have to teach you how to free dive.’ The other actors are up to three- and four-minute breath holds. We’ve already been doing underwater capture. We did a scene last week with six teenagers, well, actually five teenagers and one 7-year-old underwater holding their breath for a couple minutes and acting, actually doing a dialogue scene under water because they speak kind of a sign language.”
Speaking of underwater scenes, James Cameron and his VFX team are currently re-inventing motion capture technology to pull it all off. Cameron and crew originally revolutionized motion capture technology during the production for the first Avatar movie and the next installments are expected to step up the game in a huge way. The director hasn’t shared too much about what they’re doing, but he has revealed that the underwater scenes have begun.
James Cameron has spent his whole career pushing the boundaries and revolutionizing the way that we watch movies with his incredible, almost obsessive attention to detail. It’s been said that the director’s obsession with the little details lends itself to a pretty stressful set that has led to Cameron taking out his frustrations with the cast and crew. You can read more about Kate Winslet’s Ronal character as well as James Cameron’s ambitious quest for greatness via Vanity Fair.