James Cameron’s new Avatar: The Way of Water has been making waves around the globe, the movie is being hailed as a technological masterpiece, and is running strong at the Box Office. One of the leads of the film Kate Winslet has also been making headlines for holding her breath for seven minutes and forty-seven seconds underwater. As inspiring as this new record are,  it is also reflective of the hardship the whole cast and crew had to go through during the filming of this movie.

James Cameron’s expectations were insurmountable

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Director James Cameron on the set of 20th Century Studios’ AVATAR 2. Photo by Mark Fellman.

Sigourney Weaver plays Dr. Grace Augustine in the original Avatar, in Avatar: The Way of Water she plays Kiri, the adopted daughter of Jake Sully, and the daughter of Grace. The actress revealed that they had to train with Navy Seals to prepare for their roles as it would demand a lot of underwater shooting. During the training Kate Winslet broke Tom Cruise’s record of holding his breath for 6 minutes underwater, she broke it by one minute.

This made the shooting extremely difficult for Sigourney Weaver, she told The Wrap about her struggles and elaborated on her difficulties trying to match Cameron’s expectations and the physical strain the movie demands:

Avatar: The Way of Water

[Cameron] would talk about our doing this swimming, where we’d be holding our breath for a minute and a half or something, and that was conservative actually. And I just thought, well, I can only hold my breath for about 30 seconds, period, let alone when I’m moving. And yet, [Cameron] never throws out these challenges unless he backs them up with help so you can get there. So we started training with Kirk Krack, who teaches the Navy SEALs, in May of 2017, and we had our first session in the pool. My husband and I were able to hold our breath for a minute, just still in the water, and we kind of built from there.”

The actress mentioned that even her husband was underwater with her, She also highlighted how the help provided by the director helped her reach those unimaginable goals. Their Navy Seal trainer was Kirk Krack who helped the entire cast train for underwater scenes and long shots.

The masterpiece took a toll on the stars

The film has been in development for years, it was planned to be bigger and better than the original Avatar. However, the physical and mental strain it would take was probably not gauged, also the fact that this movie had a water element made this movie more so challenging to film, and perform. The actors did not only have to train for underwater breath holding, but they also trained for parkour and archery.

Avatar: The Way of Water BTS

The film was already a challenge given the special effects, having the water element and all the stunts made it ten times hard. Weaver a 73-year-old actress had to play a 14-year-old, she had to get in shape and learn all kinds of stunts and embody the physicality of a 14-year-old girl.

The actor signed the film well aware of these challenges, yet the continuous shoot for Avatar 2 made it extremely hectic with no breathing space for the cast and crew. Avatar: The Way of Water is not the only movie that is filming underwater, even Dune 2 which is in production is using Navy SEALS to train its cast. There has been no official release date but the film is in making.

Avatar: The Way of Water is in theaters near you.

Source: The Wrap

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