During an appearance on GMA3, Avatar: The Way of Water star Stephen Lang discussed the process of acting while entirely underwater.
Lang went into how the cast of the Avatar sequel trained in order to perform underwater scenes — a process that included learning how to hold their breath for extended periods of time.
“It was long, it was arduous, it was difficult, but very rewarding.” Lang said. “We all have this capacity to hold our breath for long periods of time but we don’t tap into it. But we learned to do that so we could actually act underwater. We’d do takes up to two minutes, There were those among us, Kate Winslet for example, could hold her breath for seven and a half minutes.”
When asked about how long he could hold his breath, Lang described the difference between holding your breath while acting and holding your breath while static.
“I think I could do four, five minutes, but when you’re acting, it’s different,” explained Lang. “That would be what we call a static hold. If I’m not doing anything, if I’m just hanging out in the water, I can hold my breath for a while. But when Sam Worthington pulls a knife on me 30 feet under then … I can’t stay under that long!”
You can check out a video of the interview below:
Avatar: The Way of Water is directed and co-written by James Cameron. It features the return of Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldaña, Joel David Moore, Dileep Rao, Stephen Lang, Matt Gerald, and Sigourney Weaver. Additional cast members include Kate Winslet, Edie Falco, Michelle Yeoh, Vin Diesel, Jemaine Clement, and Oona Chaplin, alongside a slate of young actors.
“Set more than a decade after the events of the first film, Avatar: The Way of Water begins to tell the story of the Sully family (Jake, Neytiri, and their kids), the trouble that follows them, the lengths they go to keep each other safe, the battles they fight to stay alive, and the tragedies they endure,” says the official synopsis.
Three additional films are planned, with Avatar 3 tentatively scheduled for December 20, 2024, Avatar 4 set for December 18, 2026, and Avatar 5 on December 22, 2028.