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Avatar: The Way Of Water's Sigourney Weaver Was Thrilled By The Challenge Of Playing A Teenager

James Cameron's "Avatar: The Way of Water" — which is due out December 16 — is setting up to be the biggest movie sequel of all time, with a majority of the main stars from the record-breaking first film, like Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldaña, aka Jake Sully and Neytiri, coming back for the follow-up. But there's another familiar face who will be playing a completely different character this time around, and she's fully committed to nailing the role, even though there's a catch. 

Sigourney Weaver, who had previously appeared in "Avatar" as Dr. Grace Augustine, will now be tasked with portraying a Na'vi teenager named Kiri. Jake and Neytiri are her adoptive parents. "It was incredibly exciting to set loose your inner 14-year-old and to refine it, because being 14 is not all fun," explained Weaver to The New York Times. "I think we all remember how excruciating it can sometimes be and how unjust things seem in the moment," she added. 

The world got another extensive look at "Avatar: The Way of Water" on Wednesday, November 2, with the release of its second official trailer. Weaver's Kiri can be spotted throughout the preview. It may seem like a fun role to play for the Hollywood icon, but there were also things about the portrayal that were very challenging, which Weaver and Cameron both realized upfront. However, that didn't stop her from welcoming the challenge with open arms.

'Sig thought it was all kinds of fun'

When listening to James Cameron talk about Sigourney Weaver's commitment to the role of Kiri in "Avatar: The Way of Water," it doesn't take long to see why the legendary director chose to bring her back for the sequel. While other actors may have balked in fear or simply failed at playing someone so much younger than themselves, Weaver apparently ran with it happily.

"Sig thought it was all kinds of fun," Cameron told Empire in a January 2022 interview. "Sigourney just became younger. She looked younger, she had more energy, and she never quite stepped out of Kiri for our whole capture period," the filmmaker explained. "She had a glow on her face and lightness in her step and a fun spirit."

According to Weaver, there were a number of things that she really embraced while playing Kiri, including elements from her own childhood and stuff that others might have felt at that age. 

"I think we all pretty much remember what we were feeling as adolescents," Weaver told Empire. "I was 5' 10' or 5' 11' when I was 11," she said. "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." Speaking to the New York Times, Weaver recalled how she also wanted to play up the "excruciating" side of being a teenager and how many teens often feel out of place. "If you're playing someone as sensitive as a 14-year-old girl who's been uprooted, that's a whole world of adventure you get to have as this character," Weaver said.