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Jack Champion & Trinity Bliss on the Film’s Longest Takes

Dec 14, 2022


In the time since James Cameron’s Avatar, the Sully family has grown. In Avatar: The Way of Water, Jake (Sam Worthington) and Neytiri (Zoe Saldaña) have four children — five if you include Jack Champion’s Spider.

There’s Neteyam (Jamie Flatters), Lo’ak (Britain Dalton), the youngest Sully, Tuk, played by Trinity Bliss, and their adopted daughter, Kiri (Sigourney Weaver), born of Grace’s avatar. Then there’s Spider, a human child who was too young to return to Earth after the war. While Jake and Neytiri don’t quite embrace Spider as one of their own, while growing up on Pandora, he takes to the Na’vi lifestyle and grows close with the Sully children. All are tested when the “sky people” return and pinpoint Jake as a primary obstacle in their mission to colonize the moon, making the whole family a target.
COLLIDER VIDEO OF THE DAY
Ahead of The Way of Water’s December 16th release, Collider’s Perri Nemiroff spoke with Champion and Bliss about their time working with Cameron and the cast on the sequel. The two discuss some highs and lows of filming, explain why takes were often quite long, and more. You can watch the interview in the video at the top of this article or read along with the transcript below.

PERRI NEMIROFF: I want to play a little high/low to start. Can you each share a high from the filming of Avatar: The Way of Water, a day that went perfectly, something that made you feel great? But then also, what’s a low or a more challenging moment, and how’d you overcome that challenge?

TRINITY BLISS: There weren’t many lows per se, like terrible days. How could there be a terrible day on this set, honestly? But highs? Honestly, as a young actor, every day. Just being there filming with everyone, with this Avatar family. Lows, I remember there [were] one or two days, maybe at the beginning of filming, at least in the tank, where I wasn’t scared that I wasn’t safe or anything, but I was scared that I wouldn’t be able to do a good job underwater. And Jim [Cameron] and the crew and also my fellow cast members just made me feel like I was doing a good job and helped me be the best Na’vi and Tuk I could be.

Image via Disney

CHAMPION: I think my very first day was probably the high because I was with Slang (Stephen Lang) and some of the other cast, and I remember I just felt so confident, and they made me feel so confident and comfortable. I don’t know, it was just so fun … And then there were some full-face mask scuba days where I was in the tank and I was underwater for hours on end, and I just got a little claustrophobic. But I kept calm, and I pushed through it, and here we are.

I was reading a lot about how there were some really, really long takes done on this movie. Can you remember the longest one you did, and was that a challenge or do you find it freeing?

BLISS: What was one of our longest takes?

CHAMPION: [Laughs] I’m thinking of a scene I definitely can’t say because it would be a massive spoiler.

If you want to say it, we’ll brand this a spoiler interview and run it after the movie comes out.

CHAMPION: Oh, this is not even in 2. [Laughs]

Image via Disney

You can keep talking. I don’t mind! [Laughs]

CHAMPION: Something in 2? I don’t know, because being in performance capture in the sound stage, a lot of scenes were long because it felt almost like theater because Jim could cut at any point, so we’d just run the whole scene.

BLISS: And also we were always kind of playing and discovering because in performance capture, we didn’t have to do one same take. And, like you said, it was like theater, and we were all in it together.

CHAMPION: Maybe when the Recoms have us. That was a longer one.

BLISS: Oh, yeah. Not just long takes, but sometimes we would film one scene for a whole day or morning.

Jack, you’re getting my only non-Avatar question of the day because I am a massive Scream fan. I know you probably can’t tell me anything about the new movie, so maybe, is there anything about Scream being your first big horror franchise that now, looking back on that shoot, makes you think, “I’m so glad my first is that particular series of horror films?”

CHAMPION: Well, I’m a massive Scream fan, too, so … I think what made me excited was just that Scream was my favorite horror slasher genre there is.

What’s your favorite Scream film that’s not your own?

CHAMPION: The first one! Easy!

Avatar: The Way of Water hits theaters on December 16th. For more on the making of the movie, check out Perri’s chat with Jamie Flatters and Bailey Bass below:

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by filmibee.
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