Before the success of James Cameron’s ‘Avatar: The Sense of Water’, some of its stars including Zoe Saldana, who plays Neytiri, a Na’vi native, appeared before the media in an effort to promote the film. A press tour filled with information about the shoot followed, and in her final appearance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, Saldana explained how she began her journey to become a member of Pandora’s Blue World.
Saldana described Her casting audition was something that initially confused her, Counting down a series of steps that can puzzle many actors.
“First they told me that I was like a robot, a female robot. I thought it was like Alita: Battle Angel, but set in a jungle. And I was like: Well, that doesn’t really mean anything. A robot in the form of a warrior princess, an intelligent creature, what is it? But Mali Finn, who was then the casting director who would replace Margery Simkin, would sometimes just come and call me. And I was still living in New York at the time, and I had been filmed several times. Sometimes it was like, ‘Get some tight stuff, I want you to climb up and do some cartwheels.’ And I was like: OK. So I’d come in, and they’d say, Come on, let’s just play. Let’s go get some furniture.”
Although Saldana knew how to act in the process, she revealed was something that could definitely help her take on the role of Neytiri,
“I think my background in dance got me this role. Then one time they called me and I put myself back on the tape to them and they said, just do all these voices thinking it’s for a James Cameron movie and I’m a robot warrior princess in the jungle, and I’m doing, R, like (twisting tongue) extorting my money, I don’t know what it is, but I get it. They took me from New York to Los Angeles and they took me to Lightstorm. I was like: Oh my God, I’m going to meet my idol, James Cameron.”
saldana account final casting And how strange it was to meet his idol:
“And they locked me in an office, which was kind of scary. They gave me the script. And the script was very thick. They gave me three hours to read it, it took me six hours. Because the whole direction was that Pandora described the whole world. It was really weird for me. And English isn’t my first language, so it was a little difficult. Then Jim came over, and he was really cool. And he was like, Are you ready to get Are to know myself while I was like: what?
Then he leads me to his office, I see a big ship’s wheel, I didn’t know it was Titanic’s wheel. I see the Terminator arm. I thought oh my god, I’m having an out-of-body experience.” His office was beautiful and big and with all the things he kept from all his movies. And there was a statue of my character Neytiri on the coffee table. When I’m looking at the statue, it’s sitting in front of me, like it’s looking at me. And I was like: It’s not weird, it’s not weird, don’t act weird.