Zoe Saldana recalls her weird audition for Avatar

Zoe Saldana
Photo by Luigi de Pompeis © Cinefilos.it

Zoe Saldanawhich is among the protagonists of Avatar: the water way and previously starred in Avatar, reveals his incredible audition process for the original film. She played the actress Neytiri, female lead and love interest of Jake Sullyin 2009. In the sequel, Neytiri is not only the female lead, but also a mother as she had children with Jake in the time between the story of the original film and the events of Running Water.

Now, Zoe Saldana delved into the surreal audition process for 2009’s Avatar on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. In the way Saldana poses the story, one certainly couldn’t figure out what Avatar was really about, when the film was first pitched to her. Here’s what the actress said:

“Earlier they told me it was about this robot, this robot woman. I thought it was like Alita: Battle Angel. But it was set like in the jungle. And I was like, ‘well, that doesn’t really make any sense. I was supposed to play a warrior princess who was a robot, but maybe she was like a sentient robot, what was that?” But Mali Finn, who was the casting director at the time, and whose role was later taken by Margery Simkin, called me. I was still living in New York at the time, and they asked me to tape the audition. Sometimes they would ask things like, ‘Wear something skintight, I want you to climb up and do some cartwheels.’ And I was like ‘okay’… Let’s move some furniture.’

I feel I was able to get the part because of the [mio background di danza]. And then one time, they called me and I signed up for them again, and they were like ‘just make all these sounds’ *Tongue rolls* And I’m like ‘well, okay’ thinking like James Cameron, a robot warrior princess that’s in the jungle, and i’m like *twisting tongue* rolling my R, i don’t know what it is, but i like it. They took me from New York to Los Angeles and took me to Lightstorm. I was like “oh my god, I’m going to meet my idol, James Cameron”. And they locked me in an office, which was kind of scary. And they gave me the script. And the script was so thick (he gestures with his fingers). They gave me three hours to read it, I took six. Because all the direction describing the whole world of Pandora was really bizarre to me. And English isn’t my first language, so that was a bit difficult. And then Jim comes in, and he was so nice. And he said, “Are you ready to meet yourself?” And I was like, “What?” And at that moment, my soul left my body. And then he walked me into his office, I see this big wheel of a ship, I had no idea it was the wheel of the Titanic. I see the arm of the Terminator. I was like, oh my god, I’m having an out-of-body experience. And his office was nice and big and with all these things that he had kept from all of his movies. And on the coffee table was a sculpture of my character, Neytiri. As I look at the sculpture, he is sitting across from me as if he is watching me. And I think “it’s not weird, it’s not weird, don’t act weird”.

And after two weeks Zoe Saldana she got the call that completely changed her life. Now we will see her return to the role of Neytiri in Avatar: the water way.

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About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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