If you somehow remember what happened in 2009’s Avatar, you might be wondering how, exactly, Sigourney Weaver is returning to the franchise. After all, her character is very dead after the events of that first film. Yet, somehow, she plays a major role in Avatar: The Way of Water. How is that possible? Easy, she plays her own child–sort of.
In The Way of Water, Weaver plays Kiri, the adopted daughter of Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) and Neytiri (Zoe Saldana), who are now parents to a gaggle of children. Interestingly, the 73-year-old Weaver’s character is a teenager in the new film. A strange twist, for sure, but one the actress was very committed to figuring out.
In fact, she was so committed that she went back to school–seriously. Speaking at a press conference for Avatar: The Way of Water, Weaver explained that “Luckily, there was a long time to prepare, and I went to high school classes and a few other things, so I could hear the pitch of [teenagers’] voices, and there’s a big range of who an adolescent is between 12 and 15. And once I saw that, I was like, okay, I can let Kiri come out. Whoever that is, combined with who I was at 14.”