Up until today, we didn’t know what Sigourney Weaver’s role would be in Avatar: The Way of Water, the highly anticipated and modestly feared sequel to James Cameron’s 2009 argument for why CGI should be a controlled substance. Weaver’s character, Dr. Grace Augustine, was killed in the first film, and all we knew about her role in the sequel was that filming sounded like water torture: She had to learn to hold her breath for six minutes and filmed scenes underwater with weights tied to her waist. But whatever her role was couldn’t possibly be weirder than the sight of her in the first film as a giant blue alien in a Stanford tank top and khakis, right?
Wrong! A cover story for Empire magazine revealed that the 72-year-old actress will be playing Kiri, the “adoptive teenage daughter” of main characters Jake (Sam Worthington) and Neytiri (Zoe Saldana). And yes, she’ll also be an alien. “I think we all pretty much remember what we were feeling as adolescents,” Weaver said in an interview. “I certainly do. I was 5’ 10” or 5’ 11” when I was 11. I felt strongly that Kiri would feel awkward a lot of the time.” We too feel awkward a lot of the time … whenever a director plunges us into the uncanny valley.