A few days ago, a photo went viral online that showed Oscar-winning actress Kate Winslet shooting an underwater scene for her upcoming movie Avatar 2. In the photo, Winslet can be seen fully submerged, wearing a wet diving suit with what appears to be a pair of huge wings strapped to her back. In an interview with Collider, Winslet confirmed the wings are going to show up in the actual scene as part of a “ceremonial” sequence.
“It was amazing. That’s right, I was walking on the bottom of the tank. That’s a big ceremonial sequence with those huge heavy wings. That was quite scary. The thing is, when you can hold your breath for seven minutes, you become unafraid. Actually, strangely, I was able to rely on my own ability to hold my breath for that long. Somehow I was not afraid, at all. And there’s so much safety underwater. There are two safety divers on every performer. There are two safety divers on every underwater camera. There were so many people in that tank. I probably felt safer down there than I did on dry land.”
While much of the plot of Avatar 2 has been kept a secret, we know the movie will explore large parts of the oceans of the alien planet Pandora that was first introduced in Avatar. In order to film the underwater environment of the oceans, director James Cameron had special equipment built for the shoot and also had Kate Winslet and the rest of the cast of the movie undergo extensive training in deep-sea diving. According to Winslet, the training allowed her to let go of her fears, and shooting the water sequences became an incredibly calming experience.
“I found the whole thing incredibly calming. There was something very meditative to me, and I don’t meditate. I can’t switch my brain off. I’m too busy. I love doing yoga, but I can only do it for about 25 minutes, and then I’m making lists. I get bored and I have to stop. But somehow, learning how to breath-hold was one of the most calming things I’ve ever done because you have to slow your body down. You actually have to lower your heart rate to be able to oxygenate your body and subsequently hold your breath for that long. So, I had no choice but to stop fucking moving, which is not normal for me.”
Written and directed by James Cameron, Avatar 2 features Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang, Giovanni Ribisi, Joel David Moore, Edie Falco, Kate Winslet, Oona Chaplin, Vin Diesel, Michelle Yeoh, and David Thewlis.
The film continues with the story of human/Na’vi hybrid Jake Sully from the original Avatar, who turned away from humanity and chose to spend the rest of his life on Pandora with the family that he sired with his Na’vi wife Neytiri. Avatar 2 arrives in theaters on December 16, 2022. This news originated at Collider.