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Avatar's Sam Worthington and Cliff Curtis on unexpected challenges of filming

Avatar stars Sam Worthington and Cliff Curtis revealed the unexpected challenges of filming underwater motion capture.

Video transcript

- Cliff, being the new kid on the block with this film, being with everyone else that was on the first film, what was it like for you stepping on set and was there anything that surprised you?

CLIFF CURTIS: Oh, it was Incredibly exciting, you know? I mean, firstly, there's James Cameron, Jon Landau. You couldn't get a better team than those two. You know, you're working with genius, this incredible world, and then the family that was established that, you know, Sam and Zoe created this passionate love story and we got to step into them and meet them as a family now with their children and all that responsibility and the drama of it. It's just-- it's a dream come true. Yeah, it's an amazing journey.

- Did anything surprise you behind the scenes?

CLIFF CURTIS: Yeah, there was a lot. A lot of it-- well, Sam talks about this a lot, as to like how pragmatic Jim is and how practical it is. It's a spectacular world, but I was really surprised how human Jim was. I expected him to be something like-- I didn't know what to expect and he's like a very-- one of the guys, kind of one of the crew, right? He's very much one of the crew and that surprised me because he's a genius.

- And you guys, obviously, underwent such like challenging training for the film. Kate Winslet was holding her breath for seven minutes. What was that like for you guys? Can you talk me through those challenges?

SAM WORTHINGTON: It was wet.

[LAUGHTER]

It was very wet. You're spending months in these water tanks and, you know, it hasn't been attempted. No one's tried to do performance capture underwater and Jim realized, well, to get the mechanics of it right we've got to do it. And so we were the Guinea pigs and when they strap the power packs to you and get you to jump in the water you think you're going to get electrocuted. But you trust Jim and you trust the techniques that you've learnt and you trust that it's only going to enhance the story.

CLIFF CURTIS: Yeah, there were a lot of-- there were a lot of elements, when we were doing the first read through, I was reading, I was like, how is this going to work out?

SAM WORTHINGTON: [LAUGHS]

CLIFF CURTIS: And you just have to trust that Jim's got the vision and it's going to work. But it's a big leap. And then to see what we're going to see tonight, it's incredible, right, to see our first read through and then to see it on the screen now. It's still hard to believe that journey that we're actually on, so it's a-- well, you'll see. It's a very experiential-- it's a very visceral experience when you watch it.