Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Zoe Saldana Reveals The Secrets Behind Her 'Avatar' Alien

James Cameron digs love stories between people from different cultures thrust together in strange territory. That's true of his star-crossed "Titanic" twosome and the alien/human pair he's been putting together for more than a decade in "Avatar."

What does it take to create a convincing romance between two species from different planets? In MTV's live-stream chat with Cameron and the "Avatar" cast, star Zoe Saldana gave us insight into how they created the character of Neytiri, the big blue alien who initially resists an amorous connection to the alien avatar controlled by human Jake Sully (Sam Worthington).

"She's like a big kid," Saldana said. "That's the one thing we realized."

The Na'vi, as this race of aliens is called, live at one with nature on the lush planet of Pandora. "If they're going to be completely different from human beings and they're so in tune with their environments and so in tune with themselves, then what don't they have that the humans have too much of?" Saldana said. "And there were so many flaws and we were like, 'What if they were never exposed to this?' Once we started shaving everything down, we were brought to a very childlike form of what these people are, where they're very innocent but at the same time so intuitive."

Saldana compared Neytiri to the heroine of Shakespeare's "The Taming of the Shrew," a woman who resists love lest a relationship impinge on her freedom. Neytiri still wants to be in the jungle with her animals, chasing after guys. While Sully falls in love at first sight, Neytiri resists him. Or, at least, that's how it appears.

"I really think it was [love at first sight] for Neytiri too," she said. "She just had to conceal it because you can't give all your goods away so quickly."

Check out everything we've got on "Avatar."

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