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David Thewlis on playing a Na’vi in Avatar 2: "I’m fascinated to see how I’m going to look"

(Image credit: 20th Century/Disney)

Over the course of lockdown, we've received a steady-stream of Avatar 2-related news. Multiple photos from behind-the-scenes have been posted online, showcasing just how intricate James Cameron's underwater sequel will be. Speaking to our sister publication Total Film in the news issue, David Thewlis – a newcomer to the series – talks about working on Avatar 2 and how the filming process worked.  

"I’ve got no idea what my scenes will be like because there are about 16 guys in the room with video cameras but they’re just shooting reference shots for Jim [Cameron] to look at later," he says. "What those guys are shooting will never be on the screen, what’s being shot is obviously on these sensors. There are about 200 around the room, doing their thing. 

"I am a Na’vi, I’m a blue thing in it – which I didn’t quite understand when I went to meet [Cameron]. I was quite surprised when I got offered that. I’m fascinated to see how I’m going to look, because they sort of make them look a bit like oneself. It’s fantastic!"

Thewlis also speaks about the "weird" experience of being new to a franchise that's using groundbreaking special effects. 

"For the first time, I felt like a total newcomer, like it was my first job," he says. "I was on set having been working for 35 years on film sets and I was like, 'So what do we do? What’s that doing here? Why is he doing that? Do we do it now?' I felt very naïve. And of course, I was, because none of the rules applied from everything I’ve learned."

The full interview is available in the new issue of Total Film. Tenet adorns the cover of the magazine (order the issue here), which also includes extended interviews with Christopher Nolan, Robert Pattinson, John David Washington, Elizabeth Debicki, and Kenneth Branagh. Total Film subscribers will get an exclusive cover featuring John David Washington's protagonist, and the newsstand cover features Washington and Robert Pattinson. Check them out below.

Total Film's Tenet subscribers' cover

(Image credit: Warner Bros/Total Film)

Total Film's Tenet cover

(Image credit: Warner Bros/Total Film)

The issue is available in shops from Friday, and will also be available digitally for your tablet from wherever you get your digital mags. You can start a Total Film subscription beginning with issue 299 (the Tenet issue) by heading to MyFavouriteMagazines.

Tenet is scheduled to open in cinemas on July 17, 2020.