Several talented younger actors join the returning ensemble in Avatar: The Way Of Water, the sequel to James Cameron’s 2009 smash hit.
Over a decade after the original Avatar, James Cameron returns to Pandora with a sequel, subtitled The Way Of Water.
The Titanic director brings back most of the key players – such as Sam Worthington (Jake Sully), Zoe Saldana (Ney’tiri), and Stephen Lang (Colonel Miles Quaritch).
Meanwhile, Sigourney Weaver appears as a different character, 14-year-old Kiri.
A lot happened in Pandora since the first film.
Jake and Ney’tiri’s kids – three of their own and two adoptees, Kiri being one of them – are now a central focus of the franchise.
As ‘half-breeds’, Jake’s kids face ridicule and bullying over their origin.
Most of the new actors play Na’vi, meaning audiences don’t get to see what they actually look like.
Let’s find out more about them.
Jamie Flatters as Neyetam
London-born actor Jamie Flatters takes on the role of Neyetam, the elder son of Jake and Ney’tiri.
Flatters, 22, was first unveiled as a cast member back in 2017, alongside his on-screen family.
In December 2022, Flatters described his character in an interview with D23.com.
“Neteyam is the eldest son, therefore the responsibility of his siblings heavily weighs on his shoulders by default. He wants to be a leader and a warrior like his father. However, the limits of his adolescence and annoying younger brother Lo’ak stop him from being seen as such.
“In terms of similarity, Neteyam has a strong attention to virtue, which I also have. But the real joy of playing this character is that there is no space to pointlessly project personal attributes onto something so alien from real life.
“I think every actor finds most enjoyment when they get to embody something that isn’t attached to the self, and I won’t pollute Neteyam by trying to compare him to a 22-year-old who can’t even tie cool knots in ropes.”Jamie Flatters, D23.com (2022)
In the D23 interview, Flatters also revealed he had been working at a car dealership when he was cast in Avatar: The Way Of Water, leaving after landing the role.
Flatters appeared in 2020 war film The Forgotten Battle and starred as “Owen” in the 2021 miniseries Close To Me, opposite Connie Nielsen and Christopher Eccleston.
On his IMDB page, the young actor is credited as the director of two short films: Men and These Spinning Straight Lines, also writing the latter.
Britain Dalton as Lo’ak
21-year-old Britain Dalton plays Lo’ak, Jake and Ney’tiri’s second son. Much like Flatters, Dalton was first announced for the role back in 2017.
Dalton’s acting career started by chance, according to his IMDB. A film student saw him performing card tricks on the street and invited Dalton to audition for a project.
Since then, Dalton has racked up credits including the TV series Goliath, the film Ready Player One (in a minor role) and the video game Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End.
He voiced a younger version of Uncharted’s Nathan Drake in the latter project.
Trinity Jo-Li Bliss as Tuktirey (“Tuk”)
Rounding out the biological Sully kids is Trinity Jo-Li Bliss as “Tuk”, the only daughter.
Bliss was only 7 years old when she was cast in the role and is now 13.
Fun fact: Bliss was actually born in 2009, the same year that the original Avatar was released!
Bliss described her time on set in a 2022 Collider interview:
“There weren’t many lows per se, like terrible days. How could there be a terrible day on this set, honestly? But highs? Honestly, as a young actor, every day. Just being there filming with everyone, with this Avatar family.
“Lows, I remember there [were] one or two days, maybe at the beginning of filming, at least in the tank, where I wasn’t scared that I wasn’t safe or anything, but I was scared that I wouldn’t be able to do a good job underwater.
“And Jim [Cameron] and the crew and also my fellow cast members just made me feel like I was doing a good job and helped me be the best Na’vi and Tuk I could be.”Trinity Jo-Li Bliss, Collider (2022)
Her other credits include TV series The Garcias, Best Foot Forward and The Garcias.
Jack Champion as Miles “Spider” Socorro
Jack Champion plays “Spider” – a ward of Jake’s and his Sully family, who also happens to be the biological son of Avatar antagonist Miles Quaritch (Stephen Lang), who died in the first film.
He was raised by human scientists on Pandora, however, Spider prefers to spend his time with the Na’vi.
During press for The Way Of Water, Champion revealed he had worked on the film for over four years.
On the transition from motion capture to live-action, Champion said:
“Honestly, that was easier, because I had already built that rapport and that emotional relationship with everyone, so I could just do all my scenes again and look back and feed off of that past scene that we did—but now just in my actual loincloth costume.”Jack Champion, Vanity Fair (2022)
Immediately before Avatar, Champion booked a small role in Avengers: Endgame, appearing opposite Paul Rudd. He also starred as “Kevin” in 2018’s The Night Sitter.
Coming up, Champion will join another film franchise, Scream, with the latest installment to be released in 2023.
Bailey Bass as Tsireya
19-year-old Bailey Bass plays Tsireya, a member of the new Metkayina clan. Unlike the forest-dwelling Sully family, they live in Pandora’s reefs. She is the daughter of clan chiefs Tonowari (Cliff Curtis) and Ronal (Kate Winslet).
The character also acts as a love interest to Lo’ak, played by Britain Dalton.
Meanwhile, Bass described the character in a 2022 interview with Hollywood Life.
“People really think about the stunts and are like, “Were you nervous?” Yes, overcoming drowning, not wanting to drown, the fear of drowning, was important. But once I got past that, the crew was so phenomenal and it kind of became like second nature.
“The most nerve-wracking thing to do with people was to be vulnerable. Jim Cameron writes scenes and characters that have so much depth to them, and there’s no monotone in a Jim Cameron film, so I had to be very vulnerable.
“Also, taking on a role that was similar to Zoe Saldana’s character Neytiri holds a lot of, arguably, pressure. I would never say I felt pressure on set, but to know that I have a line that she said that so many fans are in love with that now, and I need to say that as Tsireya and be in this vulnerable moment at the age of 14 years old was probably the most nerve-wracking moment on set.”Bailey Bass, Hollywood Life (2022)
Bass, like the rest of the cast, signed on for The Way Of Water and its sequels in 2017. During that time, she also played “Claudia” in 2022’s Interview With The Vampire TV series.
As Claudia, she appeared opposite Game Of Thrones star Jacob Anderson and Australian actor Sam Reid.
Besides acting, Bass has also modeled from an early age.