A great interview done by io9 of Zoe Saldana talking "Star Trek" (ok - that alone is exciting) AND "Avatar"!
Here is the portion of the interview that deals with Avatar - enjoy!
How did you prep for your role in Avatar, I heard your role is very intense?
Zoe: I took marshal arts, archery, horseback riding everything. I did an intense six-month prep for Avatar and I loved every minute of it. I was training non-stop. Because we were creating a language that was from scratch. Jim wrote this amazing story out of nothing. It has an amazing message. And the technology that he's using is so ahead of his time that's why it took so long to shoot it. And it's going to [take] a long time for the film to come out, but it's going to be so worth it. It was one of the most amazing experiences I've ever had.
How did you get ready for this new technology?
Zoe: It's about trusting your director. I think with the technology that they decided to use, everybody knows that James Cameron is the biggest perfectionist in this business. I was afraid and we had endless conversations at first. But he just said figure out whatever you need and I did. Because we shot in motion capture and you had to have to create this world in your imagination. He didn't want it to look like I was working in front of a green screen and I didn't want that either. So I worked with what I had and I fell so in love with the story and the characters that it all became very real to me.
What can you tell us about your character, sounds like she's tough?
Zoe: Given the female characters that James Cameron is known to write, it's just the most impressive ass-kicking girl I've ever played, it's pretty cool.
Is there going to be a lot of war and mayhem?
Zoe: I'm not going to go into that. The story is very deep, but it's a story that everyone can watch.
Why should people go and see Avatar?
Zoe: Because Mr. Cameron never ceases to excite. He's always pushing the envelope. I think Avatar is going to represent a lot of change in film history. With motion capture, it's not like shooting green screen. It's deeper it's Beowulf and The Polar Express. But the difference between those films and Avatar is those films were aiming to look like a cartoon. As opposed to Avatar which is aiming to look real. I've seen only three minutes of the film and I can't even put it to words. I can't compare it to anything I've ever seen, because I haven't seen anything like it before. It's going to be just as big as when sound was introduced, or color.
When do you think we might be able to see a trailer for Avatar?
Zoe: I would say, maybe by the end of this year, but I could be pushing it. So maybe the beginning of next year.
What were you most impressed with on the three minutes that you saw?
Zoe: I would have to say Jim and what he's done. He's working with Peter Jackson's company Weta in New Zealand and I was down there and I had the honor of meeting all of these people who were working for Weta and I was so blown away. Just Jim, he will not settle for anything other than great. And those three minutes were great, they were beautiful.
Did you get to see what you looked like in Avatar?
Zoe: Yes I did, all I'm going to say is oh my god, I was so impressed.Can you imagine being an actor and doing those two movies back-to-back? "Star Trek" and "Avatar"? Too cool. She is definitely on the rise!