As James Cameron rolls out information about his long-awaited sci-fi film Avatar, we now know that many of the actors are playing creatures called Na'vi, giant blue humanoid warriors with tails who live on the planet Pandora. CCH Pounder, who plays a character named Moha, confirmed that her character is the head of the Na'vi.
To embody the new race, Pounder actually drew inspiration from her own immigration to the United States. Pounder was born in Guyana. "I was an alien," Pounder said in a group interview Thursday at the Television Critics Association summer press tour in Pasadena, Calif., where she was promoting the TV series Brothers. "I only became a citizen in 1987, so playing an alien was not that complicated, truly."
Cameron has said that Avatar deals with the timeless struggle between militarized nations and peaceful societies. Only in the future, on Pandora, the Na'vi don't just stand by and take it. Dealing with such themes, Pounder indicated that Moha brings gravitas to the story, though she shared the credit for achieving it.
"It's definitely not me," Pounder said. "It's an overall amazing sense of viewing our emotions in a different life form. That's really it."
Working with the technology that Cameron invented to meld actors with his computer-generated alien characters, Pounder said that she felt like the out-of-touch elder on set. "I was definitely the most mature person on the set," Pounder said. "You know when you tell your dad that there's this thing called the iPhone, and he's going, 'What are you talking about? That's too complicated'? Well, that's how I was on the set of that, because I got to see all the new technology. I am ready for the 21st century like that. It was amazing."
Pounder can also been seen in Syfy's Warehouse 13, playing the mysterious Mrs. Frederic, Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
Avatar opens Dec. 18.