James Cameron on bringing family realities and dysfunction into 'Avatar'

'These 'Avatar' films are about family, told from the parents' perspective and from the kids' perspective'
Director James Cameron
Director James Cameron Photo credit Gabriel Olsen/Getty Images
By , Audacy

This week on the SmartLess podcast, famed Avatar director James Cameron shows the crew how to swim, diving into the abyss of his mesmerizing invented reality versus a deep understanding of real-life experiences and the dynamics that can play into relationships of all sizes.

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As a father of five children, Cameron, aside from his Titanic trips to the depths of the Earth, also lives in the very same domestic reality that we all face, which he admits is "its own, whole epic journey," similar to being a dog owner he says, "except you never have to come down and bail out your dog."

"That's where we really live," Cameron continues. "So, with the new 'Avatar' sequels, I thought I wanted to talk about the s*** that I had been living for years as a father, as a husband, and all that sort of thing... The dysfunction in families, the power and the strength that comes from being in a family, and what that all means -- and then put that back into what I do as a director."

"The same way that I wanted to bring the underwater stuff into the directing, which I did on prior films," says Cameron, "I wanted to do family. So, these 'Avatar' films are about family, told from the parents' perspective and from the kids' perspective."

Set more than a decade after the events of the first film, Avatar: The Way of Water -- directed by James Cameron and produced by Cameron and Jon Landau -- according to the film's description, "begins to tell the story of the Sully family (Jake, Neytiri, and their kids), the trouble that follows them, the lengths they go to keep each other safe, the battles they fight to stay alive, and the tragedies they endure."

Dive into more with director James Cameron on this week's full episode of SmartLess with Jason BatemanSean Hayes, and Will Arnett -- now streaming on Audacy. SmartLess is a podcast that connects and unites people from all walks of life to learn about shared experiences through thoughtful dialogue and organic hilarity. A nice surprise: in each episode of SmartLess, one of the hosts reveals his mystery guest to the other two. What ensues is a genuinely improvised and authentic conversation filled with laughter and newfound knowledge to feed the SmartLess mind. New episodes come out every Monday.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Gabriel Olsen/Getty Images