You’re never too old to learn a new trick.
Actress Sigourney Weaver proves just that in her training for the highly anticipated film, “Avatar: The Way of Water.”
Appearing on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon,” the 73-year-old revealed her extensive year-long process to learn how to hold her breath underwater.
“We had to learn to free dive,” she said. “We had this amazing teacher who teaches the Navy SEALs. So we had him for about a year, training us to do breath holds… I actually got up to six and a half minutes.”
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Weaver was met with immense applause from the audience after revealing her breathing capabilities, but the actress noted, “I was not moving. It’s much easier to hold your breath when you’re… stationary.”
She told host Jimmy Fallon that the secret to not breathing is resisting. “When the desire to breathe comes, [the trainer] called it ‘The Dirty Villain.’ And you ignore ‘The Dirty Villain,’” Weaver explained.
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“And you go, ‘Ha! You. Go away.’ And then you try to do all these mind games… Anything you can do from thinking about, ‘Oh I really want to breathe.’”
To distract herself from wanting to breathe, Weaver said she found herself singing and figuratively painting her body blue.
The actress shared that the most difficult part of the process was the filming. “The biggest challenge, frankly, because ‘Avatar 2’ takes place a lot in the water, and around the water, but what Jim asked us to do, which I thought was hard… you have to pretend you’re so happy,” she said, referencing director James Cameron.
She demonstrated a more natural grimacing face underwater as opposed to what he was looking for, which was a smiling face underwater.