Much like his big blue counterpart, Sam Worthington dressed in the kind of minimalistic clothes Na’vi Jake wore in the film. “Sam Worthington was literally running around in kind of like a jockstrap, like a loincloth, and I mean he’s pure white,” says James Cameron. Worthington was so in tune with being in his element that he nearly impaled a poodle with the bow and arrow he was given (via Variety):
“He comes out onto the path and there’s a guy walking his poodle. And Sam just instinctively draws his bow and almost shoots the poodle. He was so in character. And the guy said, ‘What are you doing?’ and Sam says, ‘We’re making a movie, mate!'”
I don’t think Eywa would have approved of that. Obviously, it’s terrible that an innocent poodle was nearly impaled by an actor who would go on to star in the highest-grossing movie ever made, but what gets me is Worthington’s reaction. I just imagine Cameron with the biggest grin on his face watching his actors finding themselves in the boughs of nature, only to realize that one of his most important performers is about to inadvertently become Cruella de Vil.
After hearing this story, I want to see the “Tropic Thunder” version of “Avatar” where Cameron strands his Na’vi actors on an actual alien planet, and before he can start shooting guerrilla style, the filmmaker gets eaten by a Thanator that they all believe is just a really great animatronic.
“Avatar” is currently streaming on Disney+.