01 August 2010

James Cameron's Left-Handed Na'vi

Movie director James Cameron is left handed. And on the moon Pandora, the setting for the movie Avatar, the native Na'vi are (all?) left handed. So though many great humans are left handed, not all great left-handers are human.

lefty Na'vi (Neytiri?)
The leading Na'vi character Neytiri is played by Zoe Saldana, who is in fact left handed.
lefty Zoe Saldana
Most of the other main Na'vi characters are played by right-handed actors. To the extent hand preference was involved in any of their performances, for instance handling weapons, they had to play left handed.
  • Right-hander Laz Alonso plays Tsu'tey.
  • Right-hander Wes Studi plays Eytukan. 
  • Right-hander CCH Pounder plays Moat.
Interestingly the avatars of the human characters, when those characters are inhabiting Na'vi-like bodies, are right handed just as their human "operators" are. All of the actors who play these characters are themselves right handed.
  • Sam Worthington plays Jake Sully, who is right handed, as is his avatar. When his avatar handles firearms he uses them right handed. (I noticed Jake's avatar using a bow leftie in one shot, I think. And he was trained by Neytiri to draw it left handed. In many shots he can be seen to wear a wristguard on his right wrist, as a left-handed bowman would. Maybe the Na'vi just don't make left wristguards. This is the opposite of the problem that southpaws face with scissors in our world.)

    Jake Sully's avatar is right handed
  • Sigourney Weaver is right handed. Her character Dr. Grace Augustine and her avatar are right handed.
Presumably the Na'vi extras and stunt players had to act left handed on the motion capture stage. They can be seen carrying their bows in their right hands (as a left-handed archer would) in the featurette "Performance Capture" at the Avatar site.

Question: In the video game can you play Na'vi characters? If so, do you play the them right handed, or left handed?

James Cameron, Na'vi prototype?

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