In an interview with Complex, the star who proved she was good with a bow and taming Mountain Banshees in the first “Avatar” quickly acknowledged just how vital the groundbreaking blockbuster was and the long line of screen legends she’d be joining. “It’s definitely been a highlight in not just my career, but also in my life,” she explained. “Because before I became a filmmaker, a storyteller, I was a kid once who watched idols and watched movies and characters that became my heroes. And Ellen Ripley (1986’s Aliens) and Sarah Connor (1984’s The Terminator) were my heroes growing up.”
She would never have had the chance to join the ranks had it not been for the massive movie-making mind behind these iconic films and the one that lies ahead, James Cameron. Praising the filmmaker for giving the world these female heroes that massively impacted science fiction and film, Saldaña welcomed this rare gift. “I accept it with so much humility. I’m just always surprised that people want to see it because they’ve been deeply moved the way that I’ve been moved by his stories.” You can see his next one when “Avatar: The Way of Water” finally arrives in theatres on December 18.