The Betty Interview: Avatar’s Joel David Moore
The “Avatar” star dishes with BettyConfidential about being in the most anticipated movie of the year, working alongside Australian heartthrob Sam Worthington, and the thrill of being made into an action figure. Plus, Joel blabs about his most infamous past co-stars: Paris Hilton and Katy Perry.
James Cameron, the writer-producer-director behind megahits like Titanic, Alien and The Terminator, doesn’t do anything small. He’s back with the love-story-wrapped-in-a-sci-fi-adventure, Avatar, which uses new motion-capture technology and reportedly cost $300 million to film, making it the most expensive movie ever made. The secrecy surrounding Avatar was so great that even its stars Sigourney Weaver, Michelle Rodriguez, Sam Worthington and Joel David Moore had to read the script for the first time back in 2006 with a guard posted outside to ensure no pages were leaked.
Though Joel David Moore, 32, who plays xeno anthropologist (translation: a scientist interested in plants, animals and native species) Norm Spellman in the movie, may not be as well-known as his cast mates, but that doesn’t mean he’s a newbie. You may recognize the Portland native as a socially awkward teammate of Vince Vaughn in Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, as Paris Hilton’s suitor in The Hottie & the Nottie, the intern on Bones, or as Katy Perry’s love interest in her video for “Waking Up in Vegas.” And after today’s opening of Avatar, Joel will officially have solidified his place in movie history.
For the non-Avataris out there, who’ve been counting down the days till the movie comes out, tell us what the movie’s about.
It takes place in the future and we’ve run out of energy on Earth, so we have to go to another planet called Pandora to mine their energy source. Sigourney Weaver, Sam Worthington and I are all recruited to study the planet and its native people, who are called Na’vi. In order to do that, we’ve mixed Na’vi DNA with our own to create Na’vi-like avatars, which are 10-foot, blue cat-looking humanoids that we can control remotely just with our minds. It’s some pretty futuristic stuff.
Cool. It’s a James Cameron movie, so there must be a love story in there somewhere.
Oh, absolutely. Was Titanic a love story or a story about a sinking ship? A love story. As amazing as the special effects are in Avatar (and, boy, are they!), the center of the movie is really the love story between Sam Worthington’s Jake and the Na’vi princess Neytiri (Zoe Saldana). And my character gets to help them kick some ass along the way too. There’s a lot of action in the movie. So I’d say it’s a sci-fi action romance!
You were first cast in the movie in 2006, so you must be dying for people to finally see it?
Uh-huh. I’m just like, “OK, can’t we just let people see the effin’ movie already. Come on! Let the lion free!” I’m really excited to hear people’s reactions. I think everyone will really be blown away by it. I know I am.
How does it feel to have your own action figure?
Awesome! They took a 3-D scan of my face, so it really looks like me. They took some liberties with the body, though. I wish I was as buff as he is. My action figure has some major guns on him!