The Last Airbender hits theaters today and J-14 sat down with its star Nicola Peltz, who plays Katara. The actress dished to us about her audition, her craziest scene, and her big brother on-screen, Jackson Rathbone. (You can check out his Airbender Q&A here!)
J-14: What was it like auditioning for this movie?
Nicola: I auditioned when I was 13 and I'm 15 now. I sent out a tape but I didn't hear anything for a while so I didn't know if they shot it already. Then I went for a call back about a month later. A few months later, I met [Director M. Night Shyamalan] in L.A. Then I didn't hear anything for like, six months. I was like, "Oh my gosh, I definitely didn't get it." Then I met with Night and some other cast mates who were choices for the roles in Philadelphia. Then we had to wait for the whole summer and he told us after the summer. I was like, "Oh my goodness! It's torturous!" But it was definitely worth the wait.
J-14: What do you think when you heard that Night wasn't going to do the movie without you?
Nicola: He really is so amazing. Besides being the most amazing director, he is such a great person to work with. I got close to his daughters on set. I talk to them all the time. They are great. His whole family is just fantastic.
J-14: What was the craziest scene you guys filmed for Airbender?
Nicola: In the trailer online, you see me lifting water quickly. I had a fight scene with Dev and that is my main fight scene with Dev. That was so much fun. We worked on it all day and there was Kung Fu and Tai Chi. It was so much fun because I had worked on that Kung Fu, Tai Chi, from the way beginning. It was so much fun to actually put it together and actually do it.
J-14: Why is waterbending the skill that Katara acquired?
Nicola: Katara is not only all about fight. She also has a really nurturing side. She nurtures Aang. Water can heal, but it can also kill someone. It can do anything. If you really think about it, there are tsunamis that happen. Some people can die of dehydration but if you give them water, it can heal them. Water is so interesting to me because it can do both. Everyone takes it for granted. You think, "Whatever. I'm drinking water. What is the big deal?" Kids in poor countries who drink dirty water, that water can harm them. Water is just crazy. I love it.
J-14: What was it like working with Jackson? Were you familiar with him from Twilight?
Nicola: Oh, absolutely. I love Twilight, so much. I'm definitely a big Twilight fan.
J-14: So are you Team Edward or Jacob?
Nicola: Let me explain something-- my two best friends love Twilight. One of them is Edward, the other is Jacob. They're like, "You have to pick one." But I'm like, "You tell me the best of both worlds so why can't I be both?" so I love them both. I'm team Jasper. I definitely love Twilight and it was so much fun working with Jackson. From the first day on set, he was absolutely like my big brother.
J-14: What did he do that was big brotherly?
Nicola: I met him at the audition. The first day on set, we did our scenes and after we finished working, he dunked me in the snow. I was like, "Thank you!" I finally got him back at the Kids' Choice Awards because I got to slime him. I was like, "You deserved it 110% because you dunked me in the snow and I will never forget it."
J-14: So is this the beginning of a saga?
Nicola: There are supposed to be three and hopefully there will be. I love it because it's a whole journey.
J-14: What are three reasons why our reader should see this movie?
Nicola: There is a lot of action, but at the same time, there is love between different characters. My third reason would be if you love the cartoon then you are going to love it.
Are planning to see The Last Airbender this weekend?
Photo: Courtesy of Paramount