Avatar has received so much hype that it is difficult to get close to anyone who is now basking in its success. Difficult, however, does not mean impossible. Join us as the Nassau Weekly sits down with Sebastian from The Little Mermaid to discuss his role in the making of Avatar, his relationship with James Cameron, and why they have never shared a meal together at Red Lobster.
The Nassau Weekly: Thanks for talking to us, Sebastian.
Sebastian: It’s not a problem! I love the Nassau Weekly, and I read it on the regs.
NW: So recently, we’ve been hearing a lot of rumors about you and your relationship to James Cameron—
Sebastian: I’d rather not speak directly to that. I was told this interview would stay away from my personal life as much as possible.
NW: Okay then. We can come back to that. In the meantime, can you tell us a little bit about your role in the making of the movie Avatar?
Sebastian: Sure; that, I can talk about. James approached me, oh, about eight years ago, and he told me about this project he was working on. I asked him what it was and he basically told me that it was still a bit rough around the edges so then we just started talking our way through the plot.
NW: What were the original ideas about the plot?
Sebastian: Well, he wanted my help in writing a movie about two creatures who come from very different backgrounds, and then essentially fall in love despite all odds.
NW: So the movie started as a love story?
Sebastian: Yeah. Well, he also told me that he knew he wanted to put it on the Titanic, but he wasn’t sure whether he was willing to commit to showing the ship actually sinking, or whether he wanted to just leave it as a cliffhanger.
NW: Wait. You’re saying you helped him with Titanic.
NW: I was asking about Avatar, though.
Sebastian: Right, no, I know. But the thing is, Avatar is really just a spinoff of Titanic, kind of.
NW: Oh, really? I didn’t know that.
Sebastian: Absolutely. Yeah, not a lot of people do. But really, Signourney Weaver was actually originally signed on to be the romantic lead in Titanic, but then she and Kate got into a huge fight during the shooting of the “nude drawing” scene over the positioning of Kate’s legs, so we had to approach Leo about filling the role instead.
NW: So you and Mr. Cameron first wrote Titanic together, and then Avatar followed as like, a sequel?
Sebastian: No, no, sorry, yeah, I’ve been a little unclear. We first wrote a movie about, um, to paraphrase, about an upper class blue girl who falls in love with this artist on the Titanic.
NW: Oh. So they were sort of combined, then?
Sebastian: And so, yeah, well then one day I was hanging out with Ursula—
NW: From The Little Mermaid?
Sebastian: Yes, from The Little Mermaid. (Laughs) You think I have more than one friend named Ursula?
NW: (Laughs) Good point. But I thought she was a bad guy in the movie?
Sebastian: No, no, Urs is great. Everyone thinks that, about her personality in real life, but she just got screwed by Hollywood politics, you know? She was totally villianized for the movie.
NW: Well there’s a fun fact.
Sebastian: Yeah, it’s funny, everyone’s always like, “You hang out with her?” (Laughs) Anyways, Ursula told me about this story that she had read that already had blue creatures in it, you know, in the story, but the thing was we had written about these blue guys totally separate from that story first.
NW: No kidding.
Sebastian: Yeah. So we picked up a copy of the book, you know, and saw that all of these things were in it that would be cool to use.
NW: And so then you turned it into two movies?
Sebastian: Right, we decided to run with the ideas from the book, and we decided to show the whole sinking of the ship and that’s how we got two movies out of one.
NW: Where did the 3-D part of Avatar come in? Did you know from the beginning of the creation of it that it would be in 3-D?
Sebastian: Well. Sort of. But he was holding out on me a little, you know.
NW: How do you mean?
Sebastian: Just that a lot of our relationship was also affected by the whole 3-D thing.
NW: Yeah, now that we’ve warmed up to each other a little bit, do you think that you could speak to the more personal part of your relationship with Mr. Cameron?
Sebastian: Oh, well, whatever. Yeah, so, we were doing whatever for however long, you know, we were sort of friends with benefits or whatever, and then he told me about this program that he knew that could basically make me three dimensional.
NW: Ohh, because you’re a cartoon.
Sebastian: Right. Oh, he’s going to kill me saying all of this.
NW: No, it’s okay, this part is off the record. We won’t print this part.
Sebastian: Oh, okay, great. Right, so between you and me, you know, I’ve been collecting 3-D objects for a while and keeping them in my closet and singing about them, but I had never really considered the option of becoming 3-D myself.
NW: So he was giving you a chance to live out your dream.
Sebastian: Yes, but it came at a cost, as all things do.
NW: What kind of cost?
Sebastian: Let’s just say that I will never know the joy and honor in seeing my children graduate, and Sir James Cameron eats a full delicious lobster meal every Wednesday. And it’s not at Red Lobster. Get it? Do you catch my drift?
NW: Yeah, no, I got it. Yikes. I hear he’s a pretty awful guy.
Sebastian: He’s really the worst. But goddamnit, do I love that man to death.