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Kate Winslet to play 'water goddess' in 'Avatar' sequels

Dec. 3 (UPI) -- Kate Winslet will play a "water goddess" in the Avatar sequels.

During Wednesday's episode of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Winslet, 45, discussed her character in Avatar 2 and 3 and training to hold her breath for underwater scenes.

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Host Stephen Colbert showed a photo of Winslet, released in October, that shows Winslet filming underwater while wearing a pair of fabric wings. Colbert asked Winslet to describe her experience.

"They were really heavy, can I just tell you. They were really heavy, because to create definite movement underwater with a piece of fabric ... they had to really weight everything down," the star said of the wings.

"So I've also got weights around my waist, as well as my neck, actually," she added. "A neck weight to just hold me down."

Winslet said she was filming a scene where her character performs a "birth-giving ceremony."

"That's actually a birth-giving ceremony that my character, who is a water goddess, is essentially hosting," she said. "We all held our breath and went underwater and gave birth."

Winslet trained to hold her breath for the underwater scenes and confirmed her longest breath hold was 7 minutes, 14 seconds.

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"It's not the kind of thing I could just jump in a bathtub and do right now. You have to prepare your body," the actress said. "It's quite complicated, but I did it."

"I thought I died," she added. "I mean, I surfaced, and I was like, am I dead, am I dead, I've died, I'm dead, I'm dead, I'm dead."

The Avatar cast and crew started production on the sequels in New Zealand in June. There are four planned sequels to the original 2009 film, directed by James Cameron. Cameron will return to helm the sequels.

Avatar 2 will open in theaters in December 2022. The movie co-stars Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana and Sigourney Weaver.

Winslet will next star with Saoirse Ronan in the film Ammonite, which will premiere Friday on VOD services. The movie follows the romance between a 19th century paleontologist (Winslet) and a geologist (Ronan).

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