Ken Leung Thought He Was Auditioning For James Cameron’s ‘Avatar' But Wound Up in ‘The Last Airbender’

'I thought I was gonna be blue,' Leung explained.

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Ken Leung was surprised to learn he landed a role in Netflix’s The Last Airbender.

According to Deadline, auditions for the live-action series were extremely clandestine, with the streaming platform even writing fake scenes for auditions.

The Lost actor spoke with the outlet, describing how he wasn’t familiar with the original animated version of the series and that he thought he was auditioning for James Cameron’s Avatar franchise.

“I didn’t know the original at all,” Leung said. “First of all, the audition, you couldn’t tell it was for Avatar. So it was kind of disguised as a different project. And when I first heard it was for Avatar, I thought I was gonna be blue.

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“Looking back, I love that I came in blank,” he continued. “Because when you have ideas, you can corrupt a pure process. You come in blank, things will come into it that will inform your playing of it in a way that it might not if you came in with preconceived ideas or plans. I was grateful for that.”

Leung plays Commander Zhao, a Fire Nation naval officer and rival of the exiled Prince Zuko, who is attempting to regain his honor by capturing Avatar Aang. In Leung’s conversation with Deadline, he described Zhao as, “A hero in his own mind” and “delusional.”

The Last Airbender is now available to stream on Netflix.

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