After seeing Avatar, we wondered how James Cameron and his crew of artists dreamed up the lush, gorgeous world of the Na’vi. We thought maybe his inspiration came from imagining the land inhabited by Native Americans before Europeans pillaged and plowed its people, forests and animals. Zoe Saldana‘s character Neytiri had to be based on Pocahontas, right? How naive!
Playboy seems the more likely source. Having been married five times (often to women who’ve starred in his movies), it’s no secret that Cameron has an appetite for ladies. The above picture of German model Veruschka von Lehndorff is from Playboy’s January 1971 issue, when the director would have been at the masturbatory young age of 16. Before Playboy, Veruschka steamed up the silver screen in Antonioni’s 1966 classic Blowup — a film Cameron is sure to have seen.
Sinewy tree-dwelling creatures with painted skin who have little interest in clothing? Ahhh. It’s all coming together now. Veruschka was probably Cameron’s first love and if she were any younger than 70, we bet she’d be his sixth wife. [Source: via our boss via Paul Di Filippo]