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James Cameron Reveals He Almost Quit Directing to Focus on Environmental Issues



Although passionate about movies, James Cameron has always had a similar amount of passion for the environment.

So much so that the filmmaker seriously considered leaving filmmaking altogether to focus on the world’s climate.

James Cameron once explained how television and film could spread awareness on climate change

James Cameron | Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

Cameron has been very open about his interest in global issues. He’s even made significant strides to raise awareness for dangers that could potentially harm the world’s natural environment using film.

In 2014, Cameron had a hand in producing the documentary series Years of Living Dangerously, which featured many celebrities. The documentary would address the issue of climate change and how it could threaten Earth.

In an interview with NBC News, The Terminator filmmaker meditated on how television and films can influence audiences on real-world issues.

“I have always said that documentaries preach to the choir. You are talking to people who already tend to believe and just want more information to bolster their own arguments,” Cameron said. “Other people say, ‘Oh, this is a climate change series, I don’t believe in climate change, so I’m not going to watch it.’ We tried to get beyond that with stories that are intriguing on a human level.”


Cameron also felt that he managed to reach more people with the film Avatar, which also contained commentary on the environment. Unlike his documentary, however, Avatar would deliver that commentary in a subtler manner.

“We certainly reached more people with Avatar, but we reached them with a much softer and diffused message. It wasn’t so much of a message as it was a feeling — a feeling that you needed to connect better with nature,” Cameron explained.

James Cameron almost quit directing to focus more on environmental issues

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Before Way of Water, there came a point where Cameron seriously considered leaving Hollywood altogether. While making its sequel, Cameron acknowledged that the world’s ecological issues was heavily on his mind. But the Titanic director was thinking about the environment so much that he found himself at a temporary crossroads.

“Very much so, even to the extent that I strongly debated with myself and discussed with my wife whether I should stop filmmaking and work on the sustainability issues,” Cameron explained in an interview with CT Insider.

Cameron backed out of the idea when realizing his two passions weren’t mutually exclusive. He could do both at the same time.

“But we managed to be able to do that in parallel with the filmmaking process. We’re doing all of our sustainability efforts – I don’t want to say as a side hustle, but in parallel. I put as much effort into that as I do the filmmaking,” he said.


James Cameron feels ‘we’re going the wrong direction’ with climate change

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Being an avid believer of climate change, Cameron once felt that not enough was being done to protect the Earth. In an interview with Variety, the Oscar-winner let off a bit of frustration with how most were being so careless with the planet. He urged others that action needed to be taken soon before it’s too late.

“People need to wake the f*** up,” Cameron said. “We’re going the wrong direction as fast as possible. I like to say that we’re like Thelma and Louise. We’re driving straight toward the canyon at 90 miles per hour with the radio cranked up and the top down.”

RELATED: James Cameron Once Felt ‘Avatar’ Would Be Forgotten About by the Time Its Sequels Came Out

Source: Cheat Sheet


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