“Avatar: The Last Airbender” stands tall as an enduring and beloved children’s story in large part because of the lessons taught along the way. Every significant character — hero and villain alike — undergoes a remarkable transformation by the end of the series, overcoming their own flaws and self-doubts to become something much greater. So there’s something uniquely fitting about the idea that the newest actor behind Aang, Gordon Cormier, had to conquer a very similar fear in order to be cast as the would-be savior of the four nations.
In an extensive cover story over at Entertainment Weekly, the outlet brought an inside look at everything that went into the production of the upcoming Netflix series. At the top of the list, to nobody’s surprise, was assembling the core cast that would embody these fan favorites. Naturally, the many, many young performers who threw their hats in the ring for the various roles didn’t have a ton of credits to their names. But for Cormier, his doubts extended to his age and his own unfamiliarity with the material. According to the actor:
“I actually considered not doing [the audition] because I didn’t know what it was. I was a small 11-year-old, and they were looking for a 12-year-old. So I was thinking, I’m not going to book this. I don’t fit the casting.”
How wrong he was! Now 14 years old (the series concluded filming back in 2022), the entire trajectory of Cormier’s career has likely changed as a result of auditioning anyway. That’s a success story worthy of Aang’s legacy.
“Avatar: The Last Airbender” debuts on Netflix on February 22nd, 2024.