Season one of Westworld was eventful and unpredictable for security head Ashley Stubbs and the Australian actor who plays him, Luke Hemsworth. Come to find out, it was almost as surprising for Hemsworth as it was for the audience.
Speaking to The Independent while attending the Dubai Film Festival, the actor shares that he had no idea what the “big reveal” in the season finale was going to be until it happened. Hemsworth says, “They [Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy] are very open to a point, but they like to keep everything close to their chest. There is a lot of cloak and daggers and misdirection. And it’s great on their part. No one knew that Jeffrey [Wright] was disguised.”
It was a long and winding road for the actor, joining the cast of Westworld. Initially he auditioned for the role of gunslinging Teddy Flood, a part played by James Marsden in season one. It wasn’t until months later that he heard from the show again, this time presenting him with a different gun-toting opportunity.
Hemsworth says he received a call asking if he’d be interested in playing Stubbs instead. “I think I only did one more audition after that, and sealed the deal,” he tells The Independent. “It’s a beautiful jumping-off point. I’m not carrying the show, so I’ve not got that pressure. It’s an incredible feeling and a great introduction to an American production.”
As for his current role as Stubbs on Westworld, it didn’t require a lot of background research or digging. “There is not a lot of hefty research that I had to do to play Stubbs. There is a lot of stuff that is quite close to me, there is a physical presence, there is an intellect, there is a wry sense of humor, and a sardonicism. Yeah, I think it’s played quite close to my heart, this character. Maybe that is the answer,” he laughs.
The actor dodges questions about his character’s fate; we last saw Stubbs falling into the hands of the dangerous Ghost Nation tribe in the park, in episode 109. He was absent from the season finale, but there’s no confirmation of Stubbs’s death – or, even, injury, for that matter. But Hemsworth isn’t talking. What he does tell The Independent is that the series creators “are trying to get it right. They don’t want to go in doing what they were doing last time, where they were under the cosh the whole time. They want to go in with a clear plan: A to Z and everything in between – at least have drafts in place.”
Earlier this year, production shut down for several months in order for Nolan and Joy to finish writing season one. With season two of Westworld scheduled for 2018, there should be plenty of time for writing and avoiding another delay of that order. Based on Hemsworth’s careful responses and episode 109’s vague conclusion for Stubbs, it seems likely we’ll get some answers and see more of Luke Hemsworth in season two.
Hemsworth talks about his famous siblings, his next gig Abilene and much more in The Independent.