Thandie Newton on How Westworld Transcends Hollywood’s Misogyny

And about what effect the 2016 election will have on our country

 

Net-a-Porter, a “beauty and fashion channel from the world’s leading online luxury fashion retailer,” curiously has a video up today that talks about anything but beauty and fashion. Instead, the channel has a brief-but-packed chat with Thandie Newton, talking about her character of Maeve Millay in Westworld and how she fits into the actress’s overarching career goals and personal beliefs both.

Immediately identifying herself as a political activist, Newton discusses how Maeve’s first-season character arc was immediately resonant with her – Miss Millay starts off as the madam of a saloon, representing the stereotypical role of “the whore” that so dominates female parts in Hollywood, but then:

You see [it] being subverted and you end up with this absolute powerhouse of a feminist rally cry.

Moving on, the actress states that, with the changing societal and political currents our country is now weathering, she believes more and more individuals know what it feels like to be the minority, to be repressed by his or her surroundings, so that Westworld’s sci-fi story of androids attempting to win agency for themselves is more apt – and more universal – than ever before. “The characters speak to us as human beings as opposed to our genders,” she says, playing on the now-familiar slogan that women’s rights are human rights.

Though short, her conversation with Net-a-Porter goes on to talk about the effects that the misogyny of the past election will most likely have on our culture and about the surprise that, even though she’s “a woman of color in my 40s,” she’s finally landed a role that she can proudly support. Give it a watch.

Do you think that Maeve, Dolores Abernathy (Evan Rachel Wood), and, even, the Clementine Pennyfeathers (Angela Sarafyan and Lili Simmons) sufficiently bend female stereotypes, to great narrative and societal effect? Let us know in the comments.

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