Actor James Marsden is a veteran of dozens of films and television productions, with a career spanning over 20 years. He is certainly no stranger to playing the handsome hero, which he does with aplomb. In an interview with the South China Morning Post, however, Marsden admits his role as Teddy Flood on Westworld gave him a unique challenge as an actor: being nude onscreen with legend Sir Anthony Hopkins (Dr. Robert Ford).
“First scene ever with Sir Anthony and I was naked as the day I was born, but I embraced it. I love those bizarre situations I found myself in Westworld.” Marsden seems more daunted by the prospect of a Westworld-type situation (AI achieving consciousness) happening in real life. “Singularity would be terrifying,” he says. “What defines being human? When does consciousness begin and when does it end? It starts to twist your mind a bit.”
Although murderous androids abound on Westworld, Marsden has the good fortune – or perhaps not so good, in Teddy’s case – to be on the right side of the law. “There’s a virtuous element to the character,” Marsden admits. “Although against all odds, he will still do the right thing. He’d rather live a peaceful life. I love him working towards that and then getting pulled back and getting killed, reset, and then getting killed and reset [again].”
Despite the challenges of working on a show with the scope and complexity of Westworld, Marsden feels blessed to be a part of the production. He particularly enjoys the opportunity to portray a “good guy” with depth. “The awakening and evolution of Teddy is such a great playground for an actor,” Marsden says. “The character is very complicated, haunted by his past but down to his core, a good person.”
Be sure to check out the rest of Marsden’s interview at South China Morning Post.
What do you think next season has in store for Teddy? Will he remain the hero or go down a darker path?