Westworld Returns to Utah; Thandie Newton Finds “Peace” in Being Naked

Maeve Millay on Westworld

A recent news release from the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development discloses a few more details about Westworld’s return to the state for season two filming. Westworld is one of seven new projects receiving Board approval for state film incentives, generating a combined economic impact of over $20 million and creating 479 local jobs.

We reported earlier this month that the state was offering financial incentives to entice the production to return. This release gives us final confirmation that we will see the beautiful landscapes of Utah next season – and hopefully in the years to come as well.


In other news, Joanna Robinson of Vanity Fair brings us a new interview with Thandie Newton (Maeve Millay). Newton describes how Maeve evolved from automaton to conscious being. “Because she is coming into consciousness, she’s discovering things about herself, as the audience are,” she explains.

Newton also highlights the pivotal scene for her character, when Maeve makes Felix (Leonardo Nam) give her a tour of the Delos facility. “Maeve is walking around looking at the artistry of how the hosts have created it,” she says. “She realizes the full extent of what they are as creations, and that they’re not human. I mean, that’s just such a betrayal.”

Maeve and Felix on Westworld

It’s a powerful moment in the show, but Newton refuses to take the credit. “I would be making it up if I said there was anything special about what I did. It’s really beautiful editing, great music, really clever use of visual references. And yeah, I had to fill in a little gap there with acting. But I was as much in awe of that set piece as anybody when I watched it. Because as you’re doing it, you’re just doing little bits. Trying to piece it all together in your head, but really, it’s the director, the showrunners, that have the whole piece in their minds. So I was really impressed when I saw the finished result,” she confesses.

As for her plethora of nude scenes, Newton was able to find strength in being naked. “Well, it definitely added a lot by what it had taken away. I couldn’t hide behind anything. And that forced me to find a confidence physically in myself and also an acceptance. It’s like, ‘Well, here it is! Nothing I can do about it,'” she explains. “I felt this incredible sense of peace, and it was like it was a gift. It’s one of the most profound acts I’ll ever commit, being naked in Westworld. I didn’t do it lightly. It was deeply disturbing, but at the same time, I did feel this incredible peace. It wasn’t until afterward that I was like, ‘Jesus Christ, I am naked a lot in this show, man.’”

Finally, Newton shares her thoughts on her final scene of season one: when Maeve gets off the train, presumably to find her daughter in the park. “That decision is so powerful and badass. I don’t know what it is that she wants to go back for. I really, really don’t. It could be a number of things.” She continues, “I’m just completely shocked by it. And clueless as to what will follow, but I know it’s gonna be pretty devastating. Whatever it is, is gonna be devastating.”

The entire interview is well worth a read, so be sure to check it out over at Vanity Fair.

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