Tessa Thompson on Westworld’s “Bonkers” Second Season; Paul Cameron on Creating Stunning Visuals

Charlotte Hale on Westworld

As we anxiously wait to see how Westworld fares at the 69th annual Primetime Emmy Awards tomorrow night, we have a couple of interviews to share. Tessa Thompson (Charlotte Hale) dishes on what it’s like to be part of such a intense show and teases season two, while cinematographer Paul Cameron discusses using interesting visual effects to express the themes behind Westworld.

Tessa Thompson talks to Entertainment Tonight about the incredible effort the Westworld cast and crew puts into making the series, and how rewarding it is to see the series get recognition for it. “It’s such a fun show,” she says. “It’s a labor of love for all of us. It’s a beast of a show to shoot, and so it’s been nice as we’re shooting the second season now to get to celebrate. You know, the Creative Arts Emmys were recently, and it was nice to see all of my peers be celebrated in that way, with nominations. So it’s just been exciting, really.”

No one is resting on their laurels, however – Thompson hints at an even more ambitious second season that she describes as “bonkers.” She explains, “It’s like every script that I get on Westworld, I sort of, like, pick up my jaw off the floor and I’m, like, here we go. And then, of course, sometimes you’re shooting things that you don’t have a full script for, so the show continues to unravel as a mystery to us as it does to the audience.” I can’t wait to see what shocks and surprises are in store for us next year!

Westworld train

In an interview with Wheretowatch.com, cinematographer Paul Cameron shares his approach to bringing the Westworld park to life. “We wanted people to feel like they wanted to come there. It’s this idea of the guests coming into town and feeling comfortable pushing their own desires, whether it’s getting into gun battles or going into the brothel,” he explains. “We want it to feel like the temptation is always there and the ability to kind of go deeper is always there.”

While the park was certainly inviting to guests, it was quite the opposite for the unfortunate hosts. Cameron describes how he envisioned showing this dichotomy onscreen. “The idea is this birthing of consciousness, the birthing of a soul. Once we get the sensibility that Dolores is feeling something on some level and that she’s beginning to think and be cognizant of who she is and her reality and wanting to get out. This is the kind of underlying tension is that idea of where you’re having a nightmare, then suddenly you’re in the nightmare.”

He continues, “It gets more uncomfortable and then you take control of the nightmare, and it either gets worse or gets better…[The hosts] begin to take control of whatever thought process and consciousness they are capable of and they start to take action, which gets pretty extreme obviously mid-season there.” I can only imagine how extreme it will be now that the hosts have taken over the park!

Camerson also reveals the painstaking process involved in slowly unveiling the mysteries of season one. “We were very careful building the details of how clues would be discovered and how we would see these people. We wanted that opening scene to be extremely uncomfortable. The first shot in the pilot is a very slow push in from a full naked body, Evan Rachel Wood, right up to her eye. This idea that we don’t know what’s happening and, pushing in, we see a fly land on her eye. We wanted to give this discomfort similar to what she’s going through,” he says. “As we’ve learned it’s the ability of the host to gain consciousness and memories that is separating them from the other hosts and ultimately how they break out at the end and things go awry. We wanted that same idea of this slowly coming into consciousness, slowly building these details.”

Check out the full interview here.

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