Thandie Newton was incredible as Maeve Millay in Westworld‘s first season. Her performance gave emotional depth to a woman grappling with the discovery that her world is not as it seems, earning her several award nominations. The no-nonsense, tough as nails madam quickly became a favorite on the show; fans cheered her on as she took control of her life from the humans who orchestrated her suffering.
In real life, Newton is as strong as the character she plays. She is a vocal women’s rights activist and is outspoken on the topic of sexual abuse, as she is a survivor herself. It’s no surprise that RoC Skincare has recruited Newton for its “For Your Age” campaign, which aims to “remove the negative subtext found in language used to discuss a woman’s appearance after age 40” and celebrate women at every stage of life.
Newton recently spoke to Refinery29 about her role in helping change the way society views women. She believes Maeve’s experience on Westworld works as a metaphor for what’s happening today, with women choosing to no longer stay silent in the face of harassment and abuse, refusing to back down to pressure, and fighting for equality in all areas of life. Newton explains, “What I love about Westworld and that character is all the things that we normally associate with giving us better strength – the outfit, the attitude, the freedom of speech – they’re all denied for this character. She’s completely vulnerable and stripped of her dignity.”
“To see her discovering the truth and getting underneath the lies is a metaphor for where we are right now. Getting under the lies, claiming the truth for ourselves and not waiting to be given it,” Newton continues. “That’s a lot of what goes on when you’re used to being in a system, a hierarchy, and you trust those at the top. Suddenly when we’re aware of all those lies, we search for the truth in other ways – and that’s what’s happening now. Suddenly, there will be an explosion of women with their experiences, and ‘looking good for your age’ will be done and gone. It’s exciting.”
For more of Newton’s thoughts on being a woman and a mother in today’s world, check out the entire interview here.