The second episode of Westworld‘s second season, “Reunion,” is officially in the books, and with that comes a new batch of interviews and articles!
We first begin with an interview with Evan Rachel Wood, who was prominently featured in Sunday’s episode, both as innocent Dolores in the flashbacks, as well as vengeful and determined Wyatt in the present timeline. In her interview with C Magazine, however, the actress discussed a third persona: her real life one.
As an A-list actress, there are fewer and fewer things about celebrities like herself that remain a secret, but there’s one thing Wood admitted about herself that not too many people may know. “My senses are different,” says the actress. “I have terrible fine motor skills, but I can shoot a scene on a horse with a gun in one take. I have synesthesia, which means that I can hear color and feel sound. I thought everyone experienced the world that way. I’m fascinated by the way our brains work, and I was reading about psychology and learned about what synesthesia was, and I thought, ‘Wait. Other people don’t feel that?'”
Wood also divulged how she feels about her son, who is now 4 years old, following in her footsteps. “I was just a couple of years older than he is when [my career] really started. And it’s weird to think about how short his life has been, and that is the only amount of time I had before I became an actor. I really like my life, the good and the bad of it, but I wouldn’t let my son do it.” It’s no secret that the lives of most actors are incredibly difficult, especially if they’ve yet to catch their big break, so it’s understandable why Wood is keen on keeping her son away from the spotlight.
Check out the entire interview here.
Talulah Riley‘s character Angela also played a big role in the last episode as we watched her during the party flashback persuade Logan (Ben Barnes) to invest Delos’s money into the AI venture. The actress caught up with Thrillist after the episode aired to chat more about the party and what it was like shooting intimate scenes with Barnes.
You’d never guess it judging by her great performance, but Riley explained that the scenes she and Barnes shot at the party, particularly the scene involving their kiss, proved to be a bit awkward for the actress given their long-standing friendship. “Ben, he and I have known each other in the UK since we were 17 or 18 years old, so that was a weird scene for us, because we had to kiss at the end of it! It was horrible! [Laughs] I mean, not horrible, he’s not a horrible kisser, I just mean being friends made it awkward.”
One of Angela’s other defining moments in the episode comes when she and Dolores lock eyes as the host is dressing after a promiscuous night with Logan and a couple other androids. The actress explained Angela’s feelings during this moment, and how those emotions have translated to her vengeful self in the present timeline:
“I don’t know how conscious she is at that point — I think it’s purposefully ambiguous whether she knows what’s going on or not, in that moment. But later, yes, Angela is clearly extremely resentful and seeing things like this moment goes towards explaining her resentment, and why she acts the way she does this season. One can imagine her being really angry about being [a sex slave]. I would be! And now, Angela is very focused on the character of Wyatt, she’s very pro-Wyatt, in terms of her alliances.”
Check out Thrillist‘s entire interview with Riley.
Along with a compelling flashback storyline, Westworld‘s last episode also featured a big cameo by an actor who most know from AMC’s hit shows Breaking Bad and prequel Better Call Saul. The one and only Giancarlo Esposito, who plays the calm yet powerful character Gustavo Fring on the aforementioned shows, surprised us on Sunday with his portrayal of the latest host incarnation of El Lazo. The Hollywood Reporter caught up with the actor to discuss his cameo and what it was like to film the scene with friend Ed Harris (Man In Black).
During the scene, we witness the MIB get frustrated with the responses he’s getting from El Lazo, which is something we’re not used to seeing. Esposito explained that the frustration his character caused the MIB extended beyond the fictitious scene and impacted Harris himself:
“I could see it in Ed: he was frustrated. He totally wanted to intimidate El Lazo, because he is the Man in Black, but El Lazo refuses that. Funny things happen with actors when we get into the trenches and we start to put the words into action, and put all of our emotions into everything we do. At one point, Ed looked at me, and I looked at him, and in his eyes, I could see what he was thinking: ‘Oh, that’s the way it’s going to be.’ (Laughs.) He literally had to walk away. I don’t know where the hell he went for 15 minutes. When he walked back in, there was another idea twirling in his head. I loved it.”
As for Esposito’s rendition of El Lazo, is this the last we’re going to see of him? “I have my senses that it’s a possibility this character has great potential and I’ll be back,” admits the actor. “We hope! But we don’t know. We’ll see what our creators think and what HBO thinks, but I certainly would love the opportunity.”
Check out THR‘s full interview here.
As the narrative of Westworld‘s second season progresses, so too do the musical choices, which, so far, have proven to be accurate reflections of the darker tones being explored. While there there are ballads still included, such as Kanye West’s “Runaway” during this past episode, the musical choices feel like they too are descending into the darkness of the season.
Composer Ramin Djawadi is the person responsible for making these musical choices, and he recently spoke to Billboard about the inspirations behind his selections.
Djawadi explained that this tonal shift in music was an intentional choice meant to reflect the shift in power. “You can kind of interpret it as, the tables have turned now, the hosts are in control and so the whole jukebox and the people picking their songs, now that’s over with,” says the composer. “And now it’s like the other side, there could be one way of interpreting it.”
Now, as for what fans expect to hear music-wise for the rest of the season, could Djawadi perhaps give us a hint? Unfortunately not. However, he did promise that there are more surprises to come, adding: “It’s just really great to see where the season is pushing, obviously there’s Shogun World; musically, that was really fun to explore. It’s an incredible season.”
You can read Djawadi’s entire Billboard interview here.
Another surprising appearance during Sunday’s episode came in the form of William’s (Jimmi Simpson) wife Juliet. The role was played by Claire Unabia, who just so happens to be the model that appeared in the stock image showing a woman posing in a city. Last season, this photo got a lot of buzz when fans discovered that it was supposedly a stock photo. However, during an interview with HuffPost, Unabia revealed that this may not be entirely true.
According to the actress, this photo wasn’t originally meant to be a stock image. “I’ll be honest with you, I don’t know if they got that photo that way, because that picture, as far as I know, wasn’t for a stock photo,” admits Unabia. “I don’t know if that’s actually the way that they got it. I’m not sure. I’ll just put it out there that maybe it wasn’t actually a stock photo.”
Unabia instead recalls the shoot being for a company that sounds eerily similar to the one operating Westworld and the other parks. “[The shoot] was for a particular job. What I recall was for technology, [an] internal technology picture, so that’s what I recall taking it for.”
Another interesting layer to this story is that Unabia doesn’t recall the name Erik von Weber, who is the photographer credited for the photo. “I don’t recall that name at all,” said the actress. “Maybe the name is not the actual name.”
It seems, however, that von Weber’s work has been featured, or at least has influenced, one additional element within the show. Take a look at the below photo comparison from Redditor azreinman – don’t the half moon shapes on the helmets of von Weber’s subject and the Samurai in the show’s season one finale seem to match perfectly?
Perhaps this is all just a coincidence, and Unabia is telling the truth about her now-infamous photo and its link to the show. Or, perhaps there’s a deeper involvement between von Weber’s images and the series, and Unabia is intentionally deceiving us with her answers.
Check out HuffPost’s full deep dive here to try to figure it out!
Last but certainly not least, we catch up with Louis Herthum, one of the newly-appointed series regulars this season who portrays Peter Abernathy. Although we have yet to see his character this season, Abernathy was referenced in the first episode, and we’ve learned that he and the smuggled data never made it to the destination outside the park. Perhaps the semblance of a personality failed him?
The actor recently caught up with FanSided to discuss his interpretation of the events that are unfolding this season, and what we can expect to see from Abernathy. According to Herthum, the entire story of Westworld is one that is going to take a lot of time to cover. “Westworld is a huge, huge story and it’s going to take a while to tell the whole story because, really it’s the dawn of a new species on the planet,” says the actor. “These are intelligent beings and they’re a completely different species. They look like humans, act like humans, they’re getting more human traits — but they’re not human.”
Although it’s still unclear what Abernathy’s arc is going to look like this season, Herthum has revealed that he and Wood do have scenes together, adding, “We have a connection that’s pretty amazing, and some of the stuff we do in season 2 is powerful.” Does this mean that Peter and Dolores will be reuniting in the present timeline? Or is Herthum perhaps referring to flashback scenes that he and Wood shot together? It’s difficult to tell at this point, but since we know that Peter has failed to make it to his destination, it seems like there’s a good chance he’ll be brought back into Westworld, and therefore could run into Dolores as she continues her conquest.
Check out FanSided‘s full interview here.
This week’s “Inside the Episode” features showrunners Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy – along with several members of the cast and crew – discussing the choice of location for the Delos mansion and sharing a bit more information about the Delos family.
In case you missed it, here’s the preview for next week’s episode “Virtù e Fortuna” featuring soldiers and battles and…tigers? Oh my!