In an episode featuring a few firsts, like the first look at the Japanese Edo-era-themed park Shogun World, Westworld‘s fifth episode, “Akane No Mai,” gave us a surprising and emotional first in the form of Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) turning against her longtime lover Teddy (James Marsden). Although the act of trapping Teddy and forcing the alteration of his code is meant to be seen, at least in part, as a merciful gesture, the scene still brings a sense of betrayal and heartbreak for both the viewers and, as it turns out, the actors as well.
Wood recently opened up about the twist during a conversation with The Hollywood Reporter, and how difficult it was for her and Marsden to act out such a sad turning point after years of building up their characters’ love for one another.
“It was horrible. I’m not even kidding,” admits the actress. “I think because we’ve been doing the show for four years now — if you go back to the pilot, which was shot in 2014 — we’re all so attached to these characters. The experience is so immersive, so there’s a huge part of you that feels like you’re real. There’s a space you all occupy with each other between action and cut that is real. When something bad happens to one of the characters, it genuinely upsets us, because we’re so in it.”
Wood reveals that the scene upset her to the point where she was brought to tears each time the director yelled cut:
“[I] literally couldn’t stop crying. After every take, I had to walk away and start weeping, because I love Teddy. Being with these characters for so long, and then feeling like you’re saying goodbye to them in a way? It’s devastating for us. Even though he’s still there, it’s different.”
Even though we’ve yet to see the full effect of Teddy’s code alternation and the extent to which he’s changed into a different host, Wood does offer up a glimpse of hope that the good guy cowboy we’ve grown to love may not be gone for good. “I don’t think her plan is to change him forever,” says the actress. “She genuinely believes he’s just not going to survive otherwise. But we’ll see where this takes him, and who he’s going to become — because now, we don’t know.”
Do you think we’ll ever see the old Teddy again? Check out THR‘s full article here and let us know!
As we discussed in our post mortem a couple days ago, Westworld newcomer Hiroyuki Sanada (Mushashi) brought his vast knowledge of Japanese and samurai culture to set, helping to shape the look of the Japanese village, and even assisting Thandie Newton (Maeve) with the mastery of her Japanese dialogue.
Sanada is also a master swordsman, and highlighted this fact and his sword-fighting contributions to the show during a recent interview with the LA Times. According to the actor, his reputation as a trained swordsman allowed him to collaborate with the show’s choreographer and stunt people to help make the Shogun World fight scenes more authentic:
“I’ve done so many samurai movies and the fighting scenes before, so they respected me as a sword master on set. I suggested some things and had some ideas for the fighting scenes and worked with the choreographer and coordinator to make it the authentic samurai way. We’ve worked to create the best balance between authenticity and entertainment.”
Along with helping to perfect the actors’ fighting movements, Sanada insisted on doing his own fight scenes for the show. “I like creating scenes with stunt guys and a choreographer, but I did all the fighting by myself,” notes the actor. “No stunt double at all. Sometimes all-day fighting, including my birthday. From the beginning to the end, all day, fighting, fighting, fighting.” As if I didn’t already respect the actor enough…
Check out Sanada’s entire interview here, during which he also talks about what the cast and crew did to reward him for working a long day on set for his birthday, and let us know what you think!