One of the most striking transformations over the course of Westworld‘s second season, at least in the last few episodes, has been the extreme personality shift of Teddy (James Marsden), brought on by the code alteration ordered by Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) back in episode 5. Through the first season and a half, we’ve seen a Teddy that is sweet but confident, nice but able to kill you in a second with his gun-slinging skills, all with the greater intention of running away and starting a new life with Dolores, the love of his life.
Since his code alternation, the new (and improved?) Teddy is a killing machine, literally. Cold, emotionless, trigger-happy, his 2.0 update now sees him gunning down whoever he has to, human or host, in order to fulfill the mission. Fans are, of course, split in their reaction to the new Teddy – some miss his warm-hearted persona, while others applaud the stone-cold killer he’s become.
But how does Marsden himself feel about the transformation? The actor recently sat down with The Hollywood Reporter to discuss Teddy 2.0, how he felt when he learned about his character’s arc over the season, and what we can expect from the final 3 episodes.
According to Marsden, he was informed about his character’s big change before the show started filming, and while the information he was initially provided was given to him in a “vague way,” the actor still found excitement in the thought of playing a completely different Teddy:
“Before we started shooting, I was informed of some of the arc and the changes that would be happening in the midseason, and the interesting and challenging journey that would be for me as an actor. I always thought that from the very beginning that this show has the potential to play several different characters and different levels of consciousness. You could wake up and be the professor or the sheriff. Even if there’s a feeling of loss there or a feeling of tragedy, you could become ‘Terminator Teddy.’ There’s some excitement there as an actor.”
That being said, even though Teddy 2.0 seems to be a complete departure from the character we grew to love over the first season and a half, Marsden believes Teddy’s true persona is still buried somewhere within him. “Underneath the programming, there’s always something with him — and you see this with Dolores, where she always flashes back to her father,” says the actor. “She’s very hell-bent on becoming the next evolution of humans, but there’s also those flashes of vulnerability. My point is that underneath their programming, there are fragments or glimpses of what their true soul is underneath. It can be subtle and nuanced.”
Does this mean we may see the old Teddy again before the season is over? It’s logical to believe that Dolores could, in theory, simply undo the coding changes if she can find a competent Delos tech (or at least a control tablet), but will she want to, now that she has an incredibly skilled killer at her disposal?
As for Marsden’s thoughts on what the final few episodes are going to deliver, he, of course, refrains from providing any real information, but he does give us this little nugget: “I can’t say much, but it doesn’t feel any less dangerous. In fact, if the curve is going one way, it’s only going up as far as the intensity, danger, and potential for catastrophe. That continues to accelerate and increase.”
Check out Marsden’s entire interview with THR here.
This season has seen a major expansion of the show’s scope, not only in terms of narrative, but in terms of the new locations that have been introduced over the first 7 episodes. Thus far, we’ve, of course, gone back into Westworld, but on top of that, we’ve been introduced to Shogun World (an expected newcomer) and The Raj (not-so-expected). Along with expanding the show’s cultures and dialects through these new worlds, we’ve also seen a major expansion in terms of costuming. And that’s where two-time Oscar nominee and Westworld Costume Designer Sharon Davis comes in.
Davis recently chatted with Decider, and during the conversation she elaborated about her experiences dressing the actors in these new worlds. Davis explains that, for Shogun World, her intention was to mimic the basic features of the kimonos worn by Maeve (Thandie Newton) and the Japanese actors, while at the same time infusing Westworld flair into them:
“We used the silhouette, but in Westworld tradition, I didn’t use authentic fabric. We used our own color palette to represent Westworld. Basically, we didn’t use large print kimonos with the big flowers and stuff. We stayed very subtle and that’s a little more Westworld. It’s not so busy with prints and bright colors. So that works fine enough in this situation, but its very limiting. So to make that work was really hard.”
Even though Davis and her team strayed from the traditional colors and patterns of kimonos, they still wanted to make sure the dressing was created and sewn in an authentic manner, and that meant squishing the work of months into just a few weeks. “Kimonos take months to make, and we had weeks,” admits Davis. “There is so much structure for under them. It was really, we were like [working] 24/7 around the clock. We had so many people in town making kimonos. Like 5 different sowing houses making things because they are so time sensitive and they could only make them so fast.”
Davis also provided Decider with some of her early costume sketches for the season. You can check the sketches out below and read her entire interview here.
Finally, we end with a behind-the-scenes video from Apple TV featuring Makeup Department Head Elisa Marsh as she explains the subtle differences in makeup between seasons one and two, and her approach to making up the actors featured in The Raj and Shogun World:
#Westworld is known for capturing every little detail.
Go BTS with makeup artist Elisa Marsh and discover the nuances that make this show so captivating.
cc @WestworldHBOhttps://t.co/FxPsfj4wUQ pic.twitter.com/kO3Myj2PSF
— Apple TV (@AppleTV) June 4, 2018
Check everything out and let us know what you think!