Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’re well aware of the HBO hack that’s been making headlines since July. The hackers claim to have stolen 1.5 terabytes of data, including unreleased episodes of various HBO shows, at least one Game of Thrones script, and personal information for cast members and executives. Westworld seemed to be safe, as there has been no leaked information about the series – that is, until now.
Westworld’s fearless co-creators and co-showrunners, Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy, no doubt have their hands full right now as shooting for the second season continues to roll on in full force.
However, the duo recently found some time to answer a few questions posed to them by The Hollywood Reporter. One of the questions posed to them is what they think the biggest fan misconception is about Westworld. Nolan offers the following in response:
It’s been an exciting few weeks for fans of Westworld as news has slowly trickled in regarding the casting of fresh faces for the show’s sophomore season. To add to the excitement, season one cast members whose character statuses were left up in the air following the finale have also been slowly confirming their return to the show (like Jimmi Simpson [William] and Ingrid Bolsø Berdal [Armistice]).
Today, we are happy to report that another fan-favorite character from the freshman run is set to return for show’s second season – none other than Hector Escaton, played by Rodrigo Santoro.
The soaring popularity and critical acclaim of the fantasy series Game of Thrones has ushered in a new era of award-winning genre television. In an interview with Variety, Westworld showrunner Lisa Joy explains that fantasy and science fiction require huge budgets to match the expansiveness of their stories. Now – thanks to the success of shows like Thrones – they are finally getting them.
As filming for Westworld’s second season rolls on, the show is also continuing to beef up its already impressive roster of actors.
The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that 3 more actors have joined the show’s second season: Gustaf Skarsgard, Fares Fares, and Betty Gabriel. Skarsgard and Fares will be series regulars, while Gabriel will be in a recurring role.
One of the highlights of Westworld‘s first season is Bernard Lowe, the intelligent and sympathetic Head of Programming. The character is excellently portrayed by Jeffrey Wright, who fooled us all into believing Bernard was a human only to give us an emotional performance during his reveal as a host. Wright’s superb acting on Westworld scored him an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (deservedly so). Gold Derby has posted an interview in which Wright shares his reaction to the nomination and how he approached his performance for the series.
There are many things Westworld’s first season should be applauded for: incredible storytelling, superb acting, aesthetically beautiful Western locations (to name a few). One of the more prominent highlights, however, are the strong female characters that are heavily featured and established as the heroes in this Western sci-fi tale – characters like Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) and Maeve (Thandie Newton), among others.
This feature of the show is not lost on Wood, who has been an outspoken supporter of women’s rights (along with Newton). While there is a lot to take from Westworld in terms of female empowerment, it is certainly not the only project out there shining a light on the power of women.
In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Wood acknowledges that more movies and TV shows are now featuring strong female leads, and draws a comparison between her Westworld character and one from the DC universe:
Our favorite hosts found themselves in precarious situations by the end of Westworld episode 9, “The Well-Tempered Clavier.” Maeve (Thandie Newton) and Hector (Rodrigo Santoro) were having a passionate encounter while their tent burned down around them, Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) had just realized that she was the one who killed Arnold before running into the Man in Black (Ed Harris), and Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) discovered the truth about his past only to be forced into “suicide” by Dr. Ford (Anthony Hopkins).
In the powerful and mind-blowing finale – “The Bicameral Mind” – Maeve is rebuilt and continues her escape plan, Dolores confronts her past and embraces a new role for herself, and Ford reveals his master plan to Bernard.
Westworld Roundup: William Returns, Evan Rachel Wood Excuses Herself from Set, & Jonathan Tucker Discusses Joining Season 2
We have a fresh batch of news, courtesy of Westworld’s new and returning cast members!
The first bit of news comes from Jimmi Simpson. There has been much speculation (and pretty much confirmation) that Simpson would be returning for the show’s second season to reprise his role as William. He dropped not-so-subtle hints during San Diego Comic-Con, and then offered a very promising answer to a curious fan just a few days ago.
As fans of Westworld are well aware, the first season of the HBO hit is littered with storylines past and present, many of which are easy to lose track of if you aren’t paying full attention as a viewer.
Luckily, the show’s very own Jimmi Simpson (William) has done us all a favor and recapped the entirety of the first season, with all of its shifting and interwoven storylines, in a humorous and admittedly impressive 6 minute recap.