As we’ve seen so far in Westworld‘s second season, the power dynamic between the hosts and humans is completely changing. No longer are the humans entrapping the androids in a playground built for sinning; now, the hosts are the ones holding the humans hostage and dictating their own new set of rules.
Maeve (Thandie Newton) is one of these hosts blazing her own new trail in pursuit of her daughter, pulling in tow a group of humans and robots determined to help her reach her goal. In a recent interview with Refinery 29, the actress commented on this shift in the power dynamic, and specifically, the meaning behind the scene in the season premiere involving her insistence that Sizemore (Simon Quarterman) strip down naked.
“It was always an intention to see things from the robot’s point of view,” says the actress. “So, the second season, when Maeve insists that [Lee] strip to nothing, she wants him to truly feel how it feels. To be that vulnerable…I think it sets the tone of what the show is going to be focusing on in the second season, which is to turn the tables.”
The intention of building parks like Westworld and Shogun World is to allow its human guests to explore their greatest vices in an atmosphere devoid of vulnerability. Therefore, removing that sense of security and protection and exposing the humans to real vulnerabilities and dangers is the ultimate way of yanking the power away from them. From what we’ve seen so far, this strategy looks to be working quite well!
Check out Refinery 29‘s full interview with Newton here.
So far this season, Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) has acted as the conduit between the two timelines the show is jumping back and forth between. In both, the character is trying to comprehend his surroundings and make sense of the chaos unfolding around him, all while both the humans and androids are working to maintain a grasp on the power and control currently in flux.
During The Wall Street Journal Future of Everything Festival, Wright was invited to speak about his thoughts on merging humans and technology, and how he mentally prepared himself to take on the variety of different scenes involving Bernard this season.
“He’s wrestling with a relationship to time, wrestling with a relationship to space, trying to orient himself as a machine, having all of these memories existing at the same time within his hard drive,” says the actor. “And so, for me as an actor, what it asks of me is to do the same.”
It’s no easy task putting yourself into the mind of a fictional character, and bringing that mental state to life through your words and actions. But, for Wright, one can imagine the process of acquiring Bernard’s mental state was incredibly challenging, and perhaps even a little frightening. Luckily, Wright has managed to give us fans an incredible performance thus far, and I can only imagine his portrayal will only get better as he spends more time with the character for the remainder of this season, and in season 3 to come.
Check out the highlights of Wright’s talk below:
Finally, we end on a lighter note with an interview featuring Luke Hemsworth (Stubbs). The actor stopped by Conan to talk about the very realistic gore featured in Westworld so far this season.
“The special effects stuff is beautiful. And, you know, the magic of that show is they don’t use a lot of green screen, they don’t do a lot of after visual effects,” notes the actor. “It’s all in camera, it’s all prosthetics and beautiful makeup.”
Hemsworth goes on to talk about how realistic the dummies are that the actors work with when shooting scenes involving the cutting open of a skull or the slicing of a neck – realistic to the point where there is very little acting that actually needs to be done to portray how difficult and downright gross it is to have blood spewing out as you’re cutting into flesh. Oh, and the actor also discusses a time he thought it would be appropriate to bring his kids to set while filming one of these gory scenes.
Check out Hemsworth’s entire (very funny) interview below, and let us know what you think!