Which robot traits would ‘Westworld’ stars most want IRL?
Westworld hosts truly have the most.
The android denizens of the futuristic Wild West theme park have mental and physical skills superior to those of mere mortals, but they’re also subject to the whims — ranging from rudeness to murder — of the human guests who visit.
Actors in HBO’s sci-fi hit, returning for a second season April 22 (9 ET/PT), might wish they could use superior artificial intelligence when trying to keep up with the changeable personalities of their lifelike android characters, not to mention the varying timelines.
“I think we were all, after a while, just surrendering to the fact that we didn’t exactly know what was going on at all times,” says Evan Rachel Wood, who toggles between two host personalities, sweet Dolores and vengeful Wyatt.
“Sometimes, we were doing scenes from episodes we hadn’t even read. We shot out of order, and there are different timelines, so trying to keep up was one of the hardest parts,” says Wood, who explains that Season 2 was even tougher to sort out than the complex first one. “We would all come to set and I’d look at Jeffrey (Wright) and we’d be like, ‘What episode is this?’ … It’s unlike any way I’ve ever worked. It’s nerve wracking, but it’s also kind of exciting.”
Since they’ve become so familiar with androids, USA TODAY asked Wood and her Westworld castmates which A.I. host trait they would most like to have.
Wood, who capably dragged Ed Harris’ Man in Black through a church in Season 1, chooses physical strength. “I feel like sometimes you can be at a slight disadvantage, especially as a woman, where people can just overpower you. I would love to have superhuman strength.”
Thandie Newton, who plays brothel madam Maeve, admires the organizational abilities of the lifelike computers, prizing their “control, being more ordered in the way they think. I’m so scattershot, so that would be pretty cool.”
Wright wants to be a little like his character, Bernard, the park programming chief, who learned in Season 1 that he’s a robot. “Bernard is pretty empathetic. If there were a quality of his I’d like to emulate, it’s … being sensitive to the existence of others.”
James Marsden, who plays cowboy host Teddy, likes the robots’ miraculous ability “to sustain life-ending injuries and (be) fixed up, put right back out there.” But he’d really like an “off switch: That would be nice. Like when you’re ready to go to sleep,” he says, making a clicking sound. “Done.”
Turning the tables, the actors envisioned the fantasy narrative they would choose as a park guest.
Newton, taking an egalitarian perspective, thinks Westworld would be so expensive that only the wealthy could visit. “I wouldn’t want to go until it was affordable for everybody.”
Marsden would make it an observational test. “I’d want to see how everyone else is behaving there. … I think it’s going to reveal a lot about your character, how you behave in this lawless world with no repercussions.”
Wood likens a Westworld visit to Sleep No More, an immersive theater experience where spectators walk through the performance space, taking in the production at their own pace, choosing their own direction and focus.
“I was the one trying to open all the exit doors and find out what’s going on behind the scenes. So I feel if I went to Westworld, I’d be the one trying to find the underbelly and get into the labs and go behind the scenes and stir things up,” she says.
Hmm, that sounds a little like Harris’ Man in Black, a human guest who spent Season 1 searching for the center of the park’s mysterious maze. “Yeah,” says Wood. “I didn’t want to say that, but probably.”
Source: USA Today