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The Men of Westworld Talk S2 Possibilities and Complex, Nuanced Women on the PaleyFest Red Carpet

Image via Michael Bulbenko for the Paley Center

Ed Harris, James Marsden, Jonathan Nolan (Co-Creator), Lisa Joy (Co-Creator), Evan Rachel Wood, Thandie Newton, Roberto Patino (Exec. Producer), and Jimmi Simpson. Image via Michael Bulbenko for the Paley Center

HBO’s Westworld is the most exciting sci-fi show to debut in the past year, and that bananas Season One finale, while it wrapped up the story beautifully, also gave us new questions that will no doubt be answered equally beautifully in its second season. Sadly, we’ll have to wait until 2018 before seeing that second season, but thankfully we have events like PaleyFest to bring us a little closer to this show that we love so much.

I had the pleasure of chatting with some of the men of Westworld on the PaleyFest 2017 red carpet (unfortunately, Jeffrey Wright wasn’t in attendance), and they are just as entranced (and confused!) about the show as we are, as they are not yet privy to co-creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy’s plans for Season Two.

Image via Michael Bulbenko for the Paley Center

Image via Michael Bulbenko for the Paley Center

Let it be known that Ed Harris is the coolest dude on the planet, and surprisingly chill, funny, and sweet when you consider the plethora of gruff, duplicitous characters he’s played over the course of his career.

I gushed over the fact that in the Westworld season finale, his Man In Black/William gave us the most gleeful response to getting shot that I’ve ever seen on television. He laughed and said, “People say that! I felt kinda goofy myself, but…”

I then asked Harris to walk us through that moment where The MIB watches as the hosts begin revolting as he experienced it. “He’s happy,” he says. “It’s what he’s been wanting, you know? Let’s make this real. It’s exactly what you said, he’s gleeful that finally the ice is broken and these hosts are out to do…who knows what. ”

When I pointed out that it’s one thing to be happy about something real happening, it’s another to be completely oblivious to the extremely dangerous situation he’s now in. Harris agreed, saying, “It’s completely dangerous! I mean, I don’t understand how I’m still standing there.”

I remarked that his life must be severely lacking if the danger of Westworld is preferable to the world outside. “Well, his wife is dead,” he says. “He lost his wife. He’s a hugely successful guy. He’s been coming here for a while, and he knows that there’s something going on here underneath this stuff, and he’s trying to get to the bottom of it. And now that some of that’s been unearthed, I don’t know where it’s gonna go. We’ll see. I don’t know.”

Jimmi Simpson

Jimmi Simpson has zero idea what the plans are for Season Two, and he’s not even sure he’ll be returning. Still, he’s so palpably into the show that I asked him, as a fan, which character arc other than his own did he love watching.

Without hesitation, he answered, “Oh, definitely Dolores. Gosh, what a huge opening of consciousness that Evan [Rachel Wood] just kicked the pants off of.”

Image via Michael Bulbenko for the Paley Center

Image via Michael Bulbenko for the Paley Center

It’s clear that he and Wood have become besties over the course of the show, and there’s a huge amount of mutual respect there. Mutual respect, and lots of Dubsmashing. Seriously, if you haven’t yet seen the majesty of their frequent Dubsmashes behind the scenes during the filming of Westworld, you’re missing out. I thanked him for improving all of our lives by letting those videos out into the world, and he said “You’re welcome. It’s how we’d stay sane.”

Image via Michael Bulbenko for the Paley Center

Image via Michael Bulbenko for the Paley Center

Lastly, I got to speak with James Marsden, who plays the oft-killed Teddy on the show. Given that the love of his (programmed) life, Dolores, ends up becoming the murderous catalyst of the host revolution in the season finale, I asked Marsden if he thinks that there’s a limit to Teddy’s love for her. How deep and how far does it go?

“To infinity. I think they’re never-ending. The more — I’ve learned, just as a man — the more complicated, the more flawed, the more interesting the person is. I think that maybe, early on, his sort of idealistic image of what their relationship was, and who she was, that she was this sweet farm girl that he needed to protect, that got completely rearranged by the end of the show. And I think maybe he fell more in love with her.”

And so did we.

  • Westworld cast and showrunners

  • James Marsden

  • Jimmi Simpson

  • Jimmi Simpson Evan Rachel Wood

  • Ed Harris

  • Thandie Newton

  • James Marsden

  • Roberto Patino

  • Evan Rachel Wood

  • Evan Rachel Wood

  • Evan Rachel Wood

  • Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy

  • Ed Harris

  • Ed Harris

  • Ed Harris

  • James Marsden

  • James Marsden

  • Thandie Newton

  • Thandie Newton

  • Image via Michael Bulbenko for the Paley Center

  • Image via Michael Bulbenko for the Paley Center

  • Image via Michael Bulbenko for the Paley Center

  • Image via Michael Bulbenko for the Paley Center

Later, I’ll have coverage of the actual panel, which was surprisingly the most hilarious evening I’ve had in a long time! To tide you over, here’s some more images from the Westworld red carpet at PaleyFest.

Doesn’t look like anything to me…

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