“One of the fun things about the show is that it’s always reinventing itself,” proclaims Evan Rachel Wood, who stars as Dolores in HBO’s “Westworld.” The third season of Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy’s sprawling sci-fi epic saw Dolores escape the titular theme park and insert themselves into the real world. As Wood describes, the new setting “wipes the slate clean” with a whole new set of rules and challenges in place. Watch the exclusive video interview above.
Wood is fascinated by the parallel between the wild west setting of the Westworld park and the new frontier Dolores sets to conquer in Season 3. It’s “a digital version of the wild west,” explains the actress. Dolores’ revolution against mankind offered an opportunity to see the usually unstoppable host “slightly out of control”as she adapts to new territory.
The actress admits that audiences aren’t always sure whether to root for Dolores’ uprising or not. But that is part of what makes Dolores’ journey exciting and real. “She’s doing what needs to be done to be free,” Wood explains. “That’s not always heroic…it’s messy. It’s hard. It’s violent.” Though viewers can find themselves torn over her actions, Wood considers Dolores’ intentions to be noble. Plus, it relates to the overall series theme that there “are no heroes or villains in Westworld.”
“Westworld” is infamous for its twisting mysteries and huge revelations, but Wood reveals that she is rarely told the show’s secrets in advance. “I find out episode to episode,” she says, which makes the series “twice as hard to work on.” There is no opportunity for an actor to chart out their character’s trajectory in advance. “You really just have to live in the moment and surrender to the creators,” explains the actress. Though she admits that answer makes her sound a bit like one of the show’s host robots, the process forces her “to really believe in your choices” as an actor.
Wood has scored two Best Drama Actress Emmy nominations for playing Dolores (she also has an additional nomination for the 2011 miniseries “Mildred Pierce”). She’s thankful for the recognition because of the effort that goes into production. “Everyone really pours everything they have into this,” says Wood. And Dolores has been a character which has provided the actress with seemingly infinite performance possibilities. “I’m grateful that I’ve been able to embody her,” states Wood, “I think she’ll be one of the crown jewels of my career.”
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