Louis Herthum Interview: ‘Westworld’
“Personally I think ‘Westworld’ is a cautionary tale about ourselves,” declares actor Louis Herthum in our recent webchat (watch the exclusive video interview above). He adds, “I think it’s a story about man’s inhumanity towards man because in many cases the hosts are more human than the humans. The biggest question I have is about what story (creators) Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy are telling.”
The ‘hosts’ in “Westworld” are robotic characters, designed for the entertainment of the guests in a futuristic amusement park. At the end of Season 1, some of the hosts seemingly reached sentience. Season 2 chronicles the hosts going rogue and rising up against the humans in the park.
Herthum plays Peter Abernathy, a glitching host containing valuable unknown data who is also the father of the rebellion’s leader, Delores (Evan Rachel Wood). Herthum says Peter’s “got so much going on in his head. Having one train of thought is difficult. When Peter recognizes Delores this season, I thought it was a very lovely scene.”
Before he was an actor, Herthum started out as a stunt man. Unfortunately, Peter has not afforded him many opportunities to flex those muscles. He admits, “If it were up to me, there are a great deal of stunts I’d be doing on ‘Westworld.’ But Peter would need to be in a different frame of mind. That shootout in the pilot episode which was duplicated this week beautifully; I would love to be a part of an action scene like that. I love physical acting and physical activity. I’m open to anything that comes my way.”
Herthum says that “everyone is having a blast on this show. Working very very hard. Long and difficult hours but everyone is there because they love it. That’s really the most fun.”
One joy has been working with Jeffrey Wright. He says, “I could watch Jeffrey Wright read the phone book. I feel like I learn something every time I watch him work. I love watching actors do very little and say a whole lot. He’s a master of that.”
And what can be expected for the second half of Season 2? Herthum cryptically says, “I have no idea how the season ends. But I would just say I was at a screening party a couple of weeks ago. People were talking about Dr. Ford (Anthony Hopkins). And I said, ‘Just because you’re dead doesn’t mean you’re gone.’ There are so many opportunities for all these characters. But I honestly don’t know.”