Westworld “is going to make people recoil in horror”

Thandie Newton delves into the darker subject matter of Westworld

Thandie Newton as Maeve, 
Angela Sarafyan as Clementine

Out of the four episodes of Westworld that we’ve seen so far, one of highlights has been Thandie Newton’s madame Maeve Millay. Standing out among the all-star cast, the Mission: Impossible 2 and Crash star steals every scene, dealing with some tough subject matter in the process.

We spoke to her at the TCAs about her experiences working on the show so far…


How have Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy been to work with?
It’s the synthesis of the two of them that’s created the show. He’s probably the most evolved fem

inist I’ve ever met, Jonah Nolan and Lisa is in her element and a powerful woman who’s not apologetic about it. They made a decision that this show, television, is the place where their really meaningful commitment to social betterment was going to be.


What was the experience of working on Westworld like?
It was a really intense, powerful experience and a little scary: “You’re gonna be naked, Thandie, most of the time.” But I trusted Jonah – and I’ve been through every situation of exploitation in this industry. I really feel like every day I went to work on Westworld I was a political activist. Because when I’m naked it’s to reveal the vulnerability of the hosts – that we’re treated like meat. And also here’s the other funny thing, I felt empowered. I was on set totally naked all the time – you can have a little merkin to cover up your pubic hair, that’s an extra hour added to getting ready every day.


A lot of the subject matter has been pretty dark. What is your view of it?
The whole Western genre is made up, totally made up – it’s about the objectification of women and savages and it’s really offensive. And the theme park is trying to anticipate the desires of human beings. I think the show doesn’t go far enough with what people are capable of but it’s going to make a lot of people recoil in horror.

Westworld will air on Sky Atlantic from 4 October 2016. Read our full behind-the-scenes feature in issue 124 of SciFiNow, on sale now.