As Westworld season 2 kicks off on Foxtel Now, we had the chance to sit down with James Marsden – who plays Teddy Flood on the show – to get his take on what it’s like living in a robotic Wild West. Telstra mobile customers can catch the latest season of Westworld with a 24 month Foxtel Now subscription now included with selected mobile plans.
Tell us about the new season of Westworld – what can fans expect?
In the first season, we set everything up – we set the world up, we set the characters up. Now we have everyone listening and we have everyone watching… we take the leashes off and let these characters go.
You can expect some bloodshed. You can expect some real soul searching. You can expect some existential crises… and I think the big thing in season 2 is: who are these characters, now they have the freedom of choice to choose who they are, and who they want to be – and all the while trying to survive.
Is Teddy the whipping boy of Westworld? Why do you think he always has a hard run of things?
Teddy has the dubious distinction of being the fastest gun in the West, but none of his bullets work on the humans – which is an unfortunate place to be in. But I do think that he, sort of, beyond that, is the moral centre of the show. You’re going to see a lot more of that in season two; there are certain virtues that he lives by that remain intact, even past them being encoded in him.
He is free to live by his own narrative, and I think what’s going to be interesting is seeing who he chooses to be now that he’s not at the hand of someone else. So, the whipping boy thing, obviously we look at the first season and go, “oh, poor Teddy” – just as he’s starting to gain understanding, he’s killed off.
I think along that journey he’s accumulating great empathy from the audience – that will hopefully pay off in the second season.
One thing we’re excited to see in the new season is different worlds. If you were in charge, or if Teddy was in charge, what kind of worlds do you think he’d create?
Hmm… dinosaur world? Oh, that’s Jurassic Park – the other Michael Crichton movie.
Westworld is a very enigmatic show that’s prompted a lot of fan theories. Are there any you’ve seen as particularly outrageous?
The big ones that are always thrown around were like – who’s a host that we think is human, or who’s a human we think is a host? Is there something in between those two, is there something beyond those two?
What was it like working with your co-stars, like Ed Harris or Evan Rachel Wood?
It was an absolute dream – you’re surrounded by so many gifted actors that you’re just constantly going, “uh, OK, do I suck? I gotta be on my game.” Evan and I were two of the last people cast in the first season, so we know that Anthony Hopkins, Ed Harris, Jeffrey Wright, Thandie Newton, they were all on board – so it was like, “yes please, where do I sign? I want to get in there and play with these people.”
Westworld is streaming now on Foxtel Now.
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