Evan Rachel Wood on her ‘Westworld’ character going full-on Terminator | Inquirer Entertainment
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Evan Rachel Wood on her ‘Westworld’ character going full-on Terminator

By: - Columnist
/ 12:40 AM April 03, 2020


LOS ANGELES—“Now, we’ll see a really beautiful mixture of the sweet Dolores that we know and love, her core programming and the sort of Terminator Dolores that we know…,” Evan Rachel Wood teased about her android avenger in the new season of “Westworld.”

In Season 3 of the HBO sci-fi drama, Dolores is living in the real world—in Los Angeles in the 2050s. Dolores and her robot hosts, Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) and Charlotte (Tessa Thompson), are back. The renegade humanoid has hooked up with Caleb (Aaron Paul), a human.


Vincent Cassel, Lena Waithe and Marshawn Lynch have also joined the cast. Thandie Newton returns as Maeve.


In our chat, Evan Rachel also talked about her other passion, music. The 32-year-old actress has a son, Jack Matfin Bell, with her ex-husband, actor Jamie Bell.

Excerpts from our interview:

What path is your character going in the new season?

I’m always curious to see what the new incarnation of Dolores is every season. I feel like one of the goals of this show is that at the end of each season, we wipe the slate clean and start over. We give ourselves a new world, a new set of rules, the world keeps expanding and the characters keep evolving.

Dolores in the beginning was trying to figure out what she was. Then in the second season, her main objective was to escape. Now, for the first time, we’re seeing her make choices. She’s a fish out of water. She’s learning.

Now, we’ll see this new version of her that she’s creating within herself.


How does this show alter your view of life?

It has given me a deeper understanding of a technologic elite and algorithmic determination, and if we really are in charge of our destiny or if there is a system built around us that is maybe rigged against our favor.

And where our (online use) data is actually going, what the value of it is. We still don’t have privacy laws protecting us or whose hands it’s going into, what it’s being used for. Because technology is moving so quickly, shows like this are important to give us a visual representation of what’s actually happening, so people have a better grasp of it.

I even know some people who watched the first episode in this new season were suddenly questioning everything in the room around them. That’s part of the fun of the show, but it’s also part of the show that wakes you up to the realities.

What’s your own relationship with technology?

Technology for me is a double-edged sword. In so many ways, we are more educated and connected than we’ve ever been. But with that comes a lot of growing pains, harsh truths and a lot of discourse that we haven’t seen quite at this level. It has made me want to understand it more so that it doesn’t get away from me.

My son is in school now, and he can code better than me. I didn’t know how to do that. It has inspired me to want to learn more so that I’m not taken advantage of.

But there’s a lot of amazing things about technology, too. With any technological advancement, there’s good and bad. I also appreciate how much we’re able to communicate and whether or not we agree on things, we’re able to have conversations that we weren’t able to have before.

It’s going to be messy and hard, as most revolutions are. But I’m curious to see what the world is going to look like when my son is an adult. What are we doing now that’s laying the groundwork for whatever the world’s going to be later? It does scare me sometimes.

Evan Rachel Wood as Dolores Abernathy in “Westworld”—HBO

The cast doesn’t get full scripts as a precaution to keep the show’s secrets. How does that impact you as an actor?

You’re given the script maybe a couple of days before you have to start shooting an episode. So it’s really a marathon. There’s no time to think, only work. The second we get the lines, we’re at once studying.

We only know what’s happening on a case-by-case and episode-by-episode basis. We don’t know what’s coming down the line. Sometimes, that can be really challenging and frustrating because as an actor, you want to be able to plan your arc, where you’re going and how you’re going to get there. They really force you to be in the moment on this one.

It would sound like, oh, so you guys just don’t know what you’re doing—you just do whatever. It’s difficult to go in and do a show like this with very little information. We cross our fingers and dive in headfirst and give everything that we have. And we really trust our showrunners. But I’ve never seen a more hardworking group of people in my life. It’s bananas what we get done in such a short amount of time.

Do you still have time to devote to your passion for music?

I do. I got to fulfill one of my dreams of singing in a Disney film. I got to voice one of the characters for “Frozen II” and sing a couple of songs in that film, which was amazing. And I have a band called Evan + Zane. We do themed cabaret shows. They’re really fun. We’ve been doing them for two years now.

We toured across the country. We do a lot of shows in LA and New York. You’ll never see the same show twice, and we really run the gamut of music. We have a lot of fun doing it.

How has becoming a mom influenced your taste in music?

I am a little more sentimental now. There are songs that before I was, no, that’s cheesy. Now, I’ll just sob whenever I hear them. But I listen to the same things I always do. My son gets really into it. He’s got such an eclectic taste in music.

Somebody came up to him the other day and said, “Hey, do you know any Rolling Stones songs?” My son went, “Paint It, Black,” “Satisfaction,” “Can’t Get What You Want.” He started saying the whole catalog. He’s 6 years old. And he’s in first grade.

What else are you working on, aside from “Westworld”?

I had a movie (“Kajillionaire”) premiere at Sundance, and Focus Features picked it up. Miranda July directed it. I’m excited for people to see that. [I’ve a] completely different role from anything I’ve ever played.

For the past year and a half, I’ve been campaigning for a law that I penned called the Phoenix Act. We’re now going to start taking it nationally and try to pass it in all 50 states. We passed it in the state of California.

Basically, it expands the statute of limitations for domestic violence survivors. Being one myself (she testified before the US Congress that she was raped twice, by two men in separate incidents) and not having been able to pursue justice because the statute of limitations on my case ran out, I didn’t want people to have to experience that again.

There’s just so much data and information that we have to back up the effects of trauma on a person—how long it takes to get over that, process it and also the time it takes to feel safe enough to come forward. So, the laws need to catch up a bit to the information that we have now. I’ve been working hard on that and it’s gone well, so far.

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TAGS: Evan Rachel Wood, HBO, Westworld

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