Evan Rachel Wood Calls ‘Westworld’ The "Acting Olympics" & She's Not Wrong About The Show's Intensity — VIDEO
If you've been keeping up to speed with HBO's decadent new slice of event-programming, Westworld, you're probably already aware that Evan Rachel Wood is one of the finest talents on the show, where she plays the theme park's oldest host, Dolores Abernathy. This is a major compliment, since she rubs shoulders with the likes of Thandie Newton, Ed Harris, Anthony Hopkins, James Marsden, and Jeffrey Wright. On a recent appearance on Late Night With Seth Meyers, Wood dubbed Westworld the "acting Olympics," and Seth Meyers was eager to unpack what exactly she meant. In a nutshell, this statement signifies one key thing: Wood is an insanely good actor. Maybe even the best on TV right now.
During the interview, Wood highlighted the distinctive thing Westworld requires from its actors — "shifts of energy very quickly." If you've watched an episode, you'll know what she meant. The host characters (or robot characters) are constantly being recalled from the theme park into our world for testing, where the analyst characters ask them to change accents or "remove emotional affect." It's almost like the actors are being subjected to numerous tyrannical directors who expect to click their fingers and get their actor to shift character immediately.
All of the roles on the show — whether human or robot — are incredibly challenging, since up to this point, they all show a constantly evolving moral reaction to the increasing issue of the robots' growing consciousness. There's also the continual nuance of the actors playing human characters being required to behave in a way that undercuts their humanity, and the actors playing robot roles being asked to behave in a way that's both robotic and growingly nuanced. However, since Wood's character is the one who has, up until now, been recalled from the park most often, the role has required a breathtaking discipline and emotional range from Wood, who is not yet 30.
So if you're not sure about the sci-fi themes or the sheer scope of the project (trust me, this isn't winding down for bedtime television), tune in for one reason: to see what Wood is capable of. This show makes an extremely strong case for her being the most charismatic and competent actor of her generation.
Images: NBC; Late Night With Seth Meyers/YouTube