The ‘Westworld’ Season 2 Timelines Make The Actors Confused, Too
To say Westworld Season 1 ended with a bang would be almost too literal — but Dolores' transformation was quite literally that as she shot Ford and the park descended into chaos. At the New York premiere of Westworld Season 2 at the Tribeca Film Festival, the cast and creators talked about how they're as confused about the timelines as we are, gave some clues as to what's going on with Bernard in Season 2, and hinted at what that "Wyatt" reveal means for Dolores (and Teddy).
If you're already reeling trying to remember what happened last season, know that the cast was just as confounded on set while filming. "[The episodes] were filmed in a sequence designed to completely disorient me," Jeffrey Wright, who plays Bernard, said at the panel. Bernard is one of the characters affected by "time slippage" — a term thrown out by the moderator that describes what happens when the hosts experience multiple timelines at once — this season.
"In the midst of this chaos and the rebellion of the computers there's the most granular understanding of his existence and orientation with time and with place," he added, comparing the character's arc to waking up from a bad acid trip at Woodstock. The cast said that they would often show up to work arguing over whether they're filming Episode 7 or Episode 3, find out it's Episode 1, and then the scene ends up getting moved to Episode 4.
So it's understandable that you might have forgotten that at the end of Season 1, it was revealed that this mysterious villain named Wyatt was Dolores all along — sort of. Armistice notes that Wyatt has "many names" and the audience learns that Arnold merged Wyatt with Dolores in order to orchestrate his suicide — and Ford may have done the same in order to pull off the Escalante massacre and his final story. So what does that mean, now that Evan Rachel Wood's character is also multiple characters? Also, who is Wyatt?
"I met with Jonah [Jonathan Nolan] and Lisa [Joy] at the beginning of the season, and I said 'OK, who is this character, what is the vibe, who is he, and they went, 'You know, Wyatt's a girl's name too,'" Evan Rachel Wood said at the panel. "I said, 'fair enough!' Who is she?"
Expect the fated romance between Dolores and Teddy to be affected by the many changes in Dolores as well — both the reemergence of Wyatt and her own "center of the maze" awakening as herself, whoever and whatever that may be. There's a lot going on in her robot head.
"We actually have jokes about this on set — like how does our relationship dynamic change now that I'm Wyatt," said Wood, letting the audience imagine what those jokes may be. But in all seriousness, she added that "they're still having the same relationship problems that any of us have, which is, can you cope with your partner changing? Or feeling like you're being forced to change." Even sentient robots have romantic drama!
"That love story was always written for them," said James Marsden, who plays Teddy. "It's preprogrammed. He still is bound to her with mighty cables that go past what could ever be written for him." But, as he noted, the rancher's daughter he is programmed to protect no longer needs protecting, which kind of sends his head spinning. She's changed. "It's hot for a second," he joked, "but then you have to stay alive!"
What else can you expect? Definitely keep your eye on Delos' data collection business and its ulterior motives, the creators said. There may be more male nudity, according to Joy, which could satisfy a certain fan request for HBO as a network. As for new Delos parks, Nolan and Joy teased that other parks will be broached, with Nolan noting that doing so was an opportunity for them to pay homage to genre storytelling — the influences of John Ford, Sergio Leone, Akira Kurosawa, and Sonny Chiba can be seen in Westworld and Shogun World. In film history, Westerns and Samurai films influenced one another, so this is a natural pairing.
"It's like you've found of base level of code," Nolan said of how Westworld has opened new possibilities for the showrunners to build on in different worlds. Wherever they take the show next — be it Shogunworld or beyond — it's likely to be an action-packed adventure.