Evan Rachel Wood on playing a 'completely different,' 'much more human' character in Westworld season 4
Westworld (TV series)
Season 1 saw her as the farmhouse damsel Dolores, a robot "host" programmed to be a docile background character to be protected or attacked for the amusement of a high-tech park's patrons. Season 2 saw her break free of her programming and become Wyatt, her more violent alter-ego who led the robot uprising. Season 3 brought the duality of Dolores and the copy she made of herself in the robo-body of Charlotte Hale (Tessa Thompson). And now in season 4, Wood confirms she's playing "a completely different character."
Wood's Dolores died during the events of season 3, but the actress returns in the new phase of episodes as Christina, a writer living in what looks like a futuristic New York City. (The cast shot portions of season 4 in and around Manhattan, including on the High Line.) West Side Story Oscar winner Ariana DeBose plays Christina's roommate, and James Marsden makes his return to the show after his character Teddy died in season 2. Marsden now plays a gentleman who goes on a date with Christina.
It's fair to assume there's a mysterious reason why Christina looks like Wood's Dolores and Marsden's role looks like Teddy.
"She's much more human this season, so it was fun for me," Woods tells EW of her character in a conversation with her fellow cast mates. Though, that's not necessarily confirmation that Christina is, in fact, human. That's part of the new puzzle.
"I think most people come onto the show and are thinking, 'Oh I wish I was a host,' and I think the treat for me was actually getting to be vulnerable and somewhat human in season 4," the actress adds.
Wood joined Thompson, Marsden, Jeffrey Wright, Ed Harris, and Angela Sarafyan for EW's Around the Table video series to chat about all things season 4. (The full conversation will premiere later this week.)
Westworld picks up several years after the season 3 finale and finds the various characters far from where they once were — either mentally or physically, or both! For Wood, it felt strange to not have to play in the dirt, shoot guns, or perform fight scenes.
"Usually the show is incredibly physically exhausting in every way, and this season I felt like [Christina's] a little more of a nerd, honestly," Wood admits. "She's a loner nerdy kind of writer that's just trying to make it in the big city."
The actress does confirm there are similarities to Dolores in Christina. We've already seen those echoes in the trailers for season 4. Christina wakes up every day in a similar fashion to Dolores' old Westworld park loop, and the story she's now composing sounds somewhat like the backstory given to Dolores. Coincidence?
"She longs for beauty and romance and poetry in this mundane world that she lives in," Wood explains. "She has that ability, like Dolores, to notice when something is off in her world, and she's got the mindset to actually question it... There's a lot of conspiracy theory metaphors this season, like is it more crazy to think something else is going on underneath the surface and we should ask questions, or is it more crazy just to accept things at face value and never question anything? I think that's where Christina finds herself at the beginning of this season."
Westworld season 4 premieres Sunday, June 26 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HBO and HBO Max.
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Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy's ambitious sci-fi thriller is based on the 1973 Michael Crichton film of the same name.