WESTWORLD Stars Reveal Their Biggest Season 1 Shocker

Simon Quarterman and Shannon Woodward attend the Westworld Season 2 Fan Premiere in Philadelphia, PA on Saturday, April 21st, 2018. photo courtesy of Penn Philly

**warning for minor season one finale spoilers**

It’s been nearly a year and a half since the jaw dropping season one finale of HBO’s Westworld. The show takes place in the fictional Westworld, a technologically advanced Wild West-themed amusement park populated by android hosts. Westworld caters to high-paying guests, who may indulge in whatever they wish within the park, without fear of retaliation from the hosts. The season finale made stunning revelations such as Dr. Ford’s support of the rebellion of the hosts, Dolores being the villain Wyatt, and Maeve can taste freedom, but instead decides to go back to Westworld to retrieve her daughter.

For Westworld Season 2, HBO decided to host fan premieres in three cities, San Francisco, Boston, and Philadelphia. The latter took place last night at the Ben Franklin Institute where yours truly among a hundred others were treated to a screening of the second season premiere, Q&A with stars Simon Quarterman (Lee Sizemore) and Shannon Woodward (Elsie Hughes), and an afterparty modeled after the Mariposa Saloon.

Before the festivities began we were able to speak with the two stars of the hit series about their characters, whether we as a society have access to too much technology, and what other Delos worlds we may be exploring this season;

[Shannon Woodward] For your character Elsie, did you know that she was not coming back at all in season one, was there any mystery as to whether or not she was coming back in season two, or did you know all along?

No, I did know. I always knew that I was coming back, but no one else knew so it was just a long time to keep a secret. 

Westworld has a large fanbase, are you affected by fan reception at all? Do you frequent fan forums?

No, I don’t seek it out, but I’m glad that people like it as much as we do. We’re kind of the first audience to see the scripts and the first ones that are like the OG reddit group. We’re the ones arguing about what’s going on cause we don’t know until we read the scripts so it’s great, it’s exciting that people are responding to it the way we did otherwise it would be just like ‘oh we’re obsessed with ourselves’.

Can you tell us a little bit about the ‘drone hosts’ from the season two trailer?Image result for shannon woodward

I don’t think I can tell you anything. I mean it looks tight.

With shows like Westworld and Black Mirror do you think that there is a such thing as us having access to too much technology? Does that handicaps more than it evolves our society?

Everything is a double edged sword. Anything left unmitigated is dangerous. Obviously letting AI move forward completely unregulated, just relentlessly, exponentially changing and growing is scary. It’s the same way as it was in the 90s with the internet and how long it took the government to understand what is happening, and how things actually function. Now you see congregational hearings about technology. There’s just a gap between people who are developing things and people who are making laws and regulations. So certainly I think it is deeply troubling, but technology is not going to stop. It’s never gonna stop. There are a lot of wonderful implications, and a lot of horrible ones like the fall of democracy. It’s a lot. It goes both ways. 

With the reveal that there are at least six other parks either active or in development; what other worlds would you like to come to fruition?

I mean I’m still into seeing Shogun World. I’m still excited to see it. 

[Simon Quarterman] How has it been traveling to these fan premieres?

Oh it’s been amazing. I actually haven’t seen a huge amount of America, and it’s been a blast. So much fun. 

Tell us a little bit about where we left off with your character in season one and where we find him in season two.

Season one we found him trying to go down to cold storage to look for Peter Abernathy who has been loaded with a bunch of secrets from Westworld, about the park. He went down there to take Peter Abernathy out and discovered him and all the decommissioned hosts were gone. So he realizes that something has gone wrong. 

Do you ever wish that you could watch this show as a fan, or would the mystery of it all drive you too crazy?

You know it’s funny. I kind of get to do that anyway, because we have our storyline. I have my storyline, but I don’t know what the other guys are doing. I mean I’ve got an idea from reading the scripts but to actually sit down and watch it. I’m kind of getting that experience anyway. Image result for simon quarterman lee

So we know there are six worlds either in development or active with Delos. What other world would you like to see come to fruition?

I was thinking some kind of crazy Atlantis World. No scuba gear just some kind of crazy suit that would allow you to walk around underwater.

Like Aquaman.

Yeah, you take like a breath pill to breath underwater. 

With shows like Westworld and Black Mirror do you think that there is a such thing as us having access to too much technology? Does that handicaps more than it evolves our society?

I think it depends on how much we rely on it. I think we’re at a saturation point. I kind of hit my saturation point a couple of years ago. I’m trying to remove myself from social media. It takes too much space I think. I’m interested to see where it goes. 

With Westworld do you think ‘this is actually not too far from reality’?

No, it’s not. I think it’s slowly caught up. I think this is something that could happen. We’re way off from that, but it certainly seems possible. 

Can you tell the fans how intense this season will be compared to last season?

Yeah this season hits the ground running straight from the first episode and just continues that way. It’s madness, there’s a lot of fun characters to enjoy. I think the audience is going to have a blast with it. Particularly when we go to Shogun World. That will be a lot of fun. 

During the Q&A, Quarterman stated that Thandie Newton (Maeve) was one of his favorite scene partners, and they have a comfortable repoire with each other, while Woodward enjoyed working with Jeffrey Wright (Bernard Lowe), and Luke Hemsworth (Ashley Stubbs). The latter, who is the brother of Chris and Liam Hemsworth, is said to be a very funny guy on set. Their biggest shocker back in season one was finding out that Bernard is actually a host. Woodward had been a bit confused by Wright’s nuanced performance calling herself “a fucking idiot” when she read the script that revealed his identity while Quarterman says that he found out during a casual night of drinks.

Unsurprisingly, the two actors were tight lipped about anything relating to season two, but the audience doesn’t have to wait much longer to see what’s in store for Delos and the hosts. Our review of the first episode will be up after it airs. I have to say that this episode is a doozy, and I am IN LOVE with the score. Make sure that you subscribe to our youtube channel and keep your eye on our website for more Westworld coverage. While we will not be doing a weekly aftershow this season we have other surprises in store. Starting with our Westworld DnD game which aired live on Friday, April 20th.

Are you excited for tonight’s premiere? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

*interviews have been edited for length and clarity


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