West­world’ cast talks ex­is­ten­tial­ism, robots at Comic-Con

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - ENTERTAINMENT - BY SANDY CO­HEN

Ac­tress Evan Rachel Wood says work­ing on “West­world’’ changed her life.

She says the series about a fu­tur­is­tic park manned by ro­bot hosts where hu­mans can live out their fan­tasies has in­spired existential ques­tions about her own life. She also says the pow­er­ful char­ac­ter she plays has em­pow­ered her off-screen as well.

“It’s so ful­fill­ing,’’ she said Satur­day at a Comic-Con panel for the HBO show. “Be­cause es­pe­cially as women, and I don’t know if this is true for men too, but a lot of times you feel as if your wings have been clipped and you’re not be­ing rep­re­sented the way that you want to.

And this was like just like some­body had given me (ex­ple­tive) con­dor wings and I got to take off and fly.’’

Wood ap­peared along­side showrun­ners Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy and her fel­low cast mem­bers for a pre­sen­ta­tion in­side the San Diego Con­ven­tion Cen­ter’s largest ex­hi­bi­tion hall. Other cast mem­bers at the panel in­cluded Jef­frey Wright, Ed Har­ris, James Mars­den, Tessa Thomp­son and Thandie New­ton.

New­ton said she’s been in­spired and em­pow­ered by her role on the show, which re­cently re­ceived 22 Emmy nom­i­na­tions.

“I’m so into the existential stuff on the show,’’ she said. “In mo­ment of chaos, when you think you know noth­ing, that’s when gifts come. I just think that’s in­cred­i­bly pro­found.’’

Though her char­ac­ter is an an­droid pros­ti­tute, she grad­u­ally be­comes more self­aware.

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