I AM CALM ABOUT MY NAKED SCENES
Thandie Newton bares it all on what made her take up Westworld
English actor Thandie Newton, star of popular films like The Pursuit of Happyness, Mission Impossible 2, and Crash, has been nominated for an Emmy award in the category of Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her role as Maeve Millay in American science fiction show, Westworld. In an interview, Newton discusses the show, her love for sci-fi series and more. Excerpts:
What attracted you to Westworld?
The first time I met Jonathan [Nolan] and Lisa [Joy], I was like, listen guys, I’m intrigued by this because Jonathan is brilliant. But then I read the pilot and I had to say, sorry, but it feels like there are situations of sexual violence and actual violence. But I knew that with these two, there had to be a purpose behind it.
Have you always been a fan of sci-fi and westerns, as genres?
I never thought I was a sci-fi fan. But then, Jonathan and Lisa asked me if I had seen any Sergio Leone films. So there I was, watching Once Upon A Time in the West, and it was exquisite. It was a great lesson about my own intolerance, and it was a lovely step into Westworld.
How did you prepare for a series that doesn’t shy away from issues of sex and violence?
When I read the pilot script, there was so much that I was horrified by – the violence, the depravity. But the whole point of it is to shock us into the awareness that this is what we do to each other. You have to establish the depravity, show the extreme of what we can do to each other, so you can then comment on it.
You weren’t told the full arc of your story at the beginning, which is obviously very different to making a film – how did you find that?
Yes, I had no idea what was going to be happening episode to episode - they didn’t give us all the scripts at once. We had to think about the audience. There was lots of chat, and we were all kind of learning a new philosophy for life.
Did you have any reservations about the naked scenes ?
I am naked almost all the time in the show, but I am calm about it, because it is not titillating. I have been in shows in which I wore clothes and I felt more exposed, more exploited, as a woman. I’ve refused to take my shirt off before in shows. In this show, in order to comment on it, you need to see it.