Watching big brother
> The eldest of Australia’s most famous actor siblings, Luke Hemsworth is making his mark as the brutish head of security for HBO’s Westworld
NEW faces can easily get lost in Westworld, a HBO original production featuring an extensive cast of characters. The show revolves around a theme park built for humans who want to live out their Wild West fantasies, and the androids built for their entertainment.
One actor who is coming into his own on the show is Australian actor Luke Hemsworth ( below), the oldest and least known of the Hemsworth brothers.
While younger siblings Liam and Chris broke into Hollywood by heading straight to feature films, Hemsworth, 35, is making his mark on the small screen, as the Westworld theme park’s no-nonsense head of security, Ashley Stubbs.
He is the guy you call when guests in this Wild West-themed resort are threatened by the lifelike androids (called ‘hosts’) that inhabit this town.
As the series begins, you see Stubbs going about his work as though everything he sees is normal.
Even when Elise Hughes (played by Shannon Woodward) from the programming division starts expressing her concerns that some of the androids are suddenly malfunctioning, he seems to take it all in stride.
In episode three, Elsie and Stubbs are sent to capture a stray host. They find the host trapped in a ravine and when Stubbs tries to retrieve his head, the host wakes up and attacks them.
During a recent teleconference interview with Hemsworth in Los Angeles, the actor said of Stubbs: “His only agenda is to ensure the safety of the people in the park who are paying customers. “It is unclear where his ultimate alligeance lies. That will be revealed in time.” Viewers have wondered whether Stubbs himself is a host. Hemsworth revealed that very little information is given to actors about their characters. They are figuring things out as they go along, but are enjoying the journey. “You will see a lot more of Stubbs’ progress,” he said. “That is part of the attraction of television, and being able to spend so much time with this character. “I am grateful as an actor to have this unfold each week. “It is interesting, and you will grow to love them more and more.” Hemsworth said that the cast members like to discuss their performances, their roles and the trajectory that their characters will take. His co-stars include Anthony Hopkins, Thandie Newton, Jeffrey Wright, Rodrigo Santoro, James Marsden and Evan Rachel Wood. Hemsworth has high praise for Wood, with whom he shared a brief scene in the pilot episode. He is also a big fan of Anthony Hopkins, whom he described as “a gentleman, funny, considerate, knows everyone’s name and takes time to talk to everyone on the cast and crew.”
He added: “He is hard worker and I have always been a fan of his, even from an early age. It is a great honour to stand next to him.”
When asked about how the Wild West era was popularised on film, Hemsworth said: “I love the characters. I loved Clint Eastwood as the kid, Steve McQueen and Yul Brynner.
“There was something about the Wild West. People were living a hard life and surviving by their wits and six-shooters. There is something romantic and wild about the locations and the films.”
Some scenes in Westworld often depict the worst in humans. Does he himself feel that humans as a whole are rather revolting?
“No, I think we have the capacity to be revolting and to do terrible things and I also think that we are in a unique position as a species and recognise and change that. Immediately and long term.”
On Westworld ... (top, from far left) Hopkins, Wright, Marsden and Wood. Hemsworth (left, from second left) in a tense moment.