If Westworld left you confused with its multiple timelines, you’re not alone. Evan Rachel Wood, who plays the robotic, yet all-too-human host Dolores, recently revealed she and the rest of the cast initially had no idea as well on what the hell was going on in the show.
Speaking to Deadline, the actress said: “We were all piecing it together just like the audience.”
The HBO series is notorious for playing with time. As many viewers describe, it’s like a Russian nesting doll of stories with flashbacks within flashbacks, often cut together in time-jarring sequences. Audiences are easily confused on this front as the characters, especially the robot ones never age.
Some deciphered that the scene was in another time period by looking at Dolores’ clothes: slacks or prairie blue dress. But for Wood, it was a prop that made her realize the scene she was acting was no longer set in the present.
“It was so nonchalant how I found out,” she told the publication. “It was around production of the third episode and I asked the question, ‘Why is this gun here?’ When I closed the door, it was gone. As an actor, I want to know what’s going on, it’s a legitimate question.” That’s when she was told it was a part of another timeline.
“I walked off the set and thought, ‘I don’t know anything. This show could be anything. My mind is completely blown.’”
Showrunner Lisa Joy previously explained they had to use multiple timelines to explain what Dolores was experiencing. The good thing —the show is headed in a direction most viewers may prefer: they want to focus on different points of views and angles next season.
“I think as with season one, any basic different timelines were rooted in what the characters were going through,” Joy said, according to TV Insider. “At that point, it made sense to do multiple timelines, because it showed how Delores felt, and that confusion. ‘I’m in love, but this guy is coming for me. [Only] then realize, I haven’t changed, but so much time has changed and now he’s this.’ The timeline thing is in service of landing that point of view for Dolores.”
While it was an effective strategy in the first run, Joy added they do not want to repeat the same thing. They wanted to explore other ways of entertaining the audience. Regardless, it should be as interesting as the first season, if not more.
Westworld is filming season 2. Wood hints: “If the first season was defined by control, then the second season is chaos and he’s not kidding. It’s going to be more ambitious.”