The last time we entered the town of Sweetwater and the surrounding terrain in Westworld was December 4, 2016. Due to its epic scope, a little more time was needed to write and film this second season than is typical of most shows (another show taking about a year and a half in between seasons is the upcoming final season of Game of Thrones). On April 22, it’s finally time to return to Westworld and I couldn’t be more excited. Ahead of its premiere, AiPT! sat down with Angela Sarafyan, who plays host Clementine Pennyfeather, along with other members of the press to talk about the upcoming season.
The last time we saw Clementine was towards the very end of the season one finale, as she shot The Man in Black (aka William). Before that scene, we had seen her laying decommissioned in Cold Storage. I’m sure I’m not the only one curious about how she went from sleep mode in Cold Storage to shooting William in the arm, but that question will have to wait until we all see season two.
AiPT!: I feel like in season one you had a fairly large role. Will you have a similarly sized role this season?
Angela Sarafyan: Yeah. I would say yes, but in a different way. It’s a different kind of journey.
Vague, but interesting. A different kind of journey? I’m very intrigued. We started chatting about what it might be like for the hosts to be in Cold Storage and if they still can process information while in sleep mode. Sarafyan shared her take on it all.
AS: I always believe that the hosts are constantly taking in information, kind of like your phones. Like this (she points to my phone), it’s taking in the information that you will use but your phone also has it. It contains it, and I think that they’re (the hosts) always feeding off things, so even when they’re asleep I’ve made a decision that she (Clementine) is still awake. She’s asleep, she’s in sleep mode, but she’s still hearing and receiving like you would in a dream.
In regards to if Clementine heard Maeve’s goodbye to her in the season one finale?
AS: I think so.
The phone in our conference room then rings unexpectedly. Angela looks at us and asks if she should pick it up. We shrug and she makes a game time decision to go ahead and answer the call. We all wonder who’s on the other line…it’s room service. Angela asks us if we ordered anything, we all shake our heads, and she tells room service they must have the wrong room. After she hangs up, we all laugh and joke that she should have told them the food was for us and had them bring it up. Her response for them if she could answer again?
AS: Of course, can you please bring the food over?
We dive back into Westworld and begin talking about the nature of secrecy on certain sets and in scripts in regards to plot points (such as Game of Thrones or The Walking Dead).
AiPT!: So you guys get the full script?
Jonathan Nolan apparently trusts all the actors not to spoil anything. She then goes on to express how complex shooting the show can be.
AS: At one point, we had five different crews going. It’s like five different shows shooting at the same time. It’s a massive endeavor. It’s hard on the crew, but at the same time, it’s such a big show that I think it needs to be done over a longer time than just seven or eight months.
AiPT: Do you have any funny or interesting stories on set?
AS: We’ve had a lot of good moments. It’s like a family. We would play games. There was this game where you would guess what the other person is thinking. I think it’s called Snaps. It would usually be the name of someone who is well known; it can be an actor, or a singer, or a Nobel Peace Prize winner. You would guess what the other person is thinking. And everyone would be like “What!? How did you guess that?” It was tricky. James (Marsden) would always play it with Evan (Rachel Wood), and then I kinda got on it at the end.
One of the other members of the press then asked her about the amazing Rickroll she was a part of recently in the supposed “spoiler” video that Nolan released online. Asked if she knew how he was going to release the video initially, she replied, “No, I didn’t. He just asked me ‘would you mind learning this piano piece?’ since I know how to play piano and I said sure…it was totally a Rickroll. My brother asked ‘do you know what that is?’ No. At the time I didn’t.”
Here’s a little bit more on how it all went down:
AS: We were going to do press that particular day and he asked Evan to sing and me to play piano. I learned it (“Never Gonna Give You Up” by Rick Astley) that night, and played it the next day. That’s why I’m so focused (in the video). I felt like I was a host. Evan and I need to take this on tour. We’ll just do that one song over and over.
We then somehow bonded over our love for dark comedies and soon wandered back into Westworld territory. When asked if there’s anything she’s interested in seeing explored more in season two, her reply got us all excited.
AS: Shogun world. I think that’s going to be a really special story that happens there. I’m also curious about the Man in Black. I’m really, really interested in that storyline.
As far as what lies ahead as we wait for the premiere…
AS: They have some stuff that you guys are gonna be shocked that they’re gonna do soon (to promote the show)…I think. Maybe.
Westworld season two premieres Sunday April 22 at 9PM ET/PT.
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