James Marsden says he doesn't read too far ahead when filming Westworld.
James Marsden says he doesn't read too far ahead when filming Westworld. Supplied

Even Westworld's actors are in the dark

YOU must have your wits about you when you watch Westworld, or you'll get left in the dust of the sci-fi western's complex, fast-moving plot.

Set in the near future, the series is set in a theme park in which every human appetite can be indulged without consequence thanks to the development of lifelike "hosts'' with artificial intelligence.

In a world where the lines between fantasy and reality - and technology and humanity - are blurred and the story jumps back and forth between the past to the present, how do Westworld's stars keep the story straight while they're on set?

"You have to get used to surrendering to not knowing," James Marsden, who plays Teddy, says.

James Marsden as Teddy in a scene from season two of Westworld.
James Marsden as Teddy in a scene from season two of Westworld. Supplied

"You have to surrender to the idea of being a little off balance but you have a massive safety net in the creators Joe (Jonathan Nolan) and Lisa (Joy). You're in good hands creatively. Even if you don't have answers to every question that's OK. In that regard, it must feel like what it's like to watch the show. By design it's not supposed to make sense right away."

As if playing an AI robot wasn't hard enough, Marsden's character Teddy was reprogrammed by Dolores - his love turned leader of the robot rebellion unfolding in the park in season two - to be a more aggressive sidekick.

"In a sense we're actors playing actors. That part of it feels fun to me," he says.

"It's fun for the audience to watch them deliver this humanity but then remind everybody they're a bundle of wires and sensors."

Evan Rachel Wood and James Marsden in a scene from Westworld.
Evan Rachel Wood and James Marsden in a scene from Westworld. Supplied

A popular fan theory is that season two will end with a showdown between Dolores and Teddy who, despite his reprogramming, won't be able to go through with her bloody mission.

"The gift of free will spins him out a little bit," Marsden says.

"Teddy's touchstone is Dolores, but he's grappling with making sense of it all. There are some really interesting paths he may or may not take ."

The season two finale of Westworld airs on Monday at 11am and 8.30pm on Foxtel's Showcase channel.



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