×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Remote Controlled’: Thandie Newton on the First Season of ‘Westworld,’ Breastfeeding and Nudity (Listen)

Welcome to “Remote Controlled,” Variety’s new podcast series featuring the best and brightest in television, both in front and behind the camera.

This week’s podcast includes Variety editor-at-large Michael Schneider and senior TV reporter Daniel Holloway in conversation with actress Thandie Newton, who stars in the new HBO series “Westworld.” Newton speaks frankly about becoming involved in the show, which began with a Skype meeting with creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy while breastfeeding her newborn child.

“My baby was like four months old, and I thought, ‘I mustn’t have that side of my life be present during this meeting, because it might put them off.’ These are just the things, as a woman, that you think about,” said Newton. “So I’ve set up the Skype, with perfect lighting and God knows what, and I was talking to [Nolan] and I heard my baby in the other room, and he just wanted to be fed, and that’s just a number one priority for me, so I said to [Nolan], ‘I’m sorry to cut this short’ but he said ‘Let’s just keep on talking.’ And so I ended up breast feeding on the Skype call.”

The series is based on the 1973 film of the same name by Michael Crichton, which takes place in fictitious Westworld, a Western-themed amusement park populated completely by robots known as “Hosts,” who begin to malfunction while serving the park’s high paying guests, known as “Newcomers.”

Thandie Newton photographed exclusively for the Variety Remote Controlled podcast
Dan Doperalski for Variety

Newton went on to discuss some concerns that were made during the Skype meeting, including her nude scenes that would be featured in the series.

“If the nudity is going to be used in such a way as to make a statement about vulnerability … about exposure … about dignity — I want that,” said Newton. “This is the first time really for me that the nudity wasn’t salacious. It wasn’t being used in a way that I hadn’t been, you know, okay with.”

Newton also noted specific moments from the series that stood out to her, particularly the human traits the androids exhibit.

“The robots are so beautiful, and I don’t mean physically beautiful. I mean, just their serenity,” said Newton. “Even if they’re hideous and doing bad things … because that’s their storyline, to try and attract. The hosts are also trying to attract the humans to participate, because that’s going to make them come back. It’s like fast food — it’s going to make them back.”

New episodes of “Remote Controlled” are available every Friday.

Listen to the full episode with Newton below.

More TV

  • Prince Albert II of Monaco (C),

    Jessica Alba, Gabrielle Union's 'L.A.’s Finest' Opens Monte Carlo TV Festival

    Prince Albert II of Monaco opened the 59th Monte Carlo Television Festival on Friday at a glittering ceremony at the principality’s Grimaldi Forum attended by Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba. The Hollywood actresses presented the French premiere of their action cop series “L.A.’s Finest,” which has just been renewed for a second season. “You typically [...]

  • Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba'L.A.'s Finest'

    Jessica Alba, Gabrielle Union Speak About Horrific 'L.A.’s Finest' On-Set Accident

    Actresses Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba spoke about how the horrific accident on the set of their action cop series “L.A.’s Finest” affected them and the crew at the 59th Monte Carlo Television Festival Saturday. They also paid tribute to the main victim of the incident, executive producer/co-showrunner Brandon Sonnier, whose leg was amputated below [...]

  • Emmys: How a Social Media Campaign

    How a Social Media Campaign to Game the Emmys Led to This Week's 'Block Voting' Scandal

    The Television Academy’s “block voting” controversy has quickly become the talk of Emmy season — and that appears to have been the org’s point. According to multiple insiders, the number of people disqualified from voting in this year’s competition is believed to be small, only around three members (out of nearly 25,000 members overall). But [...]

  • No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No

    TV News Roundup: Hulu Drops Trailer for 'Veronica Mars' Revival (Watch)

    In today’s roundup, Hulu dropped the official trailer for the “Veronica Mars” revival and HBO revealed more cast members for “Lovecraft Country.” FIRST LOOKS Hulu has dropped the official trailer for its revival of “Veronica Mars,” set to premiere on July 26. The series will bring back most of the original cast, including Kristen Bell, Jason [...]

  • Dan Stevens

    'Legion' Star Dan Stevens Says His Character Would Fight Thanos, 'Wreak Havoc' in MCU

    Dan Stevens said his powerful, telepathic mutant Legion would do some serious damage if he ever crossed over from the eponymous FX series into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. “Legion would wreak havoc. He’d probably take on Thanos, let’s see that,” he told Variety on the red carpet at the premiere of the trippy, mind-bending superhero series [...]

  • Viacom CEO Bob Bakish

    Bob Bakish Talks Pluto TV, Netflix and CBS-Viacom Merger Rumors

    Viacom CEO Bob Bakish knows that a lot of his peers are in the original content space in streaming, but he believes the company’s ad-supported free service Pluto TV is better off relying on Viacom’s library of content. “We can debate a lot of things about the future, but in the near term, the opportunity [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content