SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched “Crisis Theory,” the finale of “Westworld” Season 3.
Dolores may have been killed off — or erased — on “Westworld,” but that doesn’t mean the actor who portrayed her, Evan Rachel Wood, is necessarily done with the show.
“I want to come back,” Wood, who has earned two Emmy nominations for her work as the show’s leading robot, says on Thursday’s episode of the Variety and iHeart podcast “The Big Ticket.”
Wood recalled how she learned that series co-creators and showrunners Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy were planning Dolores’ demise.
“I found out I think halfway through Season 3, or towards the end,” Wood said. “We really find out the arc of our characters episode by episode. We get a general idea at the beginning of each season; they tell us where our characters are at, what their mission is, and then go. Then we learn as we go. It’s one of the reasons why I think it’s challenging to work on, but also what makes it exciting. So Jonah called me up and broke the news to me.”
“He said that she was going to die, he was very blunt about it. And was slightly cryptic about other questions I had, but confirmed that yes, the Delores that we know is gone,” Wood said.
And then, of course, Wood couldn’t tell anyone what was going to happen. She didn’t even tell her own mother. “I’m bummed out and going through this mourning period, and I can’t tell anybody why or what’s going on or how the season ended. Honestly, the person that it was the hardest for was my mother. … I knew she was going to be devastated. And she was, but more than I anticipated. I called her up and she’s just weeping, ‘It took her memories, I don’t understand.’ I had to be like, ‘No, but mom, this is …’ I had to give her some kind of hope, but for the most part, that was the hardest phone call I think. I understand why she was so upset, she takes it personally any time a character that I play meets their demise. It’s a personal attack.”
Wood’s time on “Westworld” has creeped into her private life, as well. “It certainly has made me look at the world differently. I do not have Alexa. I turn Siri off,” she said. “It genuinely has maybe perked my ears up a little more about things, and just ask more questions. I think there’s a lot of technology out there right now that is moving very rapidly, and so fast that I think it’s hard for a lot of us to keep up. The more we don’t understand it, then the more out of control we are, and the more vulnerable we are to have it control us in a way.”
Outside of acting, Wood continues to run Phoenix Act, her organization that advocates for stronger legislation to protect survivors of domestic violence. The United Nations has reported an increase in domestic violence during the pandemic because victims are in lockdown with their abusers.
“Right now, my fear is that there’s a lot of people that have gotten stuck. Maybe they had an escape plan, maybe they can’t go anywhere now. They’re stuck at home with their abusers. It’s a terrifying thought,” Wood said. “So it’s definitely made me want to just keep raising awareness and making sure that people know that home is not the safest place for everyone. I think there’s going to be a lot of work to do once quarantine is over, for sure.”
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