This article contains Westworld spoilers.
The second season of HBO’s pricey sci-fi series has a been a slow, violent burn, and after the events of episode 5, James Marsden’s once-earnest and winsome character Teddy is now frightening the hell out of everyone. It’s all Dolores’ fault, of course, a fact that Westworld actress Evan Rachel Wood is all too aware of.
“I got a text from Evan after episode five, where Dolores lures Teddy in, grabs him and changes him,” Marsden told THR in a new interview. “She said: ‘OK, well, I’m the most despised person on Twitter now!'”
She’s not the most despised by far, but Marsden says the move actually ended up splitting fans’ reactions right down the middle. “Apparently, the fans of the sweet, dedicated, loyal, and peaceful Teddy were not happy to see that. But we all know if we dig a little deeper, she’s trying to help him survive. Then there’s the other group of fans who are cheering for him: ‘Finally, OK! Let’s see him kick some ass! He’s too nice! Let’s roughen him up!'”
Is the old Teddy basically gone forever? Not quite, but it certainly feels that way for the most part, and the actor went on to describe the challenge of selling the character’s evolution.
“I don’t think he’s completely unaware of what’s going on. There’s parts of the old Teddy that are still there. But that’s the real challenge, playing the very small nuanced moments where even if it’s just a flash in the eye, you see the old Teddy questioning this new programming. That was really interesting to play — along with finally really getting to kick some ass. But that’s easy and fun. The hard stuff is letting the old Teddy come through in glimpses.”
Marsden was tight-lipped about where the second season is heading, though, and Teddy’s ultimate fate.
“I can’t say much, but it doesn’t feel any less dangerous. In fact, if the curve is going one way, it’s only going up as far as the intensity, danger, and potential for catastrophe. That continues to accelerate and increase.”
We’ll have to wait and see.