‘Westworld’ Cast Member Evan Rachel Wood Realized Dolores Was Her Ideal Role Halfway Through Season 1

Westworld cast Evan Rachel Wood as Dolores for three seasons. Season 4 introduces Christina, a brand new character. Wood welcomed the new challenge. However, Wood recalls when she realized Dolores was the perfect role for her. It took until midway through the first season.

'Westworld': Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) looks to the horizon with Maeve (Thandiwe Newton)
L-R: Evan Rachel Wood and Thandiwe Newton | HBO

Wood was a guest on the Happy Sad Confused podcast on June 29 to talk about Westworld Season 4. Looking back on the series, Wood shared when she discovered Dolores was the role for her. Westworld Season 4 airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on HBO.

Evan Rachel Wood almost retired before ‘Westworld’

Westworld began its long development in 2014. At the time, Wood had already had a full career at age 27 and wasn’t sure she wanted to continue. 

“I was in a weird place in my career actually,” Wood said on Happy Sad Confused. “I’ve had a few moments in my trajectory where I’ve gone: do I want to keep going? Do I want to stop? What am I doing? I need to re-evaluate. And I was at one of those points right before Westworld came around. And I was a new single mom, like what am I going to do?”

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Creators Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan wanted Wood to play Dolores, the host who becomes sentient in the Westworld theme park. 

“It really just came to me,” Wood said. “Their ability to cast a show is pretty outstanding. At the time when they said, ‘We really want you to do this role,’ I was like why me? It was like a period piece, it was this sci-fi show. And I was just like I wonder why they thought of me? I welcomed it but I was kind of like huh?”

The moment it clicked

Westworld Season 1 involved Dolores recognizing the loop she was in and breaking free from the programming. She would go on to escape the park and lead real world rebellions against Delos, but it was that first season where it clicked for Wood. 

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It wasn’t until about halfway through the season I was like, ‘How did you guys know this was my role?’ It’s one of the crown jewels of my career. When people ask me what are some things you’re most proud of, Westworld is definitely top three and I think always will be. Especially that first season, it was such a pure experience making it. There are these projects you work on where everything just falls into place and comes together. This is just one of those things you could feel it and know you’re working on something amazing. It kind of reinvigorated my whole life on acting and my career and what I wanted to do. It was inspiring and I was like I’m ready for round 2.

Evan Rachel Wood, Happy Sad Confused podcast, 6/29/22

‘Westworld’ Season 4 continues the themes that speak to Evan Rachel Wood even without Dolores

Westworld has always been about narrative and the abuses of technology. As far as the show has come by season 4, Wood still relates to it. 

“A lot of it is on the page, absolutely, but so much of it are metaphors and poetry and mythology and references to other stories, fairy tales, cautionary tales,” Wood said. “I had no idea it was going to be so profound and it was going to be such a commentary on technology, society, freedom and choices, these existential questions we’re really just starting to ask ourselves. 

Evan Rachel Wood, Happy Sad Confused podcast, 6/29/22

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