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‘Westworld’ Star James Marsden On the ‘Purity’ and Importance of Series’ Central Romance

"Evan is such a delight to work with. She's so f—king good," says Marsden.

Westworld 103 James Marsden Evan Rachel Wood

James Marsden as Teddy and Evan Rachel Wood as Dolores.

John P. Johnson/HBO

In last night’s episode of “Westworld,” scientist Dr. Robert Ford (Anthony Hopkins) examines one of his hosts Teddy (James Marsden) after he’s killed yet again in the Western-themed amusement park; Elsie (Shannon Woodward) examines the host’s malfunctions; Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) suspects that Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) has developed consciousness; and Dolores kills a bandit with his own pistol. It’s another thrilling, mysterious episode from HBO’s newest series, one that will certainly provoke more fan theories and questions in the coming days.

READ MORE: ‘Westworld’ Review: Western Philosophy Tops the Wild West in Deep-Thinking HBO Drama

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter following last night’s episode, star James Marsden discuses many topics, including filming his nude scene opposite Anthony Hopkins, his character’s past, the secrecy surrounding the show, and of course, the series’ central relationship between him and Dolores.

“There’s such a purity to their relationship,” says Marsden. “I think he sees her as a real innocent. Not naive, but he feels as if he’s seen more life than she is. Not in a condescending kind of way, but I think his instinct is to protect her. He’s seen and witnessed the horrors that lurk around every corner of this land. He sees the purity and goodness in her, and that’s how he wants to see himself. She brings that out in him.”

READ MORE: How HBO’s ‘Westworld’ Shot on Film for a More Tactile, Organic Look

He goes on to praise his co-star Evan Rachel Wood and explain how co-creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy believe they are the “heartbeat” of the series: “Evan is such a delight to work with. She’s so f—king good. It’s not easy. I didn’t have to do all of the different modes that she has to go through and the degree of emotion. She just runs the gamut and does it brilliantly, and it’s not easy. Lisa and Jonah told us: ‘You guys are the heartbeat of the show, the classic Western love affair, the good guy and the good girl in this world where there’s a whole lot of darkness. We as an audience need to invest in that. We want to see them together.'”

“Westworld” airs Sunday nights at 9 p.m. ET.

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