EXCLUSIVE: James Marsden Reveals His 'Westworld' Pre-Nudity Rituals and Why Exercise Is His ‘Antidepressant’

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Between James Marsden's  early days as a Versace model, playing the heartthrob in films like 27 Dresses and Enchantedand now appearing nude on HBO's Emmy-winning series, Westworld, it’s no surprise that maintaining a great physique is all in a day’s work for the actor.

But the Oklahoma native is sharing how working out has also become an integral part of staying mentally healthy and focused in the hectic world of showbiz.

“It’s the cheapest form of antidepressant out there,” the actor tells ET. “You get out there and run or walk and it just clears your mind and hits the reset button. I have to have that in my life, and being fit is the nice bonus and by-product of it.”

“I don’t necessarily like going to the gym!” the former X-Men star adds. “I like more outdoorsy activities -- hikes, runs and things like that. So, I mainly just run. It’s my favorite thing to do.”
 

While his love for exercise keeps the father of three in optimum physical and mental health, there’s one more bonus of staying committed to working out -- youthful looks! The star celebrated his 44th birthday earlier this month, yet could easily pass as someone in their late twenties or early thirties.

Rather than anti-ageing products, Marsden credits his active lifestyle, and participating in events like the recent Malibu Nautica Triathlon, for generating youthfulness. “Maybe it’s the triathlons, keeping me younger!” he says. “I don’t use any specific products, but I guess I got lucky with my genes. I do try to stay out of the sun and make sure I always use SPF, though.”

Marsden notes that training for the triathlon also helps him look his best for naked laboratory moments or sex scenes as robot host Teddy Flood on Westworld. With the series currently shooting its second season, the cast often gets as little as three days’ notice for such scenes.

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So, what are Marsden’s fitness and diet dos and don’ts on the eve of getting naked?

“It’s more about not eating,” he says with a laugh. “I try to go easy on dinners leading up to those scenes. Not too many late-night meals and I drink a lot of water. It definitely helps to be training for a triathlon. If those two merge, it’s nice timing. It keeps you in shape!”

Whether he’ll be stripping down further in season two remains to be seen, with the series’ plot lines heavily shrouded in secrecy. Although Marsden couldn’t drop any hints about what lies ahead for the show, which is set in an adult amusement park where robots act out paying customers’ fantasies, he recalled being “very excited” reading the first scripts for season two, which will air in 2018.

One year on from the show’s premiere, he feels honored to be a part of such a critically acclaimed series, which recently earned 22 Emmy nominations and won five.

“It’s pretty special,” he says. “It was a long journey getting this show up and running, but it was because we wanted it to be great, and now, people have seen that and I couldn’t be more thrilled to be a part of it.”

See Tessa Thomspon talk to ET about the "bonkers" new season of Westworld below.