Playing one of the human androids, referred to as “hosts,” that populate the Western theme park on the show meant Newton had to act like a robot for most of the series, but that didn’t limit her emotional range. “[The showrunners] were very clear that they wanted the robots to be as human as possible, so that was very freeing,” she says. “Instead, you saw the storylines being repeated. That was robotic and stilted, so when you see the hosts break the loops, it’s as dramatic as possible. The storyline was on a loop over and over, and as actors we did the same things over and over. It was the same for me at that bar with the glass of sherry. So, whenever there was a switch, a break with the loop, it f**ked with her head. It’s responsible for her suffering, but it becomes her strength. I loved it.”
For Newton, who won acclaim for her film roles in Crash and Beloved, her Westworld part was revealing in other ways, as she spent a large portion of several episodes completely naked. And while that might have made some actresses fearful of accepting the part, Newton discovered an element of power from her exposure.
“It was funny, actually, all the actors who were playing hosts were all in the same boat. There was a camaraderie, really, and knowing that I was working with actors willing to go to those lengths, I felt there was comfort in numbers. I did find strength in it,” she says. “There was nothing to hide behind -- I had no props. But it was ultimately very empowering. It adds a depth. And it was a relief as well. I’ve got nothing to hold on to. There’s a weird thing -- you as a person think, I’m naked standing around a bunch of crew. But everyone was so respectful.”