Evan Rachel Wood, Jeffrey Wright, Luke Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson spoke with ET about the dystopian drama.
After a two-year hiatus, HBO’s hypnotizing, puzzlebox series, Westworld, is back with season 4. And the cast, including returning stars Jeffrey Wright and Luke Hemsworth, talk about why the new episodes were worth the wait, while Angela Sarafyan teases how the new installment feels like a return to season 1.
“It takes us a little time with this stuff. But good things come to those who wait,” Wright, who returns as Bernard Lowe, tells ET’s Rachel Smith, revealing that after watching the first four episodes, “It’s good.”
“There’s something to be said about waiting for each episode because there’s a lot to digest with our show. It’s complex stuff and there’s a lot going on,” the actor continues, teasing that Sunday’s premiere will leave a lot for fans to “marinate” on before moving on to the second episode.
“It’s a wild ride and I think the fans are really going to love this season,” teases Hemsworth, who continues to portray Ashley Stubbs, while Aaron Paul, who is back as Caleb, says, “This season is really just next level. This season is so, so much bigger than previous ones.”
Picking up after the events of season 3, after Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) and other hosts escaped Delos Park and infiltrated the real world while other characters were still reeling from truths revealed about Westworld in season 2, season 4 is a dark odyssey about the fate of sentient life on Earth, exploring what has happened since the lives of humans and hosts have seemingly blended together.
This season, “They’re going to sink their teeth into the fundamental questions we ask about the nature of our humanity,” teases Tessa Thompson, who returns as the villainous Charlotte Hale.
Additionally, there are returning characters -- ahem, James Marsden -- and new characters as well as multiple timelines and plenty of coded storytelling that will leave audiences wondering about what is happening as they put all the puzzle pieces together.
“I’m excited to confuse everyone again and take everyone on a mind-bending journey,” Hemsworth says. “So, I’m looking forward to everyone’s theories.”
The return of Marsden as well as another visit to Delos Park -- this time a 1930s Chicago as teased in the trailer -- suggests that creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy are slowly bringing this dystopian saga full circle.
“I’ve been waiting for this season. This may be my favorite,” Sarafyan, who reprises her role as Clementine Pennyfeather, says, explaining that she loved the writing this season. “I was attracted to the poetry, the action, the love, the heartbreak. I love it all.”
She adds, “It kind of reminds me of season 1, so it’s really exciting.”
Marsden, meanwhile, says that Nolan and Joy haven’t “had to figure out what they’re doing for season 4 and season 5 [because] they’ve had it all planned out from the beginning. And it’s just beginning to unfold.”
“We’ll see what sort of relationships continue in different trajectories and which ones come back together,” he adds.
Someone who always knew they would be returning for season 4 is Wood, who previously played Dolores in the first three seasons. This time, however, “I’m a different character,” she says, explaining that “Dolores isn’t [alive]” after her memories were deleted at the end of season 3.
“I knew I wasn’t coming back as Dolores,” Wood says. Now, she’s Chrissy, someone who’s “much more human, much more vulnerable, very nerdy,” the actress adds. “This one really was starting from scratch.”
But given how many changes her character has gone through every season, it’s safe to assume there’ll be more revealed about Chrissy soon enough. “It is Westworld, after all,” Wood teases.
Westworld season 4 premieres Sunday, June 26 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HBO and HBO Max.