Westworld co-creator Lisa Joy got to tackle the inevitable nudity question at the season-two premiere screening at Tribeca Film Festival. The panel moderator noticed that the premiere features very little nudity, and that it isn’t a host baring it all, but a human character instead — showing the inversion of power between the hosts and humans. When asked to speak on how much nudity will factor into the new season, premiering tonight on HBO, Joy paused and sighed before explaining:
“Filming a nude scene is hard and difficult … we’ve had nudity across the board with our hosts. We were very up-front about the nudity from the start, trying to talk with all our actors about not only why it was in the script, but also about safeguards that we would have on set. In terms of trying to protect them as much as possible, looking at other people who would be in the scene with them, even [background actors].”
“It’s part of the story and its guided by what the characters are going through,” she continued. “So yeah, when the hosts get power, they aren’t gonna spend time naked on a stool.”
Thandie Newton, who was sitting next to Joy, nodding her head, chimed in. “I assumed I come back for season two and have to get naked because I was naked most of the time in first season,” she said. “I remember reading episode one and being like, ‘But i’m wearing’ clothes?’ And I went to Lisa and said ‘Lisa, I’m not naked’ and she was like ‘Why the hell would Maeve want to get naked again?’”
Newton went on to say that shooting nude scenes on Westworld was handled with more respect than than any other set she’s been on. Co-creator Jonathan Nolan would make the crew turn the other way in between takes, and he would bring her a robe so she was clothed while he went over notes. “I just wanted to cry because I’ve never ever been treated like [that] in a situation where I was nude,” she added.
Joy picked up the mic again to say that she understands that most of the audience feels what the hosts are going through, and the pain of being treated like an object, but there’s also “those 10 percent who are fucking wack-a-doodle” and watch the show for the nudity. So, sorry wack-a-doodlers, looks like you’ll have to look elsewhere.