If there is one thing HBO knows how to do, it's make an epic hour of television with an epic cast. From Game of Thrones to Oz to The Wire, HBO's back-catalog has some stellar credentials. The latest show to join the network's list of TV titans is the long-mooted reimagining of Michael Crichton's Westworld. The 1973 film trapped a group of innocent visitors in a theme park controlled by waxy robots gone wrong. You remember the episode of The Simpsons with Itchy & Scratchy Land? Yep, that's the one!
Now that the first season has wrapped, it look like we are all "wax lyrical" from our visit the plains of Westworld. Whilst we clock-watch for Season 2's arrival, let's meet the all-star Westworld Season 2 cast.
Evan Rachel Wood
Born: September 7, 1987
Seen in: American Gothic (1995) The Wrestler (2008) True Blood (2009)
Starting life as a television child actress, Evan Rachel Wood made her leading lady film debut at just nine years old in 1998's Digging to China. No stranger to the network, Wood also played the daughter of Kate Winslet in HBO's Mildred Pierce in 2011, where she was nominated for both a Golden Globe and Emmy for Best Supporting Actress. Can she repeat this success in after Westworld's premiere season?
Did you know?: A bit of a celebrity dater, Wood was married to Billy Elliot's Jamie Bell before divorcing him in 2014. Most interestingly, the actress previously dated Marilyn Manson, which attracted a LOT of media attention.
Born: September 18, 1973
Seen in: X-Men (2000) 30 Rock (2012) Anchorman 2 (2013)
As surly Cyclops in the first three X-Men films, Marsden was the guy we never got to mourn properly when he was unceremoniously axed at the start of 2006's X-Men: The Last Stand. Marsden did return to the role in Days of Future Past, but the damage had already been done! Marsden earned a Saturn Award nomination for his part in Brandon Routh's Superman disaster, but soon left his superhero streak behind. He broke into other genres to take on roles in the likes of Hairspray, Enchanted, and even scored a part as Tina Fey's boyfriend in the hilarious 30 Rock.
Did you know?: Claiming that he hates being "the hot guy" (yeah right), Marsden's career also involved a stint in modeling. He may be slightly older now, but at one time Cyclops himself was a model for fashion powerhouse Versace.
Born: December 7, 1965
Seen in: Casino Royale (2006) Boardwalk Empire (2013) The Hunger Games (2014)
Wright took on the role of Felix Leiter, James Bond's ally, in the 2006 reboot of Casino Royale, continuing the role in Quantum of Solace. While Wright was absent from Bond's two most recent outings, the CIA agent is never far from trouble. Turning to a villainous role, Wright played the vindictive Dr. Valentin Narcisse in the final two series of HBO's prohibition-era romp Boardwalk Empire.
Did you know?: As clever as his characters often are, Wright received a bachelor's degree in political science and was due to go into law. He attended New York University for two months, before dropping out to become a full-time actor.
Born: November 6, 1972
Seen in: Mission: Impossible II (2000) Crash (2004) RocknRolla (2008)
Thandie Newton's first role came after she began dating Australian film director John Duigan, who cast Newton in his film Flirting. Her next big break was as a slave in Brad Pitt's Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles, alongside Tom Cruise. She would later team up with Cruise again to play the leading lady in the sequel to 1996's Mission: Impossible. Usually cast as the stunning heroine, Newton's highest accolade is winning a BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role as Christine in Crash.
Did you know?: An avid animal lover turned vegan, in 2014 Newton was named the UK's 'Sexiest Vegan' by PETA!
Born: November 28, 1950
Seen in: The Abyss (1989) Nixon (1995) Snowpiercer (2013)
A case of right place, wrong time, Harris is a three-time nominee of the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. He garnered nominations in Apollo 13, The Truman Show and The Hours. Harris' sinister role as Minister Wilford in the 2013 version of French graphic novel Le Transperceneige (Snowpiercer) made him the perfect villain for Westworld.
Did you know?: A bit of a Christian Bale, there is no messing around on set with Harris; notoriously business minded, it was long rumored that Harris threw a chair at Marcia Gay Harden while filming Pollock. Last year he set the story straight with Variety:
I didn’t throw it at her...I smashed it on the ground. She wasn’t quite getting to the point that she needed to and we had a really good relationship and it just got her adrenaline flowing and helped her out a little bit.
Born: October 3, 1983
Seen in: Dear White People (2014), Creed (2015), Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
Thompson came to our attention back in 2005 when she played a bootleg lesbian from the '30s in an episode of Cold Case (as we all aspire to). From there she went to star in Veronica Mars, Grey's Anatomy, and Heroes before branching into film. In 2014 she starred in the Sundance winner Dear White People, then played civil rights activist Diane Nash in the Martin Luther King Jr. biopic Selma. In 2016 it was announced that she we playing potential love interest Valkyrie in Thor: Ragnarok.
Did you know?: As part of electro band Caught A Ghost, Thompson also provided some of the music for Dear White People.
Born: December 31, 1937
Seen in: Silence of the Lambs (1991), Hannibal (2001) Red Dragon (2002)
"Hello Clarice..." If you don't know Anthony Hopkins, then seriously, why are you here? Hopkins took over from Brian Cox to be canonized as Hannibal Lecter in the film version of Thomas Harris's cannibal books. Sir Anthony has also enjoyed a career spanning the likes of Bram Stoker's Dracula and The Mask of Zorro. More recently, he is recognized for his role as patriarchal Odin in Marvel's Thor franchise, but is also no stranger to the small screen.
Did you know?: Hopkins is a huge fan of comedian Tommy Cooper — so much so, that in 2008 he unveiled a statue of Cooper in his hometown of Caerphilly while wearing Cooper's trademark fez.
HBO has already had one western winner with Deadwood, which ran for three seasons from 2004–2006. While Westworld is already becoming HBO's next "big thing." Westworld offers something completely new , and the 1973 film spawned a maligned sequel, Futureworld, as well as a short-lived television series Beyond Westworld. Let's hope it is second time lucky for Westworld on our screens and that the show continues to be more Deadwood than just dead wood!
Season 1 left you confused about timings? Check out our handy "real time" video below.
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