ByRose Moore, writer at
Writer, cosplayer and all around nerd. @RoseMooreWrites
Rose Moore

The fall TV season is about to take over our lives again, with all our favorite shows back on air this month... and some amazing new programming joining the 'can't miss' list. Top of the heap of new shows so far has to be Westworld. A sci-fi series with an intriguing twist, HBO's latest series blends futuristic artificial intelligence concepts with all the romance of classic Westerns, and it has us captivated.

The pilot episode of the series packs in a surprising amount, setting up two separate worlds (the park and the control room), each with their own distinct cast of characters, the way that AI works in this world (and how it developed), and some hints of the conflicts to come in future episodes. It manages to draw us in to both the Western world and the larger world that controls it in equal measure, and balances exposition and character development beautifully. It's a near-perfect pilot, but there is one major distraction for viewers...

No, not Anthony Hopkins.
No, not Anthony Hopkins.

Every time a new character appeared on screen, it prompted the same question: "Where have I seen that actor before?!" The cast is absolutely stacked with almost-stars — those actors that you know from somewhere, but you can't quite remember where (and you definitely don't know their name offhand). We all know Sir Anthony Hopkins, of course, but the rest are just well-known enough to drive you a little bit nuts. Watching with one eye on the screen and the other on IMDb is one option, but it isn't the best way to immerse yourself in such a phenomenal new show.

So to help you let go and get into the wonders of Westworld, we've pulled together all the actors that you know you've seen before — and the shows you recognize them from. Although, we have a feeling that if the rest of Westworld is as good as the pilot, these guys will be household names by the time Season 2 rolls around.

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Dolores Abernathy – Evan Rachel Wood

Where you've seen her before:

  • Practical Magic
  • Across the Universe
  • True Blood
  • The Wrestler

One of the first faces we see in the pilot is that of 'host' Dolores as she is debriefed in the control room — she's our introduction to the abilities of the Westworld AIs, and we fall in love with her as a rancher's daughter in the park. It's far from the first time we've had a bit of a screen-crush on her, though. She's been acting since she was a little girl, and you might even remember her from the 1998 witch-flick Practical Magic. Nearly ten years later she starred in the stunningly artistic Beatles musical Across The Universe as Lucy, and it seemed like that might be her big break. She's worked consistently since then, and appeared as Sophie-Anne LeClerque in True Blood and in The Wrestler, but for some reason this incredible actress is still not getting the attention she surely deserves.

Teddy Flood – James Marsden

Where you've seen him before:

  • X-Men franchise
  • Enchanted
  • The Notebook
  • 27 Dresses
  • Superman Returns

Ultimate good-guy James Marsden is one of the more recognizable stars of the series, but you may still be left scratching your head over how you know him. Imagine this Westworld cowboy with puffed sleeves or a visor, though, and you'll probably get it in an instant. Another actor who has been working since the '90s, Marsden should have had has his big break with Fox's X-Men franchise, where he played Scott Summers/Cyclops. If this comic book universe had the same success as the MCU, he'd be a household name by now. Instead, Fox is working through reboots, and Cyclops has been re-cast with up-and-comer Tye Sheridan. You might also recognize Marsden from Disney's tongue-in-cheek fairytale Enchanted, wedding-themed rom-com 27 Dresses, spurned suitor Lon Hammond in The Notebook, or even Superman Returns.

Maeve Millay – Thandie Newton

Where you've seen her before:

  • Interview with the Vampire
  • The Chronicles of Riddick
  • The Pursuit of Happyness
  • Mission: Impossible II

What Western would be complete without a saloon full of be-feathered showgirls? Westworld's honky-tonk brothel is run by the charismatic Maeve, who oozes sex appeal and badassery in equal measure. She's well-versed in the art of appearing intimidating and fascinating, thanks to her time with Vin Diesel in The Chronicles of Riddick, where she played the scheming Dame Vaako. She's been the leading lady to other uber-famous faces, too, as Linda in The Pursuit of Happyness (opposite Will Smith), Libby in Run, Fat Boy Run (opposite Simon Pegg) and both Interview With A Vampire and Mission Impossible II opposite Tom Cruise. Now it's past time for her to take the spotlight.

Bernard Lowe – Jeffrey Wright

Where you've seen him before:

  • The Hunger Games franchise
  • Casino Royale & Quantum of Solace
  • Boardwalk Empire
  • Source Code

One of the key players behind the scenes at the park, Bernard Lowe is a programmer for the Westworld hosts — and it's a role that echoes his part in the blockbuster franchise, Hunger Games. Appearing in both Mockingjay Part 1 and Mockingjay Part 2, Wright is recognizable as Beetee, one of the past victors who is a genius with electronics. Clearly, there's just something about him that screams 'brilliant tech mind'... maybe it's the glasses! You might also recognize Wright from Casino Royale and Quantum Solace, Boardwalk Empire, or Source Code.

Hector Escaton – Rodrigo Santoro

Where you've seen him before:

  • Love Actually
  • Lost
  • 300

If you are a fan of Brazilian cinema, Rodrigo Santoro will already be a well-known name to you, but for those who tend toward English-speaking entertainment, he's less of a famous face. In Westworld, Santoro appears as the villainous Hector — a black-clad criminal who storms the town in a bloody narrative. There's a little something about him though... Hector is definitely working some bad-boy charm. It's a far cry from one of his most recognizable roles in the hit Christmas movie Love Actually, where he is the sweet and shy designer, Karl. In Lost, Santoro was Paulo, the scheming chef who met a horrifying end. Imagine him with eyeliner and gold body paint instead of a Stetson, and you may also recognize him as Xerxes from 300.

Elsie Hughes – Shannon Woodward

Where you've seen her before:

  • Clarissa Explains It All
  • Raising Hope
  • The Riches

Another behind-the-scenes player in Westworld, Elsie Hughes is a rising star in programming, working alongside Bernard Lowe to fix bugs with the park hosts. She's also a well-known face on TV, with small roles in a slew of series starting in the early '90s with Clarissa Explains It All. Since then, she's also appeared in Malcolm In The Middle, Without A Trace, Cold Case, Psych, Law & Order: SVU, Criminal Minds, and ER. With larger roles in both Raising Hope (where she stars as Sabrina Collins) and The Riches (as DiDi Malloy), she deserves far more than simple supporting roles, and we can't wait to see what she does here.

Armistice – Ingrid Bolsø Berdal

Where you've seen her before:

  • Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters
  • Hercules
  • Chernobyl Diaries

Armistice makes an impact as Hector Escaton's lieutenant, a sharpshooter with distinctive facial scarring and a soul of steel. One of the most explicitly badass women of Westworld, we can't wait to see more of Armistice in future episodes — but where have we seen her before? The Norwegian actress has been slowly making a name for herself in North American cinema with roles in movies such as Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, Hercules and Chernobyl Diaries.

Clementine Pennyfeather – Angela Sarafyan

Where you've seen her before:

  • Twilight franchise
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  • American Horror Story

One of the saloon girls, we're loving Clementine's distinctive look, and can't wait to see what she and Maeve get up to as the season progresses. Actress Angela Sarafyan is particularly skilled at playing the slightly evil, and we'd love to see Clementine turn to the dark side in Westworld. Sarafyan has been a vampire in the Twilight franchise, a bitchy cheerleader in Buffy The Vampire Slayer, and a secret girlfriend in American Horror Story, so we know that horror is well within her wheelhouse.

It's clear that Westworld is going to bring together an absolutely phenomenal cast — and this is just the beginning. There are more familiar faces to come, including the oldest Hemsworth brother, Luke, who may just use this series to reach the same heights as Liam and Chris Hemsworth have managed. We're also looking forward to seeing more of Ed Harris's particular brand of sadism as The Man In Black, Logan, played by new Punisher cast addition Ben Barnes, and Simon Quarterman's Lee Sizemore, one of the men in charge of the park (who doesn't shy away from foul language).

One episode in, and we are desperate for more... especially now that we've placed all the cast members!


Who are you most excited to see more of in Westworld?


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