This is definitely not your father's Westworld, or I'd wager, not even the Westworld that creator Michael Crichton would approve of. Seems that the upcoming HBO series is attempting to push the boundaries between so-called legit entertainment and pornography.
Explicit sex scenes are nothing new to cinema. In fact, since the 1970's, Hollywood has been pushing the boundaries, showing more and more nudity and sex scenes. However, even the most liberal filmmakers in Hollywood (or rather the studio executives) knew when the pull the reins in— until now.
Now it seems that the producers of Westworld are looking for extras who will go the extra mile and actually preform fully nude and actually touch each others private parts.
HBO has not only put out the word that they are looking for extras with an exhibitionist bent (no pun intended), but they also want them to sign a consent form agreeing to participate in "graphic sexual situations", which include appearing fully nude; wearing a pubic hair patch; performing genital-to-genital touching; having your genitals painted; simulating oral sex with hand-to-genital touching; contorting to form a table-like shape while being fully nude; posing on all fours while others who are fully nude ride on your back; riding on someone’s back while you are both fully nude; and other assorted acts the Project may require.
So do the actors get for their troubles— besides getting their jollies? They’re getting paid $600 a day — well beyond the standard union rate of $157 a day.
This concert form has raised the hackles of SAG-AFTRA, Hollywoods actor's union. SAG-AFTRA sent out an alert reminding extras and members of its rules for consent under the above conditions which states:
The SAG-AFTRA Agreement provides that consent to appear in scenes requiring nudity or sex acts may be withdrawn at any time (consent may not be withdrawn as to scenes already shot).
In responce to SAG-AFTRA, and all of the media hype, HBO put out the following statement: "The document that the background actors were given was created by an outside extras casting vendor. It was not requested, written or approved by HBO, Warner Bros. Television, or the producers, and contains situations that we do not require of any actor. We are rectifying immediately the discrepancies in this vendor’s document with our actual on-set practices, which provide a professional and comfortable working environment for all performers."
Okay— but are we going to see any explicit sex? Guess we'll have to wait for the show to come out to see.
Westworld is a reboot of the 1973 film, written and directed by Michael Crichton. The HBO series will premiere in 2016, and stars Anthony Hopkins, Evan Rachel Wood, Ed Harris, James Marsden, Thandie Newton, and Jeffrey Wright.
For more about the original movie read my previous article