Nudity can be a massive draw to HBO programs. For many viewers, the titillation of tuning into HBO and finding gratuitous nudity is part of why they chose the network. Programs such as True Blood, Game of Thrones, and Westworld are excellent examples of this.
However, for those that only tune into HBO’s sci-fi hit Westworld for naked robots, that is about to change moving forward into Season 2. While it is still likely viewers will get to see some nudity, the show’s creators are trying to steer away from gratuitous nudity as the robotic hosts become more empowered.
Season 1 of Westworld saw plenty of nudity in relation to the fact humans could enter the theme part and do whatever they wanted to the hosts — including sex. However, there was also another reason there was plenty of nudity. When the hosts were brought behind the scenes of the theme park, they were naked. The justification for this was to show that the hosts were the property of humans and were subservient to them at all times.
“They’re sitting there, literally being objectified, treated as objects to be operated on and talked about while they’re right there in the room,” Westworld creator Lisa Joy revealed during a special panel and sneak peek into Episode 1 of Season 2 at Tribeca Film Festival, reveals Entertainment Weekly.
Now that the hosts are becoming sentient beings, the need for this type of nudity behind the scenes is diminishing. As Joy reveals, now that the hosts are gaining their own power, there is less of an opportunity for them to sit “naked on a stool” while humans dictate their every movement.
For the stars in Westworld, even in Season 1, where nudity is much more prevalent, they have always been treated with respect while on set during these scenes. In fact, for some of the stars, it was a revelation to find out just how different they were treated on closed sets when nudity was present in Westworld, as opposed to some of their previous jobs that involved stripping off their clothes.
Thandie Newton, who plays the host Maeve, elaborated during the Tribeca Film Festival panel on Thursday night.
“I remember one of the first sequences of nudity from season 1 — the scene where Maeve wakes up from the operation and her stomach’s hanging out and she runs through this unbelievable space — and it’s horrifying. Jonah was shooting it, and I remember we did a take, and he rushed out from behind the camera and told everyone to turn around and got me a robe. The director! He wouldn’t even look at me, he was just trying to guide the robe to me. I just wanted to cry, because I’ve never ever been treated like that while nude, and I’ve been nude or semi-nude a lot for movies.”
While there will be less nudity in Season 2 of Westworld as hosts attempt their takeover of humans, there will likely still be some nudity for those fans that watch for it. After all, there will be the new Shogun world being introduced, which will likely allow for plenty of nudity there. Also, while Maeve and Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) are becoming more aware, not all of the hosts have become enlightened.
Season 2 of HBO’s Westworld premieres on Sunday, April 22, at 9 p.m. ET.