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Tessa Thompson Interview: Westworld Season 4

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Tessa Thompson holds a gun with her hands in the air on Westworld.

Charlotte Hale in Westworld’s third season.
Image: John P. Johnson/HBO

Introduced in season two as a power player at Delos, the company in charge of Westworld’s parks and its resident “host” robots, Charlotte Hale (Tessa Thompson) has evolved quite a bit as a character, though she’s always been positioned as one of the series’ antagonists.

A host since the end of season two—when her human body was swapped for a synthetic one, and her consciousness was replaced with a mind-copy of Westworld’s prime robot, Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood)—“Halores” was a major player in season three’s outside-of-the-park narrative, working toward a goal of eliminating the human race while also grappling with the life and family the human Charlotte left behind. Season four, however, sees fewer distractions getting between Halores and her goal, something io9 talked to Thompson about at a recent Westworld press roundtable. (Fear not, no season four spoilers here!)

“I’m anxious not to give anything away, but I think, as I understood it this season, [Hale’s] plan is sort of bigger than just a desire for power,” Thompson said. “I think that’s always been her fundamental nature in a way, both as Hale when we first met her, and as a host. But I think this [season] really has to do with an idea around what should be the future of host-kind. I think there’s a sort of righteous path in her mind that she’s carving, not just for herself, but for all hosts. And, of course, I think the best leaders don’t make anybody do anything. They invite people to do things, and people typically want to because of the strength of their leadership and ideas. I don’t know that Hale entirely understands that; I think she’s trying to make people see things her way and is having various degrees of success. But I think in her mind and in her heart, she thinks she’s doing the right thing. And I’m always fascinated by people who do unsavory things for righteous reasons—I think that is really fascinating. I think humans do that a lot. So I was really interested in that in her.”

Season four will see the continuation of the… contentious relationship between Hale and William, aka the Man in Black, the character (who is both host and human, depending on which version you happen to meet) played by Ed Harris. “It feels like there’s been some reversal to previous dynamics that we’ve seen between the two of them,” Thompson said. “I think there is a lot about the show that also just examines power, and I definitely think there’s been a game with these two in different forms of who takes power. So in some ways, I think there’s been kind of a reversal.”

Harris agreed. “I think you relish the reversal. You know, this guy… yeah, he gets his comeuppance in various ways.”

“Yes, he does,” Thompson laughed, revealing nothing—but making us intrigued to see exactly what’s in store for these two villains. We’ll learn more when Westworld season four premieres June 26 on HBO Max.


Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel and Star Wars releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about House of the Dragon and Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.

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