James Marsden - Finding Out Who We Become When Nobody's Looking in "Westworld"

October 3, 2016 - James Marsden 10/03/2016 Views: 13,860

James Marsden discusses his HBO show "Westworld," which depicts a futuristic amusement park where visitors live out their fantasies using artificial intelligence. (5:54)

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Please welcome James Marsden!

(cheering, applause)

(cheering, applause continue)


-Thank you very much. -Welcome,welcome, welcome, welcome.

-That was, um...that was some greeting. -Oh...

-Thank you very much.-Oh, yeah, they're amazing.

-These guys...these guys are fantastic! -Yeah.

-(cheering) -These are fans!-Thank you.

-Wow! Even louder. -We're havinga great time out there.

We're having a great timeout there. Are you kidding me?

-Welcome to the show. -Sorry,I'm just gonna keep doing this.

-Louder! -He just...-(loud cheering)

Thank you.That is very sweet of you.

I feel like that'swhat you hear in your life

all the time, though.

Just people screamingas you walk down the street.

-(laughs) -I know I did that.I... This is, like, a weird...

So, I at first, like,I had just gotten to the U.S.,

and it was just announcedthat I was doing The Daily Show,

and I got invited to my firstbig event, was the Met Gala,

and I was walkingthrough the museum--

no one knew who I was,no one knew what was going...

-and then I-I saw you. -I knew who you were.

And then we locked eyes.And, I mean,

-have you seen this man's eyes?-(laughter)

-Yeah.-And then we made out.


-At the Met Ball.-And you... you were like,

you were like, "Yo, let's roll,"and I was like,

"Cyclops said, 'Let's roll'!"

-(laughter)-So yeah, you were...

no, you were...you are just as nice,

uh, off screenas you are on screen.

-So congratulations on allyour success. -Well, thank you.

I'm glad I lefta good impression on you.

-Yeah, you did.You definitely did. -Good.

You've had...you've had quite a career.

I mean, doing everything,from the X-Men series,

uh, The Notebook still makes people cry.

When people see youin the street,

do they feel sorry for you?Do they like, "Aw"?

Is this like that lovethat's left you...

Uh, no. Usually I'll get,um, nice people coming up

and saying, "You know what,I would have chosen you,"

and I go,"Ah, I don't believe you,

-(laughter) -but, um... butit's very sweet of you to say."

It's, uh... yeah, man,it's so much fun

watching all the rolesthat you take,

you know,everything that you do,

you've got this "good guy"about you.

You've got, you know...you're the person

that we feel we'll look toif something goes wrong.

-You have that face. -Right.Well, I-I'm fooling everyone.

Yeah, but if you werein a plane crash,

the people would look at youand then go,

"You're doing a thing, right?"


You know that.

Is that what,is that what they think?

That's the face you have.

You have a hero's face.

I'm like, "Don't look at me,I'm not doing anything, I'm not.

I cannot help you."

-Um, but...-(clears throat)

But thank you.That's very sweet of you to say.

But in the show,and this is hard for me,

'cause I don't wantto give away,

like, this storyis so intricate,

I'm gonna be careful notto give away any of the plot.

I just-- like,any of the storylines,

but-but you are playingsomewhat of a hero in Westworld.

Um, yes.

So, just for those of youwho haven't seen it yet.

Hopefully you all have seen it.

It was on, it was on last night,the first, uh, first episode.

But it's, um, it's Westworld.

It is a futuristicWestern theme park,

where paying guests can goand live out their fantasies,

be it nihilisticor violent or sexual

or G rated, um, you know,just sort of adventure things.

And the park is, uh,is inhabited with AI.

And they're indistinguishablefrom humans,

so you can basically goand kill people

and have sex with prostitutesand it's not really cheating

and it's not reallykilling someone.

Because it happened in the park.

I'm doing the reallytop-shelf version

of explaining what this show is.

Um... and, uh, yes,so I'm a newcomer to the park.

And, um, you-- again,they're indistinguishable.

You don't who's,who's a real live person

and who's a robot.

So how do the people figure outwho they can kill

and who they can't kill?

-You watch the show.-(laughter)

-Damn it.-Oh. No, so...

So the, um, the robot's gunsdon't work on the humans,

-but the humans' guns workon the robots. -Oh.

Okay, okay, 'cause-- Oh, yousee, I didn't realize.

'Cause there's a scene where,where you're riding a horse

and you're shooting.

Do you ride for real?

I-I did not ride muchbefore this show.

But they did, um...

They did teach us as-as wellas they could.

Um, we would...(laughs)

We had to learnhow to do the guns.

We had to learnhow to ride horses.

But they were very careful.

They didn't want to injureany of the actors.

It's a complex story as well.

Like you said,it's very top-shelf.

But what's-what's reallybeautiful in Westworld

is, it's a commentaryon society.

It's like everyone hasthese depraved feelings.

Everyone wants to, you know,

have these thingscome to fruition.

People want to killother people.

People want to be involvedin crimes.

It's an interesting world.

Is that why you chose to be partof the show?

Well, it, uh, it was a reallyinteresting st...

It was a movie in the '70s,but, uh, at an hour and a half,

you know, you-you can't reallydelve into the interesting

sort of themes that the,that the show...

W-We get to take, sort of,more of a novelistic approach.

Um, but it says so muchabout who we become

when no one's looking or whenthere are no repercussions

-or no consequences.-Yes.

And, um, you know, you getpeople who go to the park

and they just becomesavage murderers

and-and, you know,sexual sickos.

So it says a lot about, like,who we are when we...

when, you know, again,there's, like, no consequences.

But, um, so, yeah.

And it's-it's also like the nextstage of, you know,

where we're goingwith full immersion

virtual reality and gaming.

It's essentially Jurassic Park.

I mean,it's-it's Michael Crichton,

who also wrote, um... Jurassic Park.

I-I-I think it'sa fantastic idea,

because, like, if we could getthat technology,

a world that seems realbut isn't real,

then maybe we could makeDonald Trump the president

of that world,because let's be honest...

-Because let's be honest,-(cheering, applause)

we all, we all want to seewhat it would be like...

We all want to see what thatwould be like,

but we don't want to haveit happen.

Should we, should we invite himin for a guest spot?

You should invite him as a guestspot on the show,

-as one of the...-but keep him there.

He's the, like, sheriff of the,

-the robot sheriff of the town.-Keep him there.

And then we get to watch iton TV,

and just be like,see what he would have done

were he the actualpresident of the United States.

-I like that.-I think it's a brilliant idea.

I like that a lot.

Let's hope he's not busy.

(laughter and applause)

I like that a lot.

Thank you so much.

You can watch brand-new episodesof Westworld

Sundays at 9:00 p.m. on HBO.

James Marsden, everybody.

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