The hosts are ready to take over the park when “Westworld” returns for season two on Sunday.
Clifton Collins Jr., the man behind the android Lawrence (also known as the outlaw El Lazo), is just as pumped as the fans to see the show back on HBO this weekend. Although the actor couldn’t spill too much about the new season, he’s very excited to see Lawrence continue his journey of self-discovery, a situation that the rests of the hosts—and even humans—also find themselves in.
“There’s an overall coming of consciousness, which I think is really important. It’s part of the theme,” Collins tells Metro. “It’s very relevant to the issues that are happening today too with people awakening to what’s really happening. Great art reflects our social times.”
Collins believes that the show parallels America’s current political climate in a lot of ways, particularly when it comes to the lack of empathy many well-to-do people have towards their struggling neighbors, and the danger of living in a system that lacks proper “checks and balances.”
“When people have unchecked power, there are some really banana things that end up happening, in our country in particular,” Collins says. “It’s unbelievable. I don’t even know what to say. I have more clarity in the confusion of ‘Westworld’ than I do in what’s happening within our own country at this moment.”
While “Westworld” seems to mirror the real world in several terrifying ways, Collins admits that the show does reflect some of the positive changes that are happening in society, especially when it comes to efforts to celebrate diversity. The actor praises the producers and showrunners for their willingness to cast talent from such a wide range of cultures and backgrounds, an issue that’s close to his heart.
Collins’ grandfather Pedro Gonzalez Gonzalez helped open the doors for Mexican actors in Hollywood, having appeared in numerous films opposite John Wayne. Collins pays homage to his grandfather on “Westworld” by wearing the same gun belt Gonzalez Gonzalez wore in the 1959 western “Rio Bravo.”
From George Lopez to Danny Trejo, many stars have told Collins that his grandfather influenced them to get into show business. The actor, of course, credits Gonzalez Gonzalez for inspiring him to pursue his dreams in Hollywood as well.
“He was the one voice that told me I could do it,” Collins says.
Another inspiration for Collins has been his “Westworld” co-star Ed Harris, who plays William, the mysterious Man in Black. Collins worked hard to gain Harris’ respect during the first season and is honored to have “found a great mentorship” in the acting icon.
Like their characters on the show, the duo have become friends in real life too, although Collins admits he’s still a bit of fanboy for Harris.
“We’re so blessed to be in a business where we get to become friends with people we’re also fans of,” Collins says. “I try to not fanboy out, but sometimes you can’t contain yourself.”
Fans can expect Lawrence and William to reunite for more adventures in season two, however, there will obviously be plenty of twists and turns along the way.
“Westworld” season two premieres April 22 at 9 p.m on HBO.