That Time When is Interview’s weekly trip through the pop cultural space-time continuum, where we return to some of the most overlooked moments from issues past. In this edition, we revisit our May 2006 issue with cover star Evan Rachel Wood, the robot queen of HBOs Westworld.
Westworld is a scary show, and Evan Rachel Wood is maybe the most disturbing part of it. It’s not murder, sex robots, or the horrifying manifestation of humanity’s technological hubris that most unnerves viewers, but her witchy powers. Wood’s transformation from country girl to merciless overlord of the AI army? Not natural, too convincing. One might say she’s doing her job a bit too well. It’s no wonder—she’s been preparing for this role her entire life. Our May 2006 issue—which she graced with Edward Norton—unearthed some long forgotten knowledge: Evan Rachel Wood is a horse girl! In an interview that rode on the back of 2005’s Down in the Valley, a quasi-Western, interviewer Roberto Benabib (from Weeds) took her to the wild, wild country:
ROBERTO BENABIB: Do westerns resonate with your generation, or are they a little foreign to young people? Because they seem to have died out, in a way.
EVAN RACHEL WOOD: Westerns definitely mean a lot to me.
BENABIB: Is it the lifestyle or the actual movies?
WOOD: Both. I’ve been riding horses since I was little, and my mom is big into Westerns and horses and cowboys. It’s like cowboys are just their own race. You never meet anybody else like them. Even if they’re mean, they’re charming, because they’ve got this hardness to them, but then you see them with their horses, see how much they love them, how much they take care of them, how gentle and sweet they can be.
Is Wood’s role in Westworld just more evidence of Hollywood type-casting, or is Evan Rachel Wood actually a robot who has been artificially implanted with false horse loving memories who has been trapped performing in Westerns and is now planning her bloodthirsty revenge? Difficult to say. With the new season out March 15, there may be more clues to mine.