We’ve been wrapped in the world of Westworld ever since it’s introduction in 2016. Now in it’s 4th Season, we caught up with Emily Somers ahead of her character’s introduction in the HBO’s Emmy Award Winning series, premiering on the 26th June.
Humbled by her introduction to the show. Somers explains how her character finds themself with their whole world turned upside down, as she questions the nature of her reality. A journey which she explains came about through being casted directly off the tape her agent [John Kelly] submitted to the producers of the show. With a special thanks to the incredible cast and crew she has had the pleasure and honour of working with.
Somers path to Westworld began in East Bay, San Francisco. Enrolled in ballet by her parents at the age of three, the actress found herself selected for one of the most prestigious companies in the county. Recalling how as a teenager, she was quite mischievous, sneaking into music venues, hanging out on a telegraph (as you do), and enjoying the social aspect that comes with being a teenager. Somers explains how at a certain point she gravitated away from dance towards theatre and acting. This path led the actress to the American Conservatory Theatre & the Dean Lesher Center for Performing Arts, where she was exposed to different cultures, with a wealth of talent that came from all walks of life. With a stint over in the UK at the British American Drama Academy for good measure.
Looking back, Somers believes her theatre training has been pivotal to providing her with a strong foundation for adapting her work into Film/TV. “I think all actors benefit from working in theatre, thinking on their feet and reacting truthfully during a live performance”. The actress goes onto highlight the opportunity of working with incredibly talented individuals that keeps her love for the work driving her forward through each gruelling audition.
“I love the human experience and the process of becoming someone else and shifting your perspective for a while. It’s much more interesting than just being yourself all the time… everyone’s work combining to create this tangible piece of art.”
When it comes to managing the nerves, Somers view is that the longer you have been acting, the more confidence you have in your set of tools to work through those nerves. Admitting that they will always be there to offer you a sense of fragility. The actress explains that she combats her nerves by being as prepared as possible for every audition opportunity that comes her way. Pointing out that sometimes, you have very little time to prepare, so you have to do the best with the circumstances you find yourself standing in front of.
The key she explains is to follow your heart. That if your desire is to be an actor, you will find a way to make it work. There will be times when you feel discouraged. At this point, this is where having your fellow actors to lean on is even more important, as you are all in the same boat. To trust yourself and the work that you are putting forward. To know when to take advice and when to graciously ignore it. Equally to find a balance and trusting your instincts. For the actress, the essence of a rich life will very often influence your creative work more than spending 24/7 in scene study classes.
Adapting a Female Novel into a Script
Whilst acting is very much a part of Emily Somers’ life. The actress has recently been involved in adapting a female-driven novel [Into the Valley] into a script. She explains that she first optioned the rights to Ruth Galm’s novel five years ago via Soho Press, leading to the book being adapted into a screenplay. The story (taking place in 1967) focuses on a female lead who is struggling with anxiety and gender-specific pressures to appear beautiful. All whilst managing the societal expectations of being composed, and becoming a wife and mother. Subsequently leading to a string of bank robberies in a Mustang! [What’s not to love about this story]! Currently in pre-production for a short film/proof of concept, the script is set to shoot in July (@intothevalleyfilm).
For Somers, Westworld is by far her proudest achievement to date. With optioning the rights and writing the screenplay for Into the Valley a very close second. You can catch the latest series of Westworld on Sky Atlantic and NOW from 27th June. #watchthisspace