‘Westworld': Aaron Paul on Caleb’s Instant Bond With Dolores and the Mystery of Francis

Actor also tells TheWrap about working with Marshawn Lynch, “a big, beautiful human being that has just zero filter”

Last Updated: March 15, 2020 @ 7:26 PM

(Warning: This post contains spoilers for the “Westworld” Season 3 premiere.)

The third season premiere of HBO’s “Westworld” is both one big introduction to new character Caleb (played by Aaron Paul) and one big reintroduction to Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood), the Host who led the robots uprising in Westworld and managed to make her way into the real world at the end of Season 2.

But it isn’t until the final moments of Sunday’s 1-hour, 8-minute episode, titled “Parce Domine,” that the two are introduced to each other. However, it only takes those few moments for a bond to be forged between the Host, who has just been severely injured by men who wanted her dead because of what they think she knows about Incite, and the human, a military vet-turned-construction worker who is just trying to make it through life in Los Angeles in the year 2058.

“He sees she’s in desperate need of help and he kind of runs to her side and that’s where their bond is made,” the “Breaking Bad” alum tells TheWrap.

Caleb knows absolutely nothing about Dolores at the time he stumbles upon her in a tunnel in Los Angeles’ MacArthur Park, except that she’s a badly injured woman — he has no idea she’s a robot. He just makes the choice to go to her and catch her bleeding body in his arms.

Unbeknownst to Caleb, Dolores is in this state because of a fight she got into with Liam Dempsey’s righthand man Martin Connells (Tommy Flanagan). And Connells was gonna try to do it with the drugs Caleb just so happened to deliver to the Incite team in the park earlier, so he could make some quick cash. But Dolores is not a victim — she kills Connells and replaces him with a Host.

But, again, Caleb knows absolutely none of this. He just happened to run across Dolores when he headed back to the MacArthur Park after cutting ties with his old military buddy Francis (played by Kid Cudi), who has been calling him throughout the entire premiere. He takes one more call from Francis, during which it is revealed that Francis is actually dead and this is just a futuristic service letting Caleb “talk” to him — a service that Caleb decides right then to unsubscribe from because it’s just not “real.”

“So when you’re first introduced to Caleb, he’s talking to his buddy Francis on a call and you realize that they have a very close relationship,” Paul says. “But it’s revealed in the end that it’s more of a form of therapy in a way to help him kind of deal with the loss of Francis and many other things. And so it’s a complicated world that Caleb lives in and all of the characters live in — as we all live in. So not everything is really as it seems.”

Paul couldn’t tell us much more about the rest of the season — at least nothing that we can share with you in this particular post — but he was able to tell us about working with NFL player Marshawn Lynch and “The Chi” creator Lena Waithe, both of whom were also new to “Westworld” this season.

“Well first of all, they’re just such amazing people, so fun to be around,” Paul said. “All of us, not just me — the cast, the whole crew — really looked forward to the days that they were on set.”

Viewers are introduced to Lynch’s character Giggles and Waithe’s Ash in the premiere, when Caleb meets up with them to pull some illegal activities to earn some extra cash.

“Marshawn is just such a big, beautiful human being that has just zero filter,” Paul said. “He’s just his beautiful self and he’s so incredible to be surrounded by. But yeah, I go, ‘I love that you’re a part of the show’ and he’s just like, ‘Yeah, I wanted to blow some things up and here we are.’ And they definitely allowed him to do that. He’s just so great. I mean, I don’t think he was really prepared for the hours we work… It was like 6 in the morning and he’s like, ‘I cannot believe we’re still here’ and I go, ‘Oh no, we’ll be here for a lot longer.'”

Readers can find our interview with “Westworld” creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy — in which they break down the premier episode and Incite even more — here.

“Westworld” airs Sundays at 9/8c on HBO.