Thandie Newton was ready to quit acting


Thandie Newton was ready to quit acting before landing her role in 'Westworld'.

The 47-year-old actress - who has children Ripley, 19, Nico, 15, and Booker, five, with husband Ol Parker - had grown tired of "fighting" for her characters to be made more interesting and was frustrated by the sexist and racist attitudes she'd faced until she was offered the part of Maeve Millay in the dystopian drama.

She said: "I'd gotten to a point where I'd go to work on projects and would spend the whole time fighting to make the women more multidimensional. I was so exhausted with it.

"I'd just come off a show that was sexist and racist. When I said I don't think I should take my top off for a scene as it didn't make any sense, the producer literally said to me, 'Listen, kid, Thandie Newton, top off, ratings.' "

Thandie thinks android Maeve is the best role she's ever had.

She told the Sunday Times magazine: "Playing Maeve meant I wasn't separating myself into actress and activist. I was both on set every day. That's what it felt like."

And even though nudity was a big part of the initial pitch for the role, the actress understood why it was appropriate for the character.

She said: "It was a madam in a Wild West saloon, and 75% nudity.

"I love the showrunners [husband-and-wife Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy], they're both powerful feminists and they explained that the nudity was there to show how Maeve is dehumanised by her situation. She's basically treated like a piece of meat."

The 'Crash' actress thinks the film and TV industry has changed and grown more diverse since she began her career.

She said: "When I started out there were very few movies that were interesting. Because the industry was run by wealthy white people. But it's changing. Supply and demand. People want to turn on the TV and see people who look like them."