When it came to casting Westworld, HBO recruited some of the most famous actors working today—Sir Anthony Hopkins, Thandie Newton, Ed Harris, and Evan Rachel Wood, just to name a few. Then they rounded out the cast with lesser-known super-talents, like Angela Sarafyan, who plays Clementine, Maeve's best friend and fellow host.
So who is Angela Sarafyan? Here's what you need to know about the alluring Westworld actress.
She was born in Armenia.
Sarafyan was born in Yerevan, Armenia, in 1983.
"[Armenia] was really beautiful. There’s lots of flowers and fields of grass. I have very vivid memories of my grandma," she told Nylon in 2016. "When I was little, we used to take these long walks together in the moonlight. She would wear this beautiful long black coat and only burgundy lipstick and these cute little shoes."
She comes from a family of artists.
Sarafyan moved to Los Angeles with her family when she was four and tried her hand at ballet and piano before getting into acting. Her parents are both artists, so it was pretty much in her genes.
"My dad and mom both loved American culture—movies, cars, music. They were total hippies," she said. "My dad’s an actor and my mom’s a painter, so they were very 'Whatever, dude! Get me to California now!'"
She's not even remotely new to the acting scene.
Westworld might be Sarafyan's breakout role, but she's been acting for years—almost two decades, in fact. Her first acting credits came when she a teen in the early 2000s, on shows like Judging Amy and Buffy the Vampire Slayer (shockingly, she played a human, even though she has the perfect look for a BtVS vampire). And she has 27 movies and 28 TV shows under her belt, including appearances in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn—Part 2 and American Horror Story.
Her acting technique is very old school.
During an interview with Refinery29, Sarafyan revealed that she digs into literature when it comes to helping her find inspiration for her characters. It's something she learned from her acting teacher, so we can assume it's always been a part of her process.
"Yeah, my acting teacher would say, ‘If you’re not familiar with the great writings of playwrights like Tennessee Williams or Shakespeare or the huge library of characters and stories that exist, you can’t bring them into current-day roles,'" she said. "Like, for Alien, Sigourney Weaver drew inspiration from Henry V. Thinking she’d probably never get to play Henry V, she found him in her character Ellen Ripley."
She adored working with Anthony Hopkins on Westworld.
Which, duh, right? Who wouldn't?
"Anthony Hopkins is the kindest, sweetest, most creative person I've met," she told MarieClaire.com in December 2016. "He did something really insane between takes, out of nowhere. He started doing the lines from Silence of the Lambs, and I was like 'Oh my god, is this happening right now?' It was surreal. His voice changed, his demeanor changed, everything changed. He's a chameleon, in a matter of seconds he becomes something else."
She's a huge fan of Westworld too—and even comes up with her own fan theories.
When MarieClaire.com spoke with her, Sarafyan was very open about her own theories about Westworld—and very careful to stress that she doesn't actually know what's going to happen next on the show.
"I feel like a war is about to begin," she said of what she thinks is coming in the second season. "This is just a guess, but looking at where things ended, now it's going to the next level. The hosts are no longer under the control of these people, now it's time to fight back. What do you think?"
When asked for her theories about the hosts, like her own character, her answer offered a lot of insight into how she plays Clementine.
"I have a theory that the hosts are like babies. Whatever you do, they will learn, imitate, and do it back. It's like the purity and clarity of a newborn," she said. "If they're a clean slate, there's no agenda—just the need to survive. But at the same time, whatever is done to them remains in their memory. I think they have empathy, I think they do because they're these advanced creatures. But when they're constantly mistreated and used as toys—like that end scene with Teddy and Dolores—that inhumane treatment is what they suck into their brains."
She's friends with her Westworld costars in real life.
Sarafyan is friends with her Westworld costars Evan Rachel Wood and Shannon Woodward in real life. And, she takes a mean mirror selfie.
She's rumored to be dating Nick Jonas.
Her talent and strength have attracted more than just fans. Sarafyan is also rumored to be dating Nick Jonas. Although Us Weekly says the two are not exclusive (yet, anyway), he's apparently very into her. And why wouldn't he be? She's smart and talented and a total catch.