Actress Katja Herbers books a stay at HBO’s Westworld


The Leftovers actress Katja Herbers can add another entry to her list of acclaimed projects, as she joins the cast of Westworld for season 2.

Caution: spoilers ahead.

It feels like forever since Evan Rachel Wood shot Anthony Hopkins on our TV screens, bringing season 1 of Westworld to a violent end. Rest assured, though: like its robotic characters, the show will come back. Filming on season 2, which has a vague 2018 premiere in its sights, is scheduled to begin this month.

For now, fans have to settle for speculation and the occasional scrap of news. Tuesday delivered one such scrap. HBO announced that the already-stacked cast has acquired a new member: Katja Herbers.

Though Herbers isn’t a household name, you might recognize the Dutch actress from a trio of high-profile shows. Okay, Manhattan isn’t exactly high-profile; airing on WGN America, which recently decided to cease all original programming, the World War II drama got canceled in 2015 after just two seasons. But it should be high-profile, because it was terrific, an incisive look at violence and secrecy in American culture. As ambitious scientist Helen Prins, Herbers brought a delightful screwball spark.

She also appeared in season 2 of The Americans and season 3 of The Leftovers, where she played another scientist. Both roles were small, but she nonetheless made an impression. Her gaze alone is enough to rivet.

Naturally, HBO’s description of Herbers’ Westworld character provides little detail. Grace is “a seasoned guest at Westworld whose latest visit comes at the park’s darkest hour.” That at least suggests that she is human. Is she among the guests at Ford’s tragic celebration? Frankly, as long as she gets to wear a cool costume and shoot a gun, we’re happy.

Apropos of nothing, the show’s official website got an intriguing new update. When you go to the homepage, it glitches and a box appears containing text: “Is anybody out there? Something’s gone wrong. We need help, can you hear th-” But before “unknown user” can finish, someone overrides the system. A new message appears: “All is well. Celebrations continue.”

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With the 2017 Primetime Emmy nominations coming out Thursday, we expect no shortage of celebrating for the Westworld team.