Angela Sarafyan Talks About King Knight And Her Future In Westworld - Exclusive Interview

Contains slight spoilers for "King Knight"

Angela Sarafyan is an Armenian American actress known for her roles in films like "The Immigrant," "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2," and "Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile." She's also had a leading role as Clementine Pennyfeather in the HBO series "Westworld" since 2016. Sarafyan's latest film, "King Knight," is coming out in select theaters and on-demand on February 17, 2022. In the film, Sarafyan stars as Willow alongside Matthew Gray Gubler, who plays her life partner Thorn. The unique comedy centers around the couple and their coven of new-age witches who are sent spiraling when a secret from Thorn's past is revealed.

During an exclusive interview with The List, Sarafyan discussed what made this project special and why she'd jump at the opportunity to work with anyone from "King Knight" again. The actress also shared how similar she is to her character Willow and how she's grown along with her role in "Westworld."

What drew Sarafyan to King Knight

Was there anything about "King Knight" that first drew you to the project?

Yeah, I really loved the story and the way it's told, the tone it's told in and the humor, the relationships, the message. When I read it, Ricky (Richard Bates Jr.) reached out — he had written a letter with the script asking me to be a part of the story. After reading it, I was very, very excited to meet him and see how it's going to go. We had one rehearsal, a few days prior, and we started filming, and it was really funny.

And, like you said, the humor of this movie it's very unique. What was that like when you were first reading it? Did it come across in the script?

Oh yeah, it completely comes across in the script. When I read it, I was like, "I've never seen anyone necessarily" ... It comes out almost like the weirdest moments because it feels as though it's not trying to be funny. The situations were making it funny, and I found it to be a style I'd never read before. I was very drawn because of that, and I knew Matthew (Gray Gubler) from before, so it seemed like an exciting part to play this kind of character that was quite different for me.

The characters, they're all taking the situations very seriously even though it's these kind of comedic scenes that are happening. Was it hard to keep that very straight face and take everything so seriously and not break?

Yes. There were moments [when] it was really hard because I remember specifically, there's a second where Josh Fadem is drawing his ... Do you remember when they all come and he's drawing the person before (his ex), and what he's drawing, because he's in a relationship with a man, is a woman. I don't know if anyone can see that, but I saw it, and it started to make me laugh because I don't know if it was necessarily in the script. We later find out that he's, well, you know...

It was really funny, that moment. There was another moment with Matthew in the kitchen. It was so funny. Everybody on this is really funny, but it was more touching. It was really touching how they were playing the roles that I loved.

The larger message of the film and connecting to her character

Do you feel like it is this very funny and kind of quirky movie, but do you feel like there was this bigger message and a more touching feeling that's coming out of it as well?

Of course. I think this movie really is about outcasts. It is really about people that are from different walks of life, right? I had a really interesting conversation right before you and I got together. Gais, this writer, and I were talking, and he said something really, really moving for me, which was that we find our tribes. Initially, we might all be outcasts, or we might come from different worlds, but the right people we find in the day become our tribe. And so it's really about accepting all of yourself. 

There are so many poignant messages like that, in different ways, about loving the person that you are. If you might have been a loner in high school, the president, the prom king, or whatever, you still might connect somehow in the world, opposites might attract. That was one of many moments that I was into the story.

What were your favorite things about your character Willow?

I love that she was in love with her man. I love that she was the person that really believed in goodness and kindness but had boundaries. If someone was going to do something bad, she was going to put them in their place, and she was always going to support her husband. She was going to be there for him even when he felt that he had to go through it alone, but she was going to be there. She saw him overcome his greatest fear, one of which is dancing.

Were there any ways that you connected to Willow's personally?

Yeah, it's funny. I'm very similar to her. I wasn't cool in high school. I was a girl that was hanging out at the library. I was alone most of the time. I didn't have too many friends, hardly any. I knew a lot of people, but they weren't my friends, necessarily. I'm still sort of like that. I don't have too many friends. I tend to have a small clique of people, like three. For me, that world was very relatable where she comes from. I'm not a witch, but I could see the white witch qualities about loving to be loving and kind. Those are the aspects.

Why she'd want to work with Matthew Gray Gubler again

You and Matthew (Gray Gubler) have a really great dynamic throughout the movie. What was that like working with him in the film?

It was a lot of fun, he's really sweet. I learned more and more about him throughout the film. He wrote a book. I don't know if you know that, but he writes children's books.

Oh really?

Yeah. "Rumple Buttercup." It's such a sweet book, and it's really about the same thing. It's about accepting who you are, loving the person that you are. Maybe other people think that you're strange. Maybe other people think that you are not cool or whatever, but it's the things that make us different that are the things that make us special. That's what this book is, and that's what the movie is.

I know that some of my favorite scenes to watch were the scenes where the whole coven was together. What were those like filming? Were they a lot of fun behind the scenes?

They were really fun. Everybody involved was so sweet. They all got along, and they're so funny. Everyone was really funny, so we would hang out in between takes and laugh and have a good time and play cards. It was such a lovely experience.

Would you want to do more comedies like this in the future?

I would, very much. I would work with everybody on this cast. If they asked me to do something, I'd do it in a heartbeat, no matter how big or small. I would love to work with Ricky again and Matthew again, everyone.

How Sarafyan has grown with her Westworld character

You're also in "Westworld," which is a very different vibe than this movie. What is it like working on such different projects like that?

It's interesting. This film felt like being in camp. The night was like hanging out with a bunch of people your age, and you're having a good time. When I was doing "Westworld," it's massive. It's so big, but also you have your group of friends there, the camera operators and the producers and the other actors, everyone, you become kind of a family.

I've been working on it for seven years now. Clementine is one of my favorite characters I've ever played. I love her, and I love the journey that she's been on. She's a big part of that experience, and Willow is like this flower, like this deer, like something else. I'm grateful that these characters came to me when they did because I think there's an interesting, universal connection. They might be accidental, but they might not be accidental.

Are you excited for how Clementine's story is continuing into the next season and for people to see that?

I don't know if it's continuing. You guys have to wait and see.

With "Westworld," there's obviously a lot of fan theories all the time. Do you ever like to look at those and seeing how invested people get in the story?

I remember Season 1, when it came out, Jon Nolan had been saying that he was reading the Reddit, everything that was written in Reddit about it. And he was like, they were just so entertained by all these theories and all the different ideas, and I love that too. I used to read them just going, wow, that's maybe that, maybe this, maybe it could go that way. And he would make jokes, Lisa (Joy) and Jon would make jokes saying, "oh, we're going to have them come in, write season two and season three, cause they had such great ideas." To be in a writer's room where you can decide the fate of the story, where it goes, what happens to the roles. It's something else.

Yeah, and this is a project that has spanned so many years. What's it like playing a character who people have had so much time to get attached to and to connect to?

I've had the opportunity to grow with her. Where I was seven years ago and where I am now are very different. It's interesting how they've written the role because I think she's also grown, quite a bit. There were these parallel realities happening at the same time.

King Knight will premiere in select theaters and be available on demand and digitally February, 17, 2022.