HBO Stars Take the Stage at the Crave Hotel

— November 15, 2018

By BILL HARRIS Special to Dragons, androids, gangsters, and goofballs. What could they possibly have in common? Well, they all were represented at the lavish and unique Crave Hotel event in Toronto on Wednesday, Nov. 14, courtesy of Liam Cunningham, Michael Kenneth Williams, Susie Essman, and Simon Quarterman. In a celebration of the all-new Crave, Cunningham (GAME OF THRONES), Williams (THE WIRE, BOARDWALK EMPIRE, THE NIGHT OF), Quarterman (WESTWORLD), and Essman (CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM) took part in a media question-and-answer session that predictably covered a wide range of topics. Attendees then were invited to tour a series of themed rooms relating to popular shows and movies on the all-new Crave, including rooms dedicated to GAME OF THRONES, WESTWORLD, hit original comedy LETTERKENNY, and films The Shape of Water and Jumanji. Cunningham, who plays Davos Seaworth on GAME OF THRONES, made everyone chuckle by comically warding off any questions about specific plot points in the upcoming eighth and final season of the landmark series, which comes to Crave in April 2019. “There are people who follow me around and make sure I don’t say anything,” Cunningham said. “Even my family - I think my house is bugged.” He was kidding … um, we think. Williams was asked why he has returned to the HBO family so often for so many different types of projects. “People ask me, what’s the difference between network or a cable station like HBO,” Williams explained. “And I say, network is like the zoo, HBO is the jungle. We get to run wild and be free.” Speaking of being wild and free, that’s the aim of the android “hosts” on WESTWORLD, isn’t it? But Quarterman, who plays Lee Sizemore, thinks the running theme of the series has to do with change, whether you’re a real person or a real robot. “In a lot of ways (Lee) is kind of going through what all the androids are going through,” Quarterman said. “They’ve all been running on patterns and loops their whole time, and he has been living in patterns and loops his whole time, and now he’s breaking free of those and learning there’s something underneath that.” Quarterman admitted that WESTWORLD can be so complex that he spends half his time trying to figure out what’s going on. But Essman, who plays Susie Greene on Larry David’s outrageous comedy CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM, has none of those concerns with her show. In fact, she said the only direction David ever has given her is “more” or “less.” That’s it. When you think about it, the Susie character has a bravery about her that perhaps is more relevant now than it ever has been. “People always think they’re responding to her, you know, saying the F-word and her screaming and yelling, but I think what they’re responding to is her complete and total comfort with her anger,” Essman said. “Because I think most women are taught not to be angry. And believe me, we’re all really f------- angry.” That moment provided the largest laugh of the night. Essman added, “This is the Susie dream time, but it took 18 years to get here!” Happy, sad, excited, angry - no matter what mood you’re in, apparently the Crave Hotel had a room for everyone. @billharris_tv