French actor Vincent Cassel joins cast of HBO's 'Westworld'

Los Angeles (AFP) –


French actor Vincent Cassel is joining the cast of HBO's "Westworld" for the mind-bending science-fiction drama's third season, set to air next year, his team has told AFP -- his first recurring television role.

The Tinseltown press first reported the casting news this week, with The Hollywood Reporter saying the 52-year-old Frenchman would be playing a villain.

"Westworld" unfolds in a near-future amusement park of sorts, where guests interact with androids in various settings and anything goes. But gradually, some of the androids start fighting back.

The series stars Evan Rachel Wood, Thandie Newton, Jeffrey Wright and Ed Harris. Also joining the cast for the new season are "Breaking Bad" alum Aaron Paul and actress-writer Lena Waithe.

Cassel's breakthrough role came in 1995 with "La Haine," a searing portrayal of life in Paris's racially polarized suburbs.

A series of big-screen roles followed in France, and then Cassel crossed over to Hollywood with featured parts in heist capers "Ocean's Twelve" and "Ocean's Thirteen."

He starred alongside Oscar winner Natalie Portman in the dark psychodrama "Black Swan."

In 2009, Cassel won the Cesar -- France's Oscars -- for best actor for his portrayal of legendary French gangster Jacques Mesrine in a two-part film.