It’s been a wild ride for Westworld viewers these past few weeks, as the shocks have been coming in thick and fast, and it doesn’t look like things will be slowing down any time soon. With a 90-minute finale on the horizon, one which will hopefully answer all our questions (and may just make you get up and clap), fans can hardly contain their excitement.
Most of that is due to the shocking reveal from the show’s last outing, where we learnt that Jeffrey Wright’s character, Bernard, is actually a copy of Dr. Ford’s old partner Arnold. Of course, that came after finding out that Bernard was a host – which was arguably a bigger twist – and watching him kill Theresa. It’s a lot to swallow, that’s for sure, and to top it all off, the character ended up shooting himself in the head at the end of episode 9.
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Whether or not Bernard will be back is hard to say, as a simple gunshot hasn’t stopped any host from re-appearing in the past, but for now, we’ll just have to wait until the finale this Sunday to see what happens. Hoping to make that wait a bit more bearable is Wright himself, who sat down with THR to talk about the shocking revelations.
First off, he was asked about how difficult it was having to play two characters and keeping it a secret for so long:
“Like most of the secrets with this series, it’s been pretty tough trying to dance around what in some ways is the obvious. I know people have been very excited about discovering the secrets through various theories, but everything has been shown really from the beginning. In some respects, these things were obvious. I think they’ll become more so when you trace the breadcrumbs back to the beginning. But we’ve been strangely open about these things.”
Further in the interview, he touched on the differences between Bernard and Arnold, saying that the former is more “clinical and detached.”
“I think there are subtle, tonal shades and differences between the two characters. That lives within the writing. Almost reflexively, I found that Arnold was a bit warmer. He’s a bit more available. We only see him in his relationship with Dolores. But it was odd, really. There’s more of a glow within him. There’s a smiling heart there. It was a very subtle shift. Whereas with Bernard, although he’s empathetic and empathizing, he’s still somewhat detached and somewhat more clinical. Obviously not to the extent that Ford is, but there’s something slightly less humane about him.”
Finally, he spoke about the explosive ending of the last episode, revealing that he was ready to move on from the scene by the fourth day filming it:
“I can say that the epicenter of all of that is this kind of interrogation and quote-unquote “self-exploration” scene with Ford in the lab down in the bowels of this place, behind this army of defunct hosts. We spent several days down there on those scenes and I was ready to get out of there by, like, the fourth day. It was pretty … you know. I love acting when it’s right and it’s fun, but I was ready to move on from that scene. (Laughs.)
Anthony Hopkins was sitting there on the other side of the room, kind of grinding Bernard into pretty much oblivion. It was good stuff, but … you know what it was? It really called on, as Evan has described, dredging up a lot of the themes in the mirror reflection that the show plays on. Who are we? Why are we? Are we missed? Are we not? How much of our personality is self-created and how much of it is organic? What makes us up? Not to be overblown about it, but it was pretty trippy in that regard. You’re basically as actors replicating to some extent what these hosts are tasked with doing. It was fun in that regard. I think as well, when the mirror reflects back on the audience, ideally they empathize, yes, but also recognize it as a metaphor for their own looks into the mirror at times.”
Westworld returns this Sunday to HBO for its season finale, and to get an idea of which questions it might answer, be sure to consult our recent feature, as it offers up some interesting theories about the show.