BY ALLIE WAXMAN
What Door? Westworld Actors React to ‘Trompe L’Oeil’
Sunday’s episode of Westworld shocked audiences and confirmed some heavily debated fan theories; it also left the door open for even more surprises before the end of the season. We caught up with Jeffrey Wright and Sidse Babett Knudsen, the actors behind Bernard and Theresa, for their reactions to Sunday’s big reveals.
Sidse Babett Knudsen, who plays Theresa Cullen describes her character as a “tough cookie,” but one whose pragmatism and attempts at self-control eventually led to her downfall. While Theresa would like to dial back her “emotional affect,” her humanity was starkly juxtaposed with that of Bernard, whose non-human programming compels him to mimic human imperfections. Knudsen acknowledges Theresa’s relationship with Bernard and her discovery of his history put her “in a very tender place. [She was] engaged in something that she thought was very human, and then it wasn’t.” While Theresa’s last moments were plagued with fear and utter shock, Knudsen would like her legacy to embody the spirit of accepting imperfections: “It has something to do with trying to be perfect although we cannot ever be perfect. We have to embrace that.”
Jeffrey Wright was as surprised about Bernard’s history as audiences were. “After I lifted my jaw off the floor?” Wright recalled. “Lisa [Joy] pulled me in her office and she said, ‘OK Jeffrey, I have to tell you... OK. Um. Jeffrey. How do I say this? Bernard is very complex. Uh, he’s verycomplex.’”
Wright sees Bernard as “an archaeologist for the audience, a detective trying to help them find their way behind the puzzle of what’s going on,” said the actor. “His journey of discovery is tied to the audience’s journey,” which makes his reveal all the more shocking. If Bernard, the audience’s window into the host and human world is, in fact, a host, how does that affect our expectations with respect to other characters?
For more inside information, head to DiscoverWestworld.com and chat with Westworld concierge, Aeden.
Every episode of Westworld is available on HBO.