Westworld's Jeffrey Wright Explains Why The Show's Secrets Are Good For Viewers

Bernard Jeffrey Wright Westworld HBO

Westworld wouldn't be the same show without its secretive nature and, according to Bernard actor Jeffrey Wright, the series' secrecy serves a higher purpose than driving its devoted fanbase up the wall. Wright recently explained how the show's narrative sometimes hinges on keeping things under wraps, and in the end, winds up doing more good for the viewer's experience than bad. Here's how he puts it:

It's hard, but at the same time, it would make the job harder if you let these things out. It's not simply to be mysterious. These reveals are woven into the journey of discovery and the possibilities the technology creates. If it's known at the top that Anthony Hopkins is coming back this season, then the question becomes, 'Well, how does that happen?' Then we have to say, 'Oh, well, there's a simulation that exists where you can upload yourself.' There's so much narrative discovery that's given away. It's not simply to be cute; it's really to protect the audience's experience and protect the journey, and to protect all of the work that goes into creating the thing. The harder thing is talking about the show and not talking about the show at the same time. (Laughs.) That's a bit of a trick.

Jeffrey Wright's example really shows that there's no simple answer to a question about Westworld. Had the show's creators outright confirmed Anthony Hopkins returned in Season 2, fans would've inevitably had far more questions than that answer provided. Fans can attest to Wright's example that the reveal that Robert Ford was still alive was something better seen than heard in an interview, and it goes without saying that's the case with many of Westworld's reveals this season. Of course, there's also the devil's advocate perspective that suggests the crew could've simply stated Ford was alive, and told people they'll need to watch to find out how that's possible.

It's hard to argue that though, as no one may understand the purpose and beauty of Westworld's narrative process more than Jeffrey Wright. The actor has certainly been through the wringer this season, as in addition to playing both the original Arnold Weber and his host Bernard, Wright's host character is also dealing with a glitch of sorts that has him reliving various parts of his memory out of sequence.

That sounds challenging to portray as is, but then when Jeffrey Wright explained to THR he filmed all his scenes with Anthony Hopkins in the first four to five weeks of production and then went onto other stuff, it has to be almost impossible to keep the story and what was happening with Benard straight. Wright said that's why creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy are typically on hand before scenes and added he often exhausts every question he can think of to make sure he knows exactly what they want from him in a scene.

Westworld will say goodbye to Season 2 in its season finale on Sunday, June 24 at 9:00 p.m. ET. Fans upset that they'll soon need something else to watch needn't worry, as there are plenty of new and exciting sounding shows premiering each and every day this summer. See what all television has to offer via our summer premiere guide, or check out our Amazon and Netflix premiere guides to see specifically what's happening on the streaming side of things.

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick Joest is a Content Producer for CinemaBlend with his hand in an eclectic mix of television goodness. Star Trek is his main jam, but he also regularly reports on happenings in the world of Star Trek, WWE, Doctor Who, 90 Day Fiancé, Quantum Leap, and Big Brother. He graduated from the University of Southern Indiana with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Radio and Television. He's great at hosting panels and appearing on podcasts if given the chance as well.