It’s a credit to the talent of actor Jeffrey Wright that he was able to portray a robot (Bernard Lowe) as one of the most human characters on Westworld. From the moment he appeared onscreen in season one, Bernard was likeable, sympathetic, and real. Although many fans later began to question whether Bernard could be a host, the reveal of his true nature in episode seven (“Trompe L’Oeil”) was still quite a shock to the audience.
In a new video from The Hollywood Reporter, Wright reveals that – unlike us – he was was not kept in the dark about Bernard. His character’s secret was meant to be a mystery, but Wright had to purposely leave clues along the way. “I found out [Bernard was a host] that morning that I showed up to shoot the scene,” he jokes. “No, I don’t think it would have been possible with this – I think what’s interesting about the show is that there was this big reveal. But if you look back at the previous episodes, you’ll see these breadcrumbs that are now more fluorescent – that were already there – but were just very subtle hints at where it was going.”
Wright recounts how awkward it was for showrunner Lisa Joy to reveal the secret to him. “I didn’t know when we shot the pilot. But when we came back to go into full production, Lisa Joy pulled me aside and said, ‘Uh, Bernard’s ah, ah,’” he laughs. “You know, this incredibly articulate woman who stumbled around for like, 20, 30 seconds, ‘Um, Um, he’s very complicated. How do I say this?’ and then she dropped it on me.”
Although filming Westworld was an intense experience, Wright made time to unwind. “I found a fantastic release…working out here on Westworld.” He continues, “I finally discovered the singular advantage of Los Angeles over New York is the ocean. So when I wasn’t working…I was straight the ocean and surf, and get in the waves and just be cleansed and away from it all. Not that it was a necessary escape, but I just found it clarifying, revitalizing…That’s become my thing.”
Watch the entire interview below.