The first season of Westworld, #HBO's newest hit, came to highly anticipated conclusion this past week. Though the series had us riveted, asking ourselves questions that only ever led to more questions, our desire to have all of them answered went woefully unfulfilled.
On the positive side, the show was a hurricane of A-list talent, and at the very center of it all was Oscar-winner and cinema legend #AnthonyHopkins, who plays park overlord Dr. Robert Ford.
Following the Season 1 finale, he sat down for an interview with EW and spoke about his character and how he brought Ford to life.
***WARNING: SPOILERS FOR SEASON 1 FINALE OF 'WESTWORLD' BELOW***
"You're Walt Disney Meets Frankenstein"
Though not a science fiction buff, Hopkins didn't hesitate in taking on the role of Dr. Robert Ford. It was showrunner Jonathan Nolan's unique description of the nefarious character that had Hopkins on board from the start:
So, [Jonathan Nolan], we met and he gave me the script. He said you play the man who invents Westworld. I said, “Is it like Walt Disney?” He said, “Yeah, but it’s even darker than that. It’s almost like a Frankenstein.” So I said, “Yes, I’ll do it.”
Breaking Down The Mind Of A Monster
It wasn't until the finale that we really started to learn the ultimate truths about #Westworld and Dr. Ford's true intentions for his creations and park. Though us viewers were left mostly confused by the episode's end, Anthony Hopkins wasn't even slightly in the dark. Speaking about the inner workings of Ford's brilliant mind, he revealed:
He wants to create a pure dystopia or utopia, but he begins to realize somewhere in there that he’s lost track of it. I think he’s troubled by his own conscience.
He spoke about how he searched the past - both his own and of #scifi - to create the man he brought to life.
There’s a movie with Walter Pidgeon called 'The Forbidden Planet.' Where Morbius creates this huge monster to guard his kingdom but he isn’t even aware that he’s created this monster until he realizes, “My god, I did this.” And then he destroys himself.
So What Was Ford's True Motivation?
When speaking about Ford's actions and why he did what he did, Hopkins didn't hesitate to call upon one of the deepest yearnings within us as a species.
It only happened very recently that we began to understand that consciousness was present in a voice. Where was that voice coming from? So they put two and two together. It must be an outside force. It’s God.
In the finale, the characters are presented with a picture of Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel painting, "The Creation of Adam." In the painting, the figures behind God are painted in an anatomically correct shape of the human brain, suggesting (as some believe) that God is all in the mind. Thus began Ford's journey and Hopkins' true discovery of his character.
But his [Michelangelo] message to the world, if there was a message there, was that God, the divine, is right here in the pineal gland. All human creativity comes out of that. But we couldn’t cope with it even though it’s obviously there.
It looks like we'll be grappling with these philosophical questions until #WestworldSeason2 returns in 2018.
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- Is Anthony Hopkins The Real Villain Of 'Westworld'?
- 'Westworld' Will Rise For Season 2, But Comes At Great Cost
What do you think the true meaning of 'Westworld's first season is? Do you think Hopkins might still return in season 2?