BIG BOLD SPOILER WARNING: This post CONTAINS SPOILERS for the Westworld Season 1 finale. You've been warned.
It is with a heavy heart now that we come to realize that the first season of #HBO's Westworld is well and truly over. It's been a wild ride for Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy's #scifi show, which went on to capture the hearts and conspiracy theories of people the world over.
A surprising amount of those fan theories turned out to be accurate, as we learned during the explosive season finale last week. One such twist was one that we'd expected for a while, but it still made the reveal no less incredible.
We speak of course of the true identity of Ed Harris's ruthless Man in Black. The Man in Black has been around since the very beginning of the series, in search of the mysterious Maze left behind by Arnold. As the layers of the mystery started to unfold, so we learned the true nature of the Maze, and the true identity of the Man in Black.
And so it was revealed that the Man in Black was in fact an older William (Jimmi Simpson), inspired by his meeting with Dolores Abernathy (Evan Rachel Wood) many years earlier. After purchasing a controlling interest in the park, he became determined to expose every last mystery of the world, casting aside his previously professed love for Dolores and becoming a cold and cruel man.
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While #Westworld was in production, such reveals were kept very hush hush, even from the cast and crew themselves. As Vanity Fair reports, not even Harris knew the truth about the Man in Black until the series had almost reached its conclusion. But Simpson — also kept in the dark about the twist — actually managed to figure it out for himself, and not in the same way all those clever Redditors did.
It was a minute detail that gave it away to the actor, one which fans would never know about. When Simpson was getting his hair and makeup done in preparation to film scenes as William, his makeup artist asked Simpson if he was alright with having his eyebrows tweezed in order to change the shape of them. Simpson wondered why they'd bother with his eyebrows, unless they were trying to make him look like another character on the show.
He then looked through the Rolodex of Westworld's main characters, specifically checking out everyone's eyebrows to see which bore a similarity to his now-arched ones. There was only one person whose eyebrows matched both his own and who spoke with a similar dialect to that of his character — and it was the Man in Black.
And, as he tells Vanity Fair, he figured it out well in advance of any of the other cast members knowing:
They didn’t reveal any of that to any of us until about [episode] eight, nine, or ten officially. This was probably seven months before I was supposed to know this, but I just said to Lisa [Joy], “Am I supposed to be Ed Harris?” She just froze and said, “I can't say anything, but I will say you have a hell of an arc this season.”
It's quite an attention to detail to have, to figure out the show's biggest twist from just the shape of someone's eyebrows. And he kept his promise to Joy, not discussing it with any other cast members — even though he says he felt "embarrassed" to know the twist before Harris did, as he considers him a "genius" actor, one who he has long looked up to.
It just goes to show, you can't keep anything secret these days — even from your actors. Especially if they happen to be Jimmi Simpson.
What was your favorite part of Westworld? Sound off in the comments below!
(Source: Vanity Fair)