The veteran actor admits he didn't even know there was another actor playing the same character as him until he asked who Jimmi Simpson was.
It may be one of the most popular shows on television, but HBO's "Westworld" can also be one of the most confusing. Even series star Ed Harris admits he doesn't know what's going on.
Despite having a central role in the narrative so pivotal it takes two men to portray him (Jimmy Simpson brings to life a younger version of "The Man in Black"), the veteran actor admitted to Vulture," I'm as confused as anybody else watching this thing. I don't always know what's going on."
Many fans have taken to jumping online during and just after each weekly broadcast of the show to try and connect the dots and figure out who's what and where things are going. Harris, though, has simply accepted that he won't always know what's going on.
When asked how much of the online chatter he engages in, he said simply, "Absolutely none." He's content to be part of a successful show, adding, "I don’t really pay attention to all of the guesswork and what people are trying to figure out."
Harris' solution for that uncertainty as to the larger picture on "Westworld" is to just keep it simple. "I was going episode by episode, particularly scenes, characters, who I was working with, and what was going on. I didn’t really fret about what I didn’t know because I didn’t know what I didn’t know," he said. "I took it a script at a time, scene at a time, line at a time. Be present and real and tell the truth."
Surprisingly, Harris was just as in the dark about there being another version of his character as viewers were. "I saw a guy walking around the trailers and said, 'Who’s he?'" he recalled. "'That’s you.' 'Oh. Really? Thanks for telling me.'" Since then, he and Simpson have compared notes a bit on their shared character.
As for any input about that character, Harris told Vulture he only said, "I don't want to be in a samurai suit and I don't want to be naked."
He admitted a love for directing, lamenting that it's been a decade since he stepped behind the camera in that capacity. But while he has a labor of love project he's trying to get funded (an adaptation of "The Ploughman"), he'll probably never take the reins on an episode of his own TV show, even though it's been suggested to him.
For now, he's content to be a part of the action on a show that's only gaining in attention and buzz. "More people have probably seen ["Westworld"] than all the films I’ve ever made," Harris said. Just don't ask him to explain what's going on.