‘Westworld’ Star Jeffrey Wright on Bernard’s Journey & Season 4’s Big Ideas

    [Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Westworld, Season 4, Episodes 1-7.]

    Westworld‘s fourth season is steadily approaching its finale, and with it has come plenty of revelations, particularly in the penultimate installment, “Metanoia.”

    Throughout the season, Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) has been able to predict what’s coming next after running through every possible calculation. Understanding the path he’s heading down, he recruits Maeve (Thandiwe Newton) to help him unlock the Sublime before targeting Hale’s (Tessa Thompson) operation in New York. He leads the front of what is seemingly a doomed mission, stating repeatedly that they need to preserve hope, even if their efforts are hopeless.

    Bernard, along with several others, ends up dead by the end of the episode as the Man in Black (Ed Harris) triggers one last game. But is it really the end for one of our favorite hosts? Below, Wright opens up about some of the questions posed in the penultimate episode and teases where things might be heading for the Season 4 finale.

    westworld Season 4 Jeffrey wright Thandiwe Newton

    (Credit: HBO)

    Is Bernard trustworthy this season? He claims he knows what’s coming, but then keeps things hidden from those around him.

    Jeffrey Wright: I think Bernard is trustworthy. He either knows a little bit more than most of the others, or he knows a lot less. And sometimes in knowing more, he knows less, but I think Bernard is trustworthy. I’m not sure if the narrator in the sky above our show is necessarily always trustworthy though, in the short term. In the long term, yes. But perhaps in the short term, you’ve got to keep your eyes open.

    Bernard knows a lot this season, but do you know as much when it comes to filming? Do Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy share details before handing you a script?

    Yeah, I know each season. Well, at least this season, I understood the nature of Bernard’s journey and of his abilities. And I was made aware of what he had discovered in between seasons, but the details are filled in from script to script. So I had a very broad sense of the arc, but the specifics remain to be discovered along the way.

    On his and Maeve’s walk to the Sublime’s gate, Bernard stashes something. Will we learn what it is or what its purpose is?

    Oh, I think everything that you see on the screen is to be taken into consideration. If there is anything fans have learned from the beginning of our show, it’s that everything has its purpose.

    Westworld Season 4 Ed Harris

    (Credit: HBO)

    It’s always tough to know for sure, but is Bernard really dead this time?

    Well, it seemed pretty final.

    Is that tough for you, saying goodbye to a character that you have played for so long and ultimately was one of the key individuals in helping free humanity and free the hosts from their loops?

    Yeah. I mean, it’s been a great journey for Bernard and for me with the character over these many years. It’s been eight years of working on this show. And so yeah, there’s a lot of stuff behind a moment like that. But at the same time, I’ve worked on our show long enough, and I think people have watched our show long enough, to know that anything is possible.

    You share a major scene with Ed Harris’s Man in Black. What was it like getting to bring things full circle as he triggered one final game?

    Yeah. Ed is a lion of an actor and his character is always up to a lot of no good. So whenever we cross paths — and it’s not often — there’s going to be a lot at stake. So I absolutely enjoy working with Ed for that reason, because of who he is as an actor and also because of this mad character that he plays. It’s good fun.

    westworld season 4 jeffrey wright thandiwe newton

    (Credit: HBO)

    Did Bernard lie when he implied Stubbs would be dying in the fight against Hale’s hosts?

    I would say after last night, I don’t know. But perhaps stay tuned.

    Is there a bigger realization to be made among the hosts themselves about how they’re present in this world? Bernard told Maeve she was a copy and not really there, and likewise, Teddy told Christina the same thing.

    I think that’s a core question that the show asks. But I’m not sure it’s asked of the hosts, but of the audience. Those are two different moments with Maeve and with Dolores. I found that moment with Dolores to be really incredible because what we now understand is that Christina is an AI system, what we always knew. But now what we realize is that she is an AI system who has this life and this purpose and this productivity within the world, but she’s not necessarily of the world, which speaks to the nature of her consciousness in a way. I think that resonates as a question regarding the nature of human consciousness, too.

    We’re both electromagnetic at our core and we’ve got this hardware that allows for all that electromagnetic activity. And so then the question for me after the [most recent episode] and thinking about that moment was, again, who is the host and who’s the human? Or are we all hosts? It was just a super … one of those moments that our show has every once in a while, that throws open the curtain and lets the light in on some really interesting and poignant questions.

    Westworld, Season 4 Finale, Sunday, August 14, 9/8c, HBO and HBO Max

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