‘Westworld’ Star Jimmi Simpson on Evan Rachel Wood, Plot Secrets, and Why Logan Is Such a Jerk
Four episodes into “Westworld,” Jimmi Simpson’s William is the character most easy to empathize with. A sensitive guy with a taste for adventure, but not for the seedier aspects of the fictional, anything-goes theme park he finds himself in, William is who most “Westworld” viewers probably imagine they would be if they were in the world of the show.
It’s not the sort of character that Simpson has often played.
“I’m normally jumping out of the closet and scaring people,” Simpson says. “I didn’t expect to play anything other than the variety of cool parts I’ve had. To be able to try my hand at playing a real human boy was just not something I expected anyone to let me do.”
Simpson spoke with Variety about his work on HBO’s “Westworld” and this week’s episode, “Dissonance Theory.”
Why is it that Jimmy appears to be more sensitive to the hosts than most of the other guests in the park are? The general clientele is wealthy and privileged and are used to getting what they want. The park is designed for people like that — for folks who want to go in there and tear s–t up, whereas William is brought in by his family member, his coworker, as a bit of a vetting process. So William is not there with any intention. He’s just there to cover himself and make sure he doesn’t do anything too sh–ty. So he’s got his eyes open and is just watching what happens.
Do you think William works as a proxy for the viewer? I do, because I think most of us are more like William than Logan. Most of us aren’t handed everything. So we all are trained to pay attention before we make moves and figure out our surroundings. That’s what William’s doing, and that’s what most of us would do.
Why is Logan such a jerk? It’s about that degree of entitlement being turned up. We all know someone who has always had everything they wanted, and some of those people are completely unable to see everyone else around them. All they’re able to do is indulge themselves. When Logan steps into the park he takes it to another level. He doesn’t even feel the need to be polite, because it’s not the real world. He is just who he would truly be if he was given a god scepter.
“Do you know what you’d be right now without me? Nothing! Nobody turns their back on me unless they want me to sink an axe into it, you ungrateful shit! Oh ho, I am not gonna forget this: Fiona? Sasha? Vaughn? They’re all dead! Anyone you’ve ever cared about is gonna meet their pathetic end with my hands around their throats, squeezing the life out of them. And once they’re dead, I’m going to make ‘em my fleshbots, and you’re gonna watch as your best friends tear you limb from friggin’ limb!”