‘Westworld’s Jimmi Simpson Talks William and Dolores’ Big Moment, Fan Theories and More

John P. Johnson/HBO
Evan Rachel Wood and Jimmi Simpson in Westworld

Spoilers for Sunday night’s episode of Westworld below!

Westworld‘s seventh episode, “Trompe L’Oeil,” gave viewers a few of the things they’ve been looking for… finally!

Not only was a huge fan theory confirmed that is sure to put the Internet in a frenzy, but William (Jimmi Simpson) acted on his serious Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) crush in a steamy train car scene. Now that the two lovebirds are riding off into the (potentially dangerous) sunset together, we thought it was time to check in with Simpson to chat about William’s enlightenment, forming his own theories and more.

This is a big episode for William.
It definitely is. It’s a big episode for a lot of people. They’ve let a lot of things untied that start making a little more sense in the seventh episode.

We finally get some progress between William and Dolores. Were you happy to see him let go?
I really was. I didn’t have too much knowledge of what was going to happen. Evan and I were both really interested in what Jonathan [Nolan] and Lisa [Joy] were creating, but we didn’t know if they were going to connect fully. We’d walk by like, “Is this William and Dolores? Is this the episode where they finally? Is this it?” And ultimately there was one and we were just elated.

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It’s kind of funny that in a show like Westworld where there is so much nudity, there’s a sex scene with none. What do you think that says about the characters involved?
I think it says a lot. It’s kind of the indicator of where they’re coming from. Just like life, a lot of people go sex first and then they start to try to uncover the person, and these two do it the other way, so it’s more of an expression of accepting each other. It’s not about getting off or anything that most of the people in that park are aiming for.

Definitely, and just picking up on the word “person” there, we know William’s got a lot going on in his head right now. Does he still see Dolores as a host? Did you even know how he sees her when you were playing him?
It’s a pretty complicated situation because I would need constant guidance because yeah, I’m given the history of the man and I get to make my choices, but they’ve also written a very clear story. So I needed to make sure even if I wasn’t aiming towards where they’re going that when they get there, it’s the right guy.

They really laid out that, this man, William, is getting lost in his ability to connect with another person. Someone else who’s had all the odds against him and someone else who isn’t completely understood by those around them and that’s what he really relates to. At the same time, he didn’t accidentally start pursuing success in his career. He also wants that. I think it’s this lovely juxtaposition between a man who’s finally falling in love and a man who’s finally trying to give himself what he wants. So, on top of this new human that he’s interested in, and I call her human because I think that’s how she conveys herself to William, he’s also a little jazzed by the fact that he has been activated in this way. Not just in his love life. Some people have been saying, ‘Hey man, you’re pretty cool.’ He’s good at a lot of this stuff and he’s been getting that from a lot of people. I think that’s why William starts to take off in this episode. Not only is he finding Dolores, but he’s also finding himself a little.

He refers to Westworld as a storybook at one point, but it also feels like it’s very, very real to him. Do we see the lines blur even more going forward?
Absolutely. I think you see that through many of the characters in this story. I think that’s what Jonah and Lisa are talking about fundamentally, but for William’s reality, it only blurs more and more.

Logan (Ben Barnes) is mentioned in this episode briefly. Are we ever going to see them face each other again?
Oh yes, ma’am. I don’t know if I’m allowed to say that, f–k! I will say that there is more conflict between William and Logan ahead.

He could be The Villain potentially.
I think everybody has that potential. But, look what we just saw in our country, sometimes those who just flash and burn and take what they want, they really get their hands full of what they want. So that’s absolutely a potential for Ben Barnes’ character. I think he does such a killer job riding the line between, I am so delighted by this, and what a f–king monster.

Will we ever see William in a scene that takes place outside of Westworld? I feel like if we were going to go outside of the park or company, it would be with him.
I agree. I think that it’s pretty safe to say that this season is about the park and it’s focusing on the hosts and their experience. I’m lucky enough as William to be a major part of one of the host’s experience and therefore part of the narrative itself. But I don’t think they’d be mad at me for explaining that this season is about the park. When you get into the rest of the world, you’re getting into a whole other story where you’re explaining what this world is, and they have that ready for you, but I think that calls for it’s own storyline. I’m predicting it’s for Season 2 or later.

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Have you been paying any attention to the fan theories going around the web?
Well, of course. I read them and we all share them with each other.

Did you have your own theories while shooting?
We all did this exact same thing as we got the scripts. We truly would gather around the proverbial campfire and say, ‘Oh now this is happening? Oh s–t you were right!” It was obsessive while we were shooting. And I will say, Evan, for the amount of work she was putting forth every day on that show, she put the same amount of work into figuring it out before they told her. She was the most excited cast member I’ve ever seen. It was pretty amazing to see so many artists so excited to be working on something.

So how much did everyone freak out about the Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) reveal?
There was a sound that day across the set… I think it was 200 people sh–ting their pants, all at the same time. We all questioned everyone’s human validity throughout, but no one was really stuck on him. Once that was revealed, we just thought it was so brilliantly executed. We all ran over to Jeffrey like, “Did you know?! How long did you know?! You didn’t tell us, you motherf–ker!”

Even though it was a theory for awhile, I would’ve never guessed otherwise.
I don’t know exactly when Jeffrey was hip to it; whether he knew or he didn’t, what a brilliant execution of a robot.

So going back to the fan theories: What would you say to the people that think that William could be a younger version of the Man in Black (Ed Harris)?
Well, I’d say you know, a solid pickup on some things that would certainly indicate that it’s a possibility. That’s the glory of the show—that there’s so many things, you don’t know which ones are actually pointing you to an actual endgame. Sometimes, they’re there and they’re temporary, and they lead you to believe it all means this thing and it’s like, “Oh no, that was just this thing,” [Gasps] “That’s what this is?”

Let me just say, to even be compared or considered to be an incarnation of that man, I’m beyond flattered.

Where are Dolores and William even going? Is there anything you can tease about that?
If you’ve been paying attention to the things she’s been seeing and feeling, then you know where they’re going, and only makes more and more sense as we get to this end run.

Westworld, Sundays, 9/8c, HBO