‘Westworld’s Leonardo Nam on Felix’s Return & More to His Story With Maeve
[Warning: This gallery contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 3, Episode 2 of Westworld, “The Winter Line.”]
Along with this re-acclimation came a major twist in which Maeve’s apparent reality of being reassigned to the park known as War World was in fact a fabrication. A virtual reality created by Westworld newbie Serac (Vincent Cassel), this episode brought viewers on one wild ride. Despite the faux reality, many familiar faces popped up, including fan favorite Felix Lutz (Leonardo Nam).
Below, the actor fills us in on the episode’s major twist, whether we’ll see more of Felix as the season progresses and what’s to come.
Felix returned this week and he was acting really strange and not like himself at all. What was your reaction to that major twist that Maeve’s “reality” wasn’t exactly that? I definitely didn’t see that coming.
Leonardo Nam: Yeah. I didn’t see that twist coming either. Are you kidding me? First of all, you’re ever so grateful that as an actor and your character is returning, and you hope that you never repeat yourself — that you find new direction. You have to keep people entertained, and part of that entertainment comes with — this show especially — the different twists and turns.
So when I first read it my jaw dropped. I mean my jaw always drops when I’m reading something from this show. I’m like, “How does [creators] Lisa [Joy] and Jonah [Nolan] think of these things?” It is just incredible to me. And it gets going further down this Westworld rabbit hole. So when I first read the script, I remember thinking, “this is impossible.What does it mean?”
The director of the episode was Richard Lewis, who is a producer on the show and has been on it since the first season didn’t know that much either. So I was like, “What does this mean? What world are we going into?” Because as we saw in Episode 1, everything was set in this new reality outside Westworld. And then this episode you’re like, “Hang on, is it all virtual?”
Exactly! It’s like, what’s actually happening?
So I think with the readers will definitely be in the same seat as I was watching the episode, but I hope that people are super excited and go on this wild journey that they’ve carved out for the viewers to see with Felix and with Westworld and with different shenanigans that are going on in that world.
The last time viewers saw Felix before this was on the beaches salvaging host corpses, among which were Maeve and Hector. Will we see more of Felix in reality as the season progresses?
I think that people need to watch and Felix is… he’s part of the show. You’ll see where he ends up, how he ends up.I remember one of the conversations that we had with the showrunners is that we always talked about what kind of characters these are. And one of the first things that we talked about was the idea of Hamlet and the idea of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern and how Lutz and Sylvester (Ptolemy Slocum) are the kind of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern of that world.
I always saw Felix as someone that had a living plant at his desk or in his locker, something that is organic. Something that he nurtures something that he, and to go on another level, it could be something that is completely organic or it could be something that is made to sprout. But he takes care of that, he has a nurturing ability —I’ve always seen him as a gardener of sorts constantly cultivating and nurturing the world around him. And I think you’ll see this kind of element folded into the season too.
One of this episode’s biggest introductions was Vincent Cassel’s Serac. Should we be weary of him since he’s clearly taken control of Maeve in a way we haven’t seen on the show before?
I can’t say much about that. But I’ve got to say, as an actor, I absolutely adore his work. I think he’s a fantastic actor. And what a wonderful get for the show, to get an actor of that caliber to step on board, to play this kind of a role. And all I can say is, this kind of the caliber of actor — they bring such texture to every role. So I don’t think people should just expect it to be a ho-hum role. That’s all I got to say.
Westworld is also a visually appealing show, where did you film your scenes? Were they abroad somewhere or based out of L.A.?
We filmed the first couple seasons up in Santa Clarita, California. And I don’t know if it was because of [the wildfires], but I think it’s because the show itself was [introducing] this outside world, that they moved it to downtown. So in the first couple of seasons we filmed up in Santa Clarita. In this season we’ve done the lab scenes downtown. But one of the consistent parts is that we filmed the parts of Delos in West Hollywood. So that’s remained the same.
So no outlandish locations for you?
It’s so interesting as the actor in the show it’s so many moving parts, so many people involved. But what I love about this, really become this little Westworld family, this little tribe of weird artists that get together and we just do our stuff and get all weird and jam together every couple of years. Everyone really roots for each other and not everyone goes to every location. So people are always like, “Oh, are you going to this location? Oh, are you going to this one?” So yeah, I mean everyone has that moment of like, “Oh, I wish I was going to Spain or Singapore this season.” But previously I remember they were all going to go to India.
Oh, wow. Really?
Everyone was like, “Oh, I want to go to India.” And we saw the scouting videos and but it didn’t end up happening. But who knows in the future where Felix was going to end up? So I would love to definitely be traveling with the show.
Have we seen Felix Lutz and Maeve Millay cross paths for the last time or is there more to their shared story?
I can’t really say too much about that. It is a beautiful love story that the creators have created. And I just have adored working with Thandie. I don’t think that you can ever say something’s going to be done, like that — something that’s so beautiful and integral to the show so far. I can’t wait for everyone to see how the season goes.
You’re also involved with HBO’s other series Room 104, which you’ll appear in for Season 4. What can you tease about that? Has the season finished filming?
Oh, yeah. We filmed it. I had such a ball, it was so fun. You want to talk about a band of other weird artists that get together? It’s that. I so love that. And in this project, it’s great. It’s a super retro take on a eternal story really of friendship and love. And it’s told in this weird Duplass crazy way. It’s a story of old sandbox friends. In primary school we’d met and then we meet again several years later. And it’s about how people evolve in life and how people start to become adults and the trials and tribulations of that and of friendship. We essentially come together through this video game that we used to play together, and it takes a wild ride where we start to become part of the video game too.
Westworld, Sundays 9/8c, HBO