Jimmi Simpson, who is nominated for outstanding guest actor in a drama series for his portrayal of William in “Westworld”, says it is amazing to be a part of such a complex show.
Created by Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan, “Westworld” is about a technologically advanced Wild-West-themed amusement park populated by android “hosts”, who are at the mercy of high-paying “guests” visiting the park to indulge their wildest fantasies.
The HBO show, which just finished its second season, has earned 21 Emmy nominations this year.
Simpson’s William is one of the key characters in the drama, who initially falls for an android but eventually turns into a brutal, dark man, who takes over the park as its owner.
“I feel so flattered. I feel so honoured to be considered one of the better guest performances of the year. It’s kind of beyond my wildest dreams because I never thought I’d be doing work as complex as Lisa (Joy) and Jonathan (Nolan) have created,” Simpson told The Hollywood Reporter.
“I’ve always hoped and wished but I didn’t really see it as my path and to not only be able to do that level of work, but then be included with these people that I’ve looked up to my whole life is amazing,” he said.
The actor said it was interesting to play the younger version of his ‘idol’ Ed Harris in the show where it is revealed that William, who is shown to be kind and empathic, is actually the Man in Black, one of the most villainous characters on the show.
“In the first season, I believe Ed might not have known that young William was him until the last episode or two because he was just focused, doing his thing and he’s like ‘Woah, you’re me?’ So we were doing completely separate characters,” he said.
Simpson said he watched Harris’ portrayal to understand his own character’s motivations in the second season.
“I’m eternally grateful for Ed Harris, not just for his talent but for being so kind. For being an idol and then being a kind person and sharing,” he added.
In June, Harris had said he was fascinated by the show but there was a lot of it that he did not understand.