Westworld actor explains THAT surprise cameo – and how they kept it secret

There was an unexpectedly familiar face in season two episode two – contains spoilers

Ed Harris as The Man in Black in Westworld (Sky, HF)

If you thought you were done being surprised by Westworld, then think again – because season two episode two featured a surprise cameo that knocked the socks off just about everyone watching.

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Look away now if you haven’t seen the episode, and want to remain unspoiled…

Still here? Then you’ll already know that this week featured the surprise inclusion of actor Giancarlo Esposito, best known for playing drug kingpin Gus Fring in Breaking Bad and spin-off Better Call Saul.

However, Westworld saw the actor taking over the role of feared bandit El Lazo as he faced up to the Man in Black (Ed Harris).

The ruthless gunslinger is a staple of Westworld, and actually featured in season one – played by host Lawrence (Clifton Collins Jr) – but Esposito definitely made it his own after successfully keeping his involvement in the series a secret for months.

“I got a call [from the Westworld team] asking me if I liked the show,” Esposito told The Hollywood Reporter.

“I said that I loved the concept, I loved the original movie, and then I got a call of support from my people over at Better Call Saul. They told me: ‘They’re such great writers. They have envisioned something very different, and they can’t get you out of their heads for it.’

“I love Ed Harris, so sharing the screen with him is always such a treat. He’s a guy who really plays. And that’s when they asked it: ‘Can you keep all of this a secret?’ And I said, ‘Well, I can! I don’t know you’re going to do that! I can do my best!’ I think we did a pretty good job.”

He added: “The beauty of this show is that things can exist in different timelines and different places, which means they can unfold in different ways. I see what they’re going after: creating characters who are multidimensional within themselves.

Giancarlo Esposito as El Lazo in Westworld (HBO, HF)
Giancarlo Esposito as El Lazo in Westworld (HBO)

“You can see a character who is a completely different person, and you can see the carryover of what their history has imprinted upon them. They started talking about that, and I was sold. I thought it was such a fun show to work on, but also such an interesting storyline to be a part of.”

Given all these different timelines and places, could we be seeing the new El Lazo again, even after we saw him turn down the Man in Black and take his own life in episode two?

“I don’t know, but for me, I’m always imagining that if I did what I do best, and if we did create the sparks that we were hoping to create? Then I doubt it,” Esposito said.

“I have my senses that it’s a possibility this character has great potential and I’ll be back. We hope! But we don’t know. We’ll see what our creators think and what HBO thinks, but I certainly would love the opportunity.

“I think this is it for season two … but, again, you never know.”

Fingers crossed we’ll see El Lazo again – and that he’ll have even more oddly evocative elephant stories to share when he comes back.

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Westworld is available to watch on Sky Atlantic and NOW TV live and on demand every Monday from 2am