One of the biggest stories leading up to the return of cowboy/sci-fi drama Westworld came when showrunners Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy offered fans an enticing opportunity – give them a thousand upvotes on reddit, and they’d release a video laying out the plot of the entire series.
The suggestion was that this release would circumvent fans guessing the twists of the series ahead of time (as they had for season one), while also preventing unauthorised leaks. However, when the target was reached it turned out the whole thing was an elaborate prank, with the video instead rickrolling the entire Westworld fandom via a musical performance by series star Evan Rachel Wood.
Frankly, they got us good – but it’s now been revealed that even some of the series’ cast were taken in by the deception, with Rodrigo Santoro (who plays outlaw host Hector Escaton in the HBO series) admitting to RadioTimes.com that he was caught off guard by the initial announcement.
“That was a joke, [but] I didn’t know!” Santoro told us.
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“I didn’t think they were going to spill the beans for real. Because it doesn’t really make sense. But for a moment, you get like…’What?!?’ You never know!
“With these guys, you never know what you’re about to do. It’s surprising for us, performers in the show. We don’t know. We don’t know anything at all.”
Still, Santoro says he was happy the fans remained unspoiled, as in his mind half the fun of the series is in trying to figure out what on Earth is going on.
“I think that the fun of the series is exactly NOT to know,” he said. “It’s exactly to not get all the answers. It’s the process of trying to figure it out, the puzzle.
“I think [in television] the viewer always wants to be a part of the process. So the end, the final result, is in the viewers’ mind. They want to complete the experience. They don’t want to have it all. That’s fine – it’s called entertainment.
“But I think a show like Westworld tries to go beyond that, and tries to explore human nature, free will, memory, humans and technology, and all those subjects.
“So in that way, the dynamic of having to try to, not guess what’s going to happen, but try to understand what’s going on in a rational level. It’s part of the thrill.”
With that in mind, Santoro says he’s completely supportive of those fans trying to guess the ending – even if it’s not something he’d do himself.
“Democracy,” he said. “It’s out there – the internet is out there, and everybody is expressing themselves, what they want to say. So, you can not read. You can not search. But people come up with theories, they will try to figure it out. And that’s their thing. You can do your thing.
“So I wouldn’t say this is bad or good. They’re just doing what they want to do.
“I personally, I don’t come to any conclusion,” he added. “I don’t think it’s possible, [but] I think I like to listen to the theories, I like to kind of juggle them, and see what makes sense, have fun, be amused by all that. But I never come to a conclusion, like ‘Oh, this is what it is.’ Because we don’t know.”
Still, Santoro said he could promise plenty of “twists and surprises” in the new series, so who knows? Maybe some of the newest online theories for season two are already approaching the truth.
Westworld Season 2 premieres on streaming service NOW TV and Sky Atlantic on Monday 23rd April at 2am. Episodes will be available weekly on demand and repeated at 9pm the same day