To an audience member, the Man in Black appears to be a villain on HBO’s science fiction thriller Westworld. To the show’s characters, he might seem like their savior. But to Ed Harris, he’s just another character in a career-defining role. The veteran actor, 67, stars as the mysterious Man in Black on the hit HBO drama Westworld, which takes place in an Old West-themed amusement park populated by lifelike robots known as hosts. Ed Harris Is Unsettlingly Excellent As The Man in Black on ‘Westworld’

Playing a Villain

Few actors can play a villain as well as Ed Harris. On the HBO series Westworld, Harris portrays the ruthless and often sociopathic Man in Black. He’s a guest at the eponymous park, where guests can live out their fantasies with the help of lifelike android hosts. The Man in Black is obsessed with finding the park’s hidden secrets, and he’s willing to hurt anyone who gets in his way. It doesn’t matter if they’re human or machine—he’ll do whatever it takes to find what he wants.

The New York Times described Harris’ performance as unsettlingly excellent. And while it might sound like fun watching him hunt down hosts, it’s not so much fun when you’re the one being hunted.

Ed Harris Is Unsettlingly Excellent As The Man in Black on 'Westworld'
Ed Harris Is Unsettlingly Excellent As The Man in Black on ‘Westworld’

Learning from his co-stars

Since its premiere in 2016, Ed Harris has been one of the most talked-about aspects of HBO’s Westworld. His portrayal of the sadistic, murderous Man in Black has earned him critical acclaim, and it’s easy to see why. Harris doesn’t just act like a despicable character; he becomes him, embodying all of his awfulness with such nuance that you can’t help but be drawn into his fascinating world. He really does embody this man, Thandie Newton told us at the Emmys red carpet last year when we asked about her experience acting opposite Harris.

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Bringing Details to Life

No one can deny that Ed Harris is a great actor. His role as The Man in Black on the HBO series Westworld is a perfect example of his range. In the show, he portrays a sadistic veteran guest attempting to uncover Westworld’s innermost secrets, including how to make it through to the park’s most challenging mission, The Maze. He also portrays William (seasons 2–4), a host replica of the Man in Black who replaced the original. While initially believing himself to be human, William is forced to confront the reality that he too is a synthetic and has been programmed with false memories by Ford.

What is the Man in Black looking for Westworld?

The Man in Black is looking for the deepest, darkest secrets that Westworld has to offer. He’s a sadistic veteran guest who takes pleasure in causing pain and suffering. He’s also incredibly intelligent and resourceful, able to easily manipulate the hosts to get what he wants. The Man in Black is a complex and fascinating character, and Ed Harris brings him to life perfectly. His performance is unnerving and captivating at the same time; it’ll be interesting to see how his relationship with Dolores develops over the course of season 2.

Ed Harris Is Unsettlingly Excellent As The Man in Black on 'Westworld'
Ed Harris Is Unsettlingly Excellent As The Man in Black on ‘Westworld’

How Harris Pulled Off Being Two People On ‘Westworld’

From the very first episode of Westworld, it’s clear that Ed Harris is playing a man with a darkness inside of him. And as the series has progressed, we’ve seen that darkness come out in full force. The Man in Black is consistently portrayed as an angry and sadistic individual who relentlessly pursues the park’s innermost secrets. He also happens to be William (seasons 2-4), a host replica of the original who replaced the original after his tragic death at Dolores’ hands. The death scene was apparently so realistic and brutal that Harris had to take some time off after filming it to recover from the physical trauma.

How to Pull Off a ‘Westworld’ Doppelgänger

When it comes to Ed Harris’ portrayal of the Man in Black on HBO’s Westworld, there’s just something about him that’s unsettlingly excellent. Even though he’s a guest at the park, he seems to have a more sinister agenda than most. And when it comes to playing the part of William, his doppelgänger, Harris is just as convincing. After the original Man in Black gets shot, and killed, by Teddy Flood (James Marsden), William takes over his role and identity.

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In season 2, we learn that both versions of Harris are hosts-William being a replica of the original. William carries out the rest of The Man in Black’s story arc while searching for The Door, which supposedly leads outside Westworld.

Jonathan Nolan Explains How He and His Team Created Two Ed Harrises for ‘Westworld’

It’s no secret that Ed Harris is one of the best actors working today. So when it was announced that he would be playing the lead role in Jonathan Nolan’s new TV series, Westworld, we were all very excited. But what we didn’t expect was for Nolan to create two separate versions of the character: the original Man in Black and his host replica, William. The challenge there was just in trying to make them feel as different as possible, Nolan says. It’s a subtle thing but you see it around the eyes and certain ways they move.

Ed Harris Is Unsettlingly Excellent As The Man in Black on 'Westworld'
Ed Harris Is Unsettlingly Excellent As The Man in Black on ‘Westworld’

Nolan also credits Harris with creating the performance difference, saying that when you look at them side by side you can see a lot of hard work went into making these characters not just similar but completely different.

Meet the Compositor Who Helped Make ‘Westworld’s’ Doppelgangers Possible

Westworld is a science fiction television series created by Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy. It is based on the 1973 film of the same name, which was written and directed by Michael Crichton. The series stars Evan Rachel Wood, Jeffrey Wright, James Marsden, Thandie Newton, Ed Harris, and Anthony Hopkins. I watched it for the first time when I got my HBO Now account at the beginning of October 2017 and it took me almost two months to get through Season 1. It is definitely not your typical thriller or crime drama that’s for sure! There are so many characters with confusing backstories who can seem as though they’re in different storylines but are really connected somehow that it takes some patience to figure out what exactly is going on. That being said, I loved every second I spent watching it.

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Nolan Reveals What Really Happened When HBO Shut Down Production on ‘Westworld’

In an interview with IndieWire, Nolan revealed that the shutdown was due to a technical issue with one of the sets. We had a bit of a crisis on set, said Nolan. One of our sets collapsed, and it took us a while to figure out how to rebuild it. Luckily, no one was injured in the accident.

Ed Harris Is Unsettlingly Excellent As The Man in Black on 'Westworld'
Ed Harris Is Unsettlingly Excellent As The Man in Black on ‘Westworld’

While production was halted, the cast and crew used the time to do some much-needed rest and relaxation. A break from the show has been more than welcome for me, admits Evan Rachel Wood (Dolores Abernathy). Filming for season two began in November 2016.

It is unclear when Westworld will return to HBO’s airwaves.

Why Viewers Aren’t Yet Aware That They’ve Seen Two Versions of Ed Harris’ Character

There are two versions of Ed Harris’ character on Westworld- the original and a host replica. The original is a sadistic veteran guest who is trying to uncover the park’s secrets. The replica is a host who has been created to replace the original. Viewers aren’t yet aware that they’ve seen two versions of Ed Harris’ character because the show hasn’t revealed that information yet. However, it’s clear that both versions are excellent actors and it’s unsettling to think about which one is real.

Inside HBO’s Maze-Like Stage for Those Intricate Delos Sets

Welcome to the set of Westworld, where no detail is too small and no shot is too complicated. HBO’s highly-anticipated show returns for its second season Sunday, and the crew has been hard at work to make sure everything is just right.

Ed Harris Is Unsettlingly Excellent As The Man in Black on 'Westworld'
Ed Harris Is Unsettlingly Excellent As The Man in Black on ‘Westworld’

Going Over Every Detail From Westworld’s Fourth Episode, ‘Dissonance Theory’

There are few TV shows that can keep me guessing like Westworld. Every time I think I have the show figured out, it throws me for a loop. The fourth episode of the season, Dissonance Theory, was no exception.

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