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Jimmi Simpson’s Eyebrows Are the Key to Westworld’s Big Twist

Jimmi Simpson. Photo: HBO

Spoilers ahead for season one of Westworld.

Like every other actor stepping into Westworld, Jimmi Simpson hardly knew anything about his character’s arc before he began filming. He wasn’t even sure his character, William, would play a pivotal role in the season. And then, while getting his makeup done, he figured out his Westworld character’s big twist. The actor told Vanity Fair that he got to the bottom of William’s identity — that he was, as many fan theories have posited, the younger version of Ed Harris’s ruthless Man in Black — when a makeup artist on set asked if he could pluck his eyebrows.

“I was like, ‘Why would they change my eyebrows? Why in the world?’” Simpson told Vanity Fair. Those few little eyebrow hairs gave it away: “I started thinking the one reason was to make me look like someone else, and then I cycled through the Rolodex of the main players. There’s only one that really fit my look and dialect. They didn’t reveal any of that to any of us until about [episode] eight, nine, or ten officially,” he said. “This was probably seven months before I was supposed to know this, but I just said to Lisa [Joy], ‘Am I supposed to be Ed Harris?’ She just froze and said, ‘I can‘t say anything, but I will say you have a hell of an arc this season.’”

Of course, he couldn’t tell anyone else what he’d deduced, so poor Jimmi Simpson couldn’t even take to Reddit to discuss what he discovered about last night’s season finale.

How Jimmi Simpson Figured Out Westworld’s Twist