HBO's Westworld is about a unique kind of amusement park: one inhabited by eerily human-seeming robots who cater to their guests' every need or fantasy. The series explores the running of the park from the day to day mechanics as hosts play out their narratives with guests to the behind the scenes work that keeps it all running. There is a busy fleet of technicians keeping everything running smoothly and managing the hosts to make sure nothing goes wrong. Of course, things do begin to go wrong, sending the technicians scrambling to clean up the mess. When all their efforts fail, there's only one person they can go to to fix it: the one man, played by Anthony Hopkins, who is ultimately in control of everything. So who does Anthony Hopkins play on Westworld?
Hopkins' Dr. Robert Ford is the first episode's Wizard of Oz, in a sense. He's a shadowy figure at first, often mentioned but rarely seen until everything starts to fall apart. He's the founder of the park and he's also the one who has final say in all of the updates to the hosts' technology. Composed and unshakeable, Ford can find an answer to every host's malfunction, but he's philosophic about his creations, too. It almost seems as though he wants them to malfunction; he's the one who introduces the update that results in the hosts going haywire and beginning to inch closer to true autonomy.
Hopkins discussed how much he liked playing the character with the Los Angeles Times. "I really enjoyed playing him," Hopkins said. "It's the most interesting part I've had in a long time because he had to say so many grand themes about the bicameral mind and consciousness and all that. And it gets more interesting." Ford begins to have doubts about the world he created because of how very dangerous it is, and he has good reason to doubt.
Ford is perhaps the most philosophical character in the ensemble. He's a creator with complete power over both his creations and the people who work for him, and there is a sense that he enjoys playing God. Allowing the hosts to push back against his control by giving them more freedom of thought provides him with more of a challenge, but it might result in more chaos than he can control. Like many characters who have reached incredible heights, he may be destroyed by the very world he built.