How Daniel Wu Reacted to That Shocking Westworld Scene

Daniel Wu spoke to E! News about Westworld's latest episode, in which the rebel group faces an unexpected obstacle to their fight against the hosts.

By Cydney Contreras Aug 01, 2022 2:00 PMTags
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Warning: Spoilers ahead!

When it comes to Westworld, always expect the unexpected.

That's all the cast can really do anyway. As Aurora Perrineau previously told E!, the actors only get the scripts for the episodes once they're ready to film it. So Daniel Wu was completely unaware that his character Jay, a rebel leader, would become a host and later be stabbed in the head by Maeve (Thandiwe Newton)—all of which happened in episode six. 

"I was definitely shocked," he told E! News. "I didn't find out until right before episode five and I was like, 'Whoa, that would have been nice if I'd known earlier.'"

After the shock wore off though, Daniel was grateful for the secrecy because he felt that his performance was unmarred by this knowledge. As he explained, "Jay doesn't know that that's gonna happen. So therefore, the actor shouldn't know either."

But Daniel wasn't completely in the dark when it came to Jay's story. Before filming started, he sat down with showrunner Lisa Joy to discuss Jay's experience losing his brother and how that grief impacted his relationship with Aurora's Frankie. He noted that this conversation was especially important, because Jay's character is slowly introduced throughout the first episodes. 

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"As the actor, there's not much there on the page for me to refer to, so I relied on Lisa heavily to be able to tell me the whole backstory of his character," he explained. "Having that was essential for me to figure out how to play this character."

John Johnson/HBO

Other aspects of the role came to Daniel more easily, like the stunt choreography as the actor is trained in martial arts. In fact, he "toned down" the stunt work for the sake of the character, noting that he could've whipped out some crazy moves, but it didn't suit Jay's experience. "He was a layman that got pulled into this group of outliers and then became a rebel leader, kind of military guy, but he's not a kung fu guy," he explained. "So his fighting is a lot more practical and pragmatic."

But these moves weren't enough to save Jay from Maeve's blade. 

And though Daniel's time as Jay is over for now, he plans to continue watching Westworld, as he has since season one. The show's grabbed his attention with its analysis of society and technology, saying that he's fascinated by the dilemmas it poses. "The most interesting takeaway from Westworld is that it's questioning those decisions we make as humans," he explained. "It's not about the tech being bad for us. It's about us making the bad decision to make that tech."

John Johnson/HBO

On the bright side, the fictional technology in Westworld means there's always a possibility Daniel could return as Jay in potential future seasons. He remembered asking Lisa if he's officially done with the show, saying, "She goes, 'Yeah, but you're a host now.' I go, 'What do you mean?' She goes, 'Hosts can always come back.'"

Again, expect the unexpected.

Westworld airs Sundays on HBO and HBO Max.

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