Westworld is a show that feels made for fan theories in ways that even other high-concept genre series just aren't, because it sets out to often deliberately misdirect the audience. From the very beginning, even before the series was clueing viewers in to the multiple timelines of its first season, fans all over the internet were developing elaborate hypotheses about the big reveals of Westworld's first year, including the past and present timelines and the true identity of the Man In Black.
A lot's changed since those early days, but fan theories are still an ever-present part of the Westworld ecosystem, even as the show branches out into the "new world" of its third season. We're now four episodes into the season, with plenty of big reveals along the way, but one character who remains shrouded in a good deal of mystery is Engerraund Serac (Vincent Cassel), the apparent mastermind behind the Rehoboam system who's on a mission to covertly buy out Delos and track down Dolores at the same time. Serac is a character whose appearances on the show so far have been limited, enigmatic, and very shadowy, which means fans everywhere are still trying to figure out exactly who he is. In fact, some are convinced that he's not even a human being at all. Well, we were able to talk to the man himself, Vincent Cassel, about that very topic.
**Warning: There are spoilers ahead for the first four episodes of Westworld, Season 3.**
In his earliest appearances in the new season, Serac was only shown in conversation with a single other character — in one case Maeve, in another Charlotte — and seemed to rely on the assistance of a handler (Pom Klementieff). By the end of Episode 3, he revealed himself to be a hologram while talking to Charlotte, which suggested that he was projecting himself out from another place. To some careful viewers, though, the very limited appearances of Serac combined with his overall demeanor suggested something more than a very private tech titan who wanted to keep his life under wraps. A fan theory began circulating, and gaining quite a bit of traction, that Serac wasn't actually a person, that he was instead an avatar developed by the Rehoboam system to represent its interests in the real world. In other words, Serac isn't just the man behind Rehoboam. Out in the world, he is Rehoboam.
While Episode 4 certainly could have poked some holes in this idea — as we saw Serac both interacting with other people and shooting a gun, among other things — we know that in Westworld, just about anything is possible in terms of making something appear human. So, is it possible?
Speaking to SYFY WIRE about his character, Cassel acknowledged that the theory was not exactly a crazy one given the nature of the show, but said it's not true of Serac.
"Well, I think that the show proposes such a crazy world where everything is possible," Cassel said. "I think it can drive the audience to think that would be a possibility, because there is stuff like that in the show. But then again, it’s not the case."
When we followed up to ask to confirm if Serac was a real person, Cassel replied: "He is a real guy."
Now, it's important to remember that this is Westworld we're talking about, so the definition of a "real guy" is a bit flexible, to say the least. That said, when it comes to the theory that Serac is an avatar for Rehoboam, Cassel seems to have laid it to rest.
Westworld airs Sundays at 9 p.m. EST on HBO. Check back later this week for more from our chat about the show with Vincent Cassel.