While Westworld has mainly captivated its viewers with its seemingly limitless mysteries (although the occasional orgy scene hasn’t hurt), the show’s real strength is in its characters, and the fabulous actors portraying them. And no one the show is more captivating than Sir Anthony Hopkins as Dr. Robert Ford.

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To demonstrate this, Nerdwriter dissects a scene from episode four that plays out between Ford and the Westworld park’s operations lead, Theresa Cullen (Sidse Babett Knudsen). Hopkins’ pacing is exquisite, particularly when it comes to showing Ford’s emotions. Throughout the conversation, he shifts easily between charm, condescension, and menace. Even his pauses—which are measured and poignant—slowly reveal his god complex, intimidating Theresa.

Hopkins’ secret is, apparently, obsessive study. Nerdwriter notes that the actor is known to read scripts hundreds of times until their recitation becomes automatic, allowing him to immerse himself so deeply in the role that he’s able to tweak moments on the fly.

Regardless of whether or not the show ever answers its many, many mysteries—and how satisfying those answers might or might not be—Westworld will remain a stupendous vehicle for some very talented actors.