“The most intriguing thing is that we all as human beings hide everything – to the nth degree. We go so far to hide everything that’s happening inside of us. I think that’s really interesting to watch,” said Rami Malek about his character, erratic hacker Elliot Alderson, in “Mr. Robot.” He was talking to Emmy voters in New York City on June 6 and was joined on the panel by co-stars Christian Slater, Carly Chaikin and Portia Doubleday.
Season one of “Mr. Robot” premiered last summer to rapturous critical praise. Over the course of 10 episodes it developed a cult following and won Best Drama Series at last winter’s Golden Globes and Critics’ Choice Awards. “When we started out we didn’t know it was going to hit the way it did,” Malek admitted, “and when that’s all developing as you’re shooting there’s a special atmosphere that binds you because you know you’re part of something special.”
Doubleday agreed, adding, “I remember we did a table read for episode nine, and I think that’s when it really hit me. This is insane, do you realize what we’re doing and what we’re a part of?”
The show is eerily prescient in an era when cyber-crime, cyber-activism and hacking have become widespread concerns – from Edward Snowden blowing the whistle on the NSA to Ashley Madison accounts going public. As Slater explained, “The world is unfolding and things are happening, and there may be things that we’ve done that, god forbid, might happen in the future. There were definitely times, even in season one, when you’re filming the episode and you open up the paper – oh my god, we’re shooting this and it’s happening in the world. Those were scary, freaky moments.”
The show has made Chaikin a little more paranoid: “I always think I’m going to get hacked. I’ve told this story about someone kind of getting into my bag and she walked away and I was like, oh my god, she dropped a chip in my bag and she’s going to hack all my stuff.”
Season two of “Mr. Robot” premieres on July 13, but plot details are being closely guarded. Indeed, the cast was very careful to avoid specifics. Chaikin did tease the excitement in store for her: “There are some scenes you get where you just cannot wait to go home and work on it for days and days and that you care so much more about. There’s definitely a scene for me that was probably one of the scenes I’m most excited about on the show,” she said.
But just an important as “Mr. Robot’s” secrets and surprises is the show’s locale. “[New York City is] its own character,” said Chaikin. “Could you image if it was in LA? That would be so stupid.”
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