Rami Malek on being an ‘unlikely hero’ in ‘Mr. Robot’ (exclusive)

Rami Malek Mr. Robot

Rami Malek believes “Mr. Robot” became a breakout hit TV series because it “struck a nerve with people.” In our webcam chat (watch below), he adds, “I don’t know what everybody is yearning for, but it’s something that they could identify with — this cause, this unlikely hero in these times.”

In “Mr. Robot,” Malek portrays troubled, antisocial tech wiz Elliot Alderson, who connects with the shadowy leader of an underground anarchist hacker group (Christian Slater) in his quest to destroy corporate America. Their impressive performances and their critically hailed TV series are now major contenders for awards from the Critics’ Choice, the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. and the Screen Actors Guild. According to the latest racetrack odds by Gold Derby editors, for example, Malek is out front to win Best TV Drama Actor at the Globes, while costar Christian Slater and the TV show look like locks for nominations.

Exclusive interview: Christian Slater wrestles with the mysteries of ‘Mr. Robot (Video)

At its core, the show is about social misfits that use their technological prowess to bring down the evils of big business and the one percent. “The show offers characters on the fringes of society trying to find their way in,” he says, “and I think that’s something that people just got charged by.”

Toward the end of the first season, viewers were treated to huge reveals about the identities and motivations of the mysterious characters inhabiting the dark and oppressive world that creator and showrunner Sam Esmail has crafted. Malek admits that he was very careful about keeping the secrets to himself.

“I didn’t tell anyone, actually,” he says. “I have a twin brother and I would sometimes sit down and watch things while he was watching them, just to see his eyes light up and the reaction on his face. He’s a very critical viewer, of my performance and also the show as a whole.”

Indeed, after the big reveals, Malek recalls that his brother “looked at me and just said ‘why didn’t you say anything? You could have told me! I’m your brother! I’m not going to tell anyone!’ It was enjoyable to watch him squirm through it as well”

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Photo Credit: USA

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