“After that first season, there’s an immense amount of pressure. People responded to it in the way they did, and there’s a bit of a monkey on your back going into season two,” admits actor Rami Malek about going starting production again for his smash hit show “Mr. Robot.” In our recent webchat (watch above), he adds, “As soon as we stepped on set, there’s this overwhelming confidence like a well-oiled machine. Everybody, they just come with their ‘A’ game from every aspect.”
The first season of the USA Network program aired last summer and focused on cyber-crime, cyber-activism, and hacking. The lead character of Elliot Alderson, played by Malek, is a young man in New York City who becomes increasingly more unhinged with social anxiety, depression, and delusions. His long-dead father (Christian Slater) starts appearing to him and recruits him as a vigilante hacker to take down a monstrous corporation.
After a string of guest roles and smaller parts over the years, this is Malek’s first major taste of big-time fame. Regarding that he says, “Living in New York now and getting stopped in the streets, it’s crazy. You’ll never get used to that. Seeing my face on billboards and buses as they drive by. That’s something that will make you question if you’re in some sort of dream or reality.”
Over the past few months, the cast and creators have become more accustomed to hitting the awards circuit. “Mr. Robot” won the Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice Award for Best Drama Series and Best Supporting Actor (Slater). Malek was nominated at both of those ceremonies (winning with the critics) as well as at the SAG Awards. Of that new world, he adds, “It’s a phenomenal experience… That’s an absolute shock for a guy that’s wanted to act his whole life. To be considered among guys like Spacey and Hamm and all these talented actors and the ones that have gone before me, it’s nuts. It’s a really special and humbling experience… I tried not to pour myself too much champagne because I didn’t want to forget what it was all going to feel like.”
The show’s Season 1 episodes from last summer are eligible at the Emmy Awards for the first time this year. Nominations will be announced on July 14, the day after the second season of “Mr. Robot” debuts on USA.
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