Posted on Monday, August 1st, 2016 by Fred Topel
Editor’s Note: This post was not published during our comic con coverage last week as expected.
The cast of Mr. Robot appeared at San Diego Comic-Con for a panel about their second season. Series creator Sam Esmail was not here to answer questions, but the cast gave some hints about where season two is going.
Elliot (Rami Malek) has been using Adderall to try to get his demons under control. The reveal of Mr. Robot was a big twist in season one, but as intense as season two has begun, Malek suggests Elliot might be more reliable a narrator than we’ve come to expect.
“I think he’s ultimately more reliable than many would think he is because ultimately, who really wants to go down that path with someone who’s going to be as questionable as he might be,” Malek said. “I don’t know that I would. We’ve questioned his reliability. That’s not something we’ve steered away from. He is an unreliable narrator. As much as you do put the things he’s encountering into question, we’re never trying to make this a show where we’re shocking people. These aren’t gotcha moments anybody’s trying to set up. This is the story Sam wants to tell through his perspective. There are moments where he suffers from some very difficult mental issues. Those things can be difficult for an audience to sit through but if you want to go on his path, you are going to start to have to question things as well.”
Now that Elliot is aware Mr. Robot (Christian Slater) is in his head, Mr. Robot isn’t happy to be ignored. He’s become downright hostile, and Slater is happy to develop Mr. Robot as a more independent character.
“I’m also excited for the opportunity that the character is developing a personality of his own, not just this idealized vision of what he manifested his father to be or what he would have liked him to have been had he lived,” Slater said. “The character is really starting to exercise his own will in a lot of situations and scenarios. That’s a lot of fun. It’s a real power struggle between the two of us.”
Meanwhile, Angela (Portia Doubleday) has taken a job at Evil Corp. She’s doing well-negotiating interviews for Bloomberg. She also speaks positive affirmations to herself in the mirror before work.
“When Sam started talking about the positive affirmations, what interests me is not that she’s doing them but why she has to do them, in order to keep herself together,” Doubleday explained. “That shows up. You find out why she so desperately needs something that becomes quite obsessive that she needs in order to survive there. I think it has to do with repression. Repressing her shame and guilt for being involved, repressing her emotions that she’s basically being told get in the way of her productivity.”
This leaves Darlene (Carly Chaikin) to keep fsociety going. After they’ve pulled off the hack that eliminated debt on a mass level, she has to lead the movement to rebuild society. “We get to see so many different layers to her that we didn’t last season,” Chaikin said. “There’s a big vulnerability and fear going on in there but trying to mask it with having the confidence of we did the right thing. We’re all wearing masks and what we are trying to portray is different than how we actually feel. It’s been great to be able to have all those layers to play with.”
Grace Gummer joins the cast as an agent investigating cyber crimes. So far she has not interacted with Elliot, Angela or Darlene. Maybe she will, maybe she won’t, but Gummer is happy with her storyline as is.
“All of us have our own storylines,” Gummer said. “Some of them intersect and some of them don’t. What’s cool about my character is that mine doesn’t revolve around any other character or any other man. I think that’s true of all the other women on the show which is what I love. My character and my storyline are completely independent of everyone else’s which is cool.”
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