The second season of USA Network’s Mr. Robot proves the show isn’t resting on its laurels. Season two is equally as intense and entertaining as the show’s award-winning first season, and at the 2016 San Diego Comic Con the show’s cast answered questions from fans of the series during a packed panel. They also sat down for roundtable interviews, with Christian Slater discussing his approach to playing Mr. Robot and how the character has evolved from season one to season two.
Christian Slater Interview:
How does it feel to portray somebody’s emotional baggage in their imagination?
Christian Slater: “It’s unusual. It’s definitely unusual. After we did season one episode nine I had many questions about where the character was going to go. Sam (Esmail) was still writing the characters from week to week. We didn’t know what was going to happen. This season we had the opportunity – or Sam had the opportunity – to work with all the writers and write every script. So, then over the course of two days we sat down and read through with the whole cast and everybody so we were all on the same page together. So, that just was remarkably helpful knowing where we were going and what direction and what each of our character arcs were going to be.
But, yeah, playing somebody’s emotional baggage… I mean, the character I think initially was this manifestation of somebody that Elliot truly loved and needed him to sort of lead him and guide him along this path. As long as Elliot’s moving in that particular direction, we’re fine. As soon as he starts to put up barriers and walls and things like that taking us off course, I’m not going to be happy about it.”
What has it been like playing that relationship more antagonistic this season?
Christian Slater: “You know, it’s difficult. First of all because I really love Rami (Malek). But, I like the dynamic of us now. I think they’re all very well thought out and thoroughly detailed. Sam has put a great deal of thought and care and time into really getting to the bottom of this relationship and understanding it as fully as you possibly can. So I’m just excited for it to continue to unfold. I’m also excited for the opportunity the character’s 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 hm to have been had he lived. The character’s 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.”
Does being a part of this show make you more aware of the use of technology?
Christian Slater: “Yeah, definitely, certainly. I didn’t know really anything. You just don’t think about the dangers of the internet. But, yeah, certainly doing a show like this raised all of our levels of awareness. This whole hacking universe is extraordinarily powerful. We’ve seen it already bring down corporations to their knees. It’s no joke. It’s the real deal and something that we need to really take very seriously. I don’t know where we’re going in the next few years. I don’t want to be making a documentary here; it’s a TV show. Hopefully it will raise people’s awareness levels enough they will start to actually incorporate a lot of these security protocols that are available.”
Watch the Christian Slater interview:
(Interview by Fred Topel. Article by Rebecca Murray.)