It’s no big secret that the women of Mr Robot have been killing it lately. This season has featured more screen time for them than ever instead of the sole focus of the show being Elliot like it was last season. The branching out has given us the opportunity to learn more about some of the other characters and how they all intertwine with each other.
Darlene (Carly Chaikin), Angela (Portia Doubleday), Joanna (Stephanie Corneliussen) and Dom (Grace Gummer) have all been receiving their own separate storylines where we’ve watched their personalities, strengths, and weaknesses come to light. The four leading ladies sat down at a panel for the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour in Beverly Hills this week where the discussed their roles further and the importance of female representation.
“I don’t think we’re all driven by some female agenda.” Grace Gummer explained when talking about their roles. “We all have our own purpose and our own drive. We are not secondary characters. We drive the stories just as much as Rami and Christian.”
We couldn’t agree with her more. The great thing about Mr Robot is how real the female characters feel. They’re not just there as decorations or objects to the male gaze. They each get the chance to frequently showcase their intelligence and focus on things like their careers, friendships, and families.
Gummer also added, “It’s rare as an actor and as a woman that you work on a show that you would want to watch and you would want to love.”
In recent studies, works of fiction are being found to barely (if not at all) pass the ‘Bechdel test‘, meaning they have to feature at least two female characters who interact with each other – and talk about something other than men.
Stephanie Corneliussen also vouched for the importance of female roles and their accurate representation. “We’re not being unrealistically empowered or set up to be more than we are,” she explained. “We are women and we are equals and that makes something new in television.”
Her character has faced a few criticisms for her sexual choices in some of the BDSM scenes on Mr Robot. Behind closed doors, things can get pretty kinky for Joanna. When Corneliussen was asked about one of her scenes which was described as ‘disturbing’, she had this to say: “A lot of male actors get to do some outrageous stuff. I love that Joanna gets to push the limits, she gets to walk the edge. It’s a mesh of feminine and masculine energy.”
Darlene has been another extremely important character when it’s come to female representation on Mr Robot. When the typical hacker stereotype is thought of, it’s not likely that a female is pictured. Carly Chaikin however, completely stands by her character and never even thought to question it in the first place. “There are so many women in tech and amazing female hackers.” she praised. “The show is reflecting the real world today. There are females in tech that are better than the guys.”
Another loveable characteristic of Darlene has to be her ability to always say whatever’s on her mind. When it comes to tallying up which character swears the most on the show, Darlene takes the cake. “We say ‘f*ck.’ When you talk and when you’re upset and angry, that’s what comes out.” Chaikin explained. “It’s nice to have that freedom to talk how everyone talks. It helps with saying a line, surprisingly.”
It’s definitely a known expectation of women to behave ‘lady-like’ and avoid using such language. Chaikin is definitely over the unrealistic expectation and the fact that she still has to deal with it. “I said c*nty last week, and Twitter freaked out,” she complained.
It’s great to see the talented women of this incredible show getting some attention and we look forward to seeing how the rest of their storylines play out this season. Their incredible wits, senses of humor and just plain badass selves are definitely crucial to making Mr Robot what it is.
Mr. Robot Season 2 airs 10/9c Wednesdays on USA Network.