Mr. Robot SDCC 2016 Interview: Rami Malek

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There’s no denying that Elliot Alderson is one of the most complex characters on television today. From dealing with his mental illness to fighting corporate wealth from behind a computer screen, we’ve seen his character go through it all. Rami Malek has been on our radar for a while and with an Emmy nomination now under his belt, things are only looking brighter for him.

We were lucky enough to speak to him about how he gets into character, the complex aspects of the show, and find out what else is in store for Season 2.

When discussing his character and how Rami felt towards him, he expressed to us his admiration for Elliot’s strength. “He goes to some dark places physically, emotionally, mentally – and that’s what makes him so special to me. He somehow manages to get himself out of them. You know, that’s what makes him who he is. I mean, he’s relentless. ”

We’re currently seeing that now more than ever this season as his character deals with the aftermath of the five/nine hack. Since it happened, things haven’t been going so smoothly for his character like we’d originally hoped. “The special thing about this show is we don’t live in this fairy tale land where you can just destroy the world’s economy and everything is going to be better because of it,” Malek explained to us. “There’s a big question of: At what cost would you like to affect society and the world you live in? What are the repercussions of that? And what that will mean for Elliot remains to be seen but I doubt that it’s going to be pleasant.”

Speaking of the aftermath, we’re also following Elliot as he deals with Mr. Robot after now learning he isn’t actually real, and only a projection from Elliot’s own mind. With the new information, audiences have been approaching the new season with a little more caution and a different perspective – which only left the question of whether the same thing had happened for Rami. He explained that now that Elliot knows Mr. Robot isn’t real and is trying to get rid of him, he’s going to try and ignore him as much as he can. “I told Sam (Esmail), ‘I’m not going to look at him a lot. I’m not going to give him anything. Christian (Slater)’s going to have a hard time acting with me.’ And Sam looks at me, he’s like, “You’re not going to look at him?’ and yeah, I don’t want to.”

With heavy themes such as control and reality, it’s  sometimes hard for us to determine what’s real and what isn’t on the show. There’s already hundreds of Reddit theories being discussed and we’re having a hard time not questioning every single thing that happens on the show. It begs the question: How real are things actually?

“They’re very real for whoever’s watching it because if you’re with Elliot throughout this journey, you know he’s talking to you. So they better be real to you because they’re real to him. As far as the rest of the story goes, he may or may not come crashing down on us but, we’re in it together right? That’s what’s cool about it.” Malek also added, “But I think things are a bit more real than people have surmounted so far.”

To find out more about how Rami gets into character and some of the show’s themes, check out the full interview below:

Mr. Robot airs 10/9c Wednesdays on USA Network.

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