BY SHANNON CARLIN
This year's Golden Globes should be kind to Rami Malek, the star of the USA series Mr. Robot. As Elliot Alderson, one of the most unreliable narrators on TV this year — if not ever — Malek forces us all to question what is real and what is really just all in his head. But, Malek's ability to keep us all guessing, and on the edge of our seats, throughout the show's debut season is what the Hollywood Foreign Press Association will likely remember when it comes to announcing the nominees for the 2016 Golden Globe Awards on December 10. This skill is also what makes him the most crush-worthy of this year's TV stars. Sure, he's easy on the eyes, but it's more about the dedication he puts into the role itself that makes him so attractive and such a good pick for the Golden Globes.
The show, which is filmed like a David Fincher movie, looks at a hacker who is trying to bring down the biggest corporation in the world, and, for the most part, it seems to keep things as accurate as they can. It's not perfect, but, as Wired made clear, it is "the best hacking show we've seen yet," offering a glimpse at not only the damage, but the good they can do when they put their minds to it. A lot of that believability rests in the capable hands of Malek. Carrying a show with this many twists and turns would be hard no matter what actor took the role of Elliot, but it's even more pressure on an actor whose resume includes a bunch of supporting roles in indies like Short Term 12 alongside Brie Larson, and bit parts like 2009's Night at the Museum: Battle at the Smithsonian and 2014's Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb where he played an Egyptian pharaoh named Ahkmenrah. None of these roles really got at his acting skills; they were more blink and you'll miss him, which is even more impressive being that he is the heart and soul of Mr. Robot.
On the show, Malek is a modern day Robin Hood who steals from the rich and gives to the poor by pressing a few buttons, but he also seems unsure if that's what he wants to be. It's that inner struggle that makes Elliot such an interesting character. He's not the hero, but he's not the villain; he's just caught somewhere in-between. Malek approaches the character in a very low-key way, delivering his lines in monotone — a lilt that is both a bit unnerving, but also soothing. Along with those dreamy eyes and his quiet delivery, he's a disarming presence onscreen that it's hard to look away from. As Elliot, Malek gives us the facts, and that is it. Too suspicious of everything (even his own mind) to believe anything that can't be proved 100 percent.
Elliot spends more time questioning things than answering our questions, which would be frustrating if you didn't always get the sense that Elliot, and, therefore Malek, is always one step away from discovering the answer. He's mysterious, someone you want to spend some time with, making it no surprise that the show was quickly picked up for a second season (it was before the first episode even premiered). Its popularity just gives us more time to try and figure Malek out as well, especially if he picks up that well-deserved Golden Globes nomination. Certainly, no one's going to complain about that.