The best performances we saw in 2015


Rami Malek, Mr. Robot

After getting his start on a 2004 episode of Gilmore Girls, Rami Malek has popped up in a wide spectrum of Hollywood projects, from The Pacific to Night at the Museum. But it took USA's thrilling drama series Mr. Robot to earn Malek a deserved ascent from intriguing character actor to charismatic leading man.

Malek didn't make it easy on himself. As Elliott Alderson — a hacker suffering from drug addiction, mental illness, and social ineptitude — he delivers the majority of his dialogue in hushed voiceover addressed to the audience. He spends much of his onscreen time gawking with his enormous eyes and mumbling out of his nearly closed mouth. But Elliott is no garden-variety TV hacker stereotype. He's a savant, eyes open to the world around him in a way no else can understand. The performance anchors a series that depends on Elliott's unreliable perspective to tell its frantic, of-the-moment story. Malek brings a remarkable depth of feeling to a character who only rarely feels. –Mark Lieberman, contributing writer