BY ETHAN ALTERR
Hello, friend. Did you find the second season of Mr. Robot a little frustrating? Turns out that Mr. Robot himself agrees with you. At an Emmy FYC event held on June 8 at New York City’s Metrograph theater, Christian Slater confessed that his alter ego spent much of the hit USA show’s sophomore year in a state of “frustration, anger, and combativeness.” At issue was the fact that Mr. Robot’s chosen disciple, Elliot Alderson (Rami Malek), wasn’t implementing his hallucinatory pal’s grand plans quickly enough, choosing to try and block this mental interloper instead.
“I have a particular mission, and goal, and thing I wanted to achieve,” Slater said of his character’s Season 2 motives. “I want to keep this train moving at a nice pace, and this guy is slowing everything down!” Watch the full FYC panel — which also features Malek, Portia Doubleday, Carly Chaikin, and Grace Gummer — above.
According to the cast, slowing the narrative down — and expanding its scope — was an intentional choice on the part of Mr. Robot‘s mastermind, Sam Esmail, who directed every episode of the second season. “The difference in this particular situation, which was very nice, was the fact that Sam was there all the time. He was there 98% of the time in the first season — that 2% was all we needed to get to 100,” Slater said. And Malek, who won a Best Actor Emmy last fall for his starmaking performance, embraced the bigger storytelling canvas that Esmail had planned. “I remember Sam saying to me in between seasons, ‘I’m just going to open up the story… [so] you get to experience so many different narratives.’ Opening it up to this vast array of stories and exceptional actors was something I thought would only enhance that vision for the long haul, and I think that’s what happened.”
Mr. Robot returns in October on USA.