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Mitnick In The News


Rami Malek and Christian Slater gear up for season 2 of “Mr. Robot”

Jul 13, 2016 - CBSNEWS, by Ned Ehrbar

It would be something of an understatement to say the breakout success of the first season of "Mr. Robot" caught stars Rami Malek and Christian Slater a little by surprise.

But with the second season premiering Wednesday night -- and with a Golden Globe, a Critics' Choice Award and a Peabody under the show's belt -- the guys are feeling a bit more ready for what's next, they tell CBS News.

Did the critical success of the first season catch you off guard at all?

Malek: Yeah! I mean, I'm going to SAG and Critics Choice and of course the Golden Globes. It is an out-of-body experience, the nominations in and of themselves. Early on we had a press conference with the HFPA for the Golden Globes and I laughed, like, "First-time show on USA about a computer hacker who's socially anxious and may or may not be having mental issues? I don't think so." Who knew that it was going to have that type of response? It's huge. It's something to be proud of and something I'll never forget.

Was the success of the first season a kind of vindication for you?

Slater: It's exciting. There's no question about it. It's exciting to be a part of something that has some cultural relevance, that actually does tap into things that are happening in our world, what's going on and the disconnect that people feel. I mean, technology is definitely a huge issue. But yeah, you get involved with a show and always hope for the best, but at the end of the day you show up, you do your job, say your lines and get along as best you can with everybody involved and kind of let the chips fall where they may.

Do you get upset about the idea of people torrenting it, even if it's such a pro-hacker series?

Malek: I think at one point it was the second-most-pirated show next to "Game of Thrones,'" and at first I was like, "Yeah! What a win! People like it." Obviously if any show can't get upset about it, I guess it's ours. You want people to find it the right way. Ultimately as seedy as our show can be in that world, we are calling for white-hat hacking, as it were.

Has working on the show made you any more paranoid about using your own computer?

Slater: Yeah, definitely. I pretty much use my phone now, I don't use my computer -- phones are basically the same thing. But yeah, putting a piece of tape over your camera is something you have to do. It's just too easy. It's easier than anybody knows.

Have you gotten many reactions from actual hackers about the show?

Malek: Oh yeah. The guys from Anonymous have responded to it, some really great hackers like Kevin Mitnick is a big fan of the show. Some of the guys that created Defcon are huge fans. But I've had grandmothers come up to me and say, "I really like that your show says what's taken so many generations to say about the situation that needs to be altered and changed in some ways. Your show, as entertaining as it is, is having that effect."

Have you had any memorable fan encounters?

Slater: Not particularly. Rami gets a lot of, "Hey Mr. Robot!" I get a lot of, "Hey Mr. Robot!" People have been genuinely intrigued by the show. The only thing, with season 1, as people started to get more and more curious about it, they'd maybe get a little bit more aggressive about wanting to know information. So that's been the trickiest part, having to play that long poker game and hold my cards close. But hopefully I'm becoming a better gambler.

Season 2 of "Mr. Robot" premieres Wednesday, July 13 at 10/9c on USA.