Some might think Mr Robot is just another cynical hacker drama. There were many of its kind before it, and I’m sure there’ll be many after. But once they sit down and watch the show, most of them can’t help but be blown away.
Sure, the comic-like plot would seem a little over the top in hands of less skilled writers and actors, but thankfully for all of us, the people behind it know exactly what they are doing. It's not for nothing that they’ve won as many awards as they have, including an Emmy for the main actor of the show.
And to be completely honest, the behind-the-scenes drama is just as fascinating as what we see on tv. But, hey, don’t take my word for it. Here are 15 things that prove it:
15 The Hacks Are Real
I’m sure you’ve wondered about the technical accuracy of this show, because, well, we all know it’s fiction and all, but the hacks seem too darn real! Well, it turns out that’s because they are! Sam Esmail is so invested in keeping the show as realistic as possible that he hired former FBI Cyber Crimes Task Force agent, Michael Bazzell, Director of Security for Tanium, and former FBI Cyber Special agent, Andre McGregor, to make sure the hacks and storylines are believable.
In fact, all the hacking scenes are performed by real hacking masters and are later rebuilt by animators using flash animation. Talk about going above and beyond for your craft! These guys are not messing around. They're putting in the work to do something awesome, and it's paying off in a big way.
14 The Actors Are Clued In On Their Characters Fate
Most television showrunners like keeping their actors guessing on their character’s fate to avoid any accidental leaks to the press, but Sam Esmail does not agree with this method. He prefers to tell his actors everything there is to know about their characters, so they can mentally and physically prepare for the role.
And judging by how complex the show’s storylines are, we can only imagine how those conversations go. However, you won’t hear any complaints from Portia Doubleday, who apparently loves having them.
In an interview with InStyle, she expressed how grateful she is to Sam for the conversations. “I like to know what’s going on, and plan some things, and have an overall idea what the arc is,” she said. She’s also grateful to be included in everything else that goes on throughout the season.
13 15 Years In The Making
Sam Esmail has always been obsessed with hacking and computers, so he wanted to do what every writer does when they’re obsessed with a particular subject: make a movie about it.
However, things didn’t exactly go as planned and midway through writing the first act, he realized the story was a lot bigger than he originally thought. So he did what every movie writer does after realizing the story is way too long for a two-hour film: he removed 20 pages of his written script and presented it to a film and television company as a TV pilot.
And lucky for him (and for us) his script was picked up by the USA Network and they ordered 10 episodes. The show was an instant hit and it’s now on its fourth season. It seems simple enough, right? Well, not exactly. The whole process took Sam 15 years! But we are glad he finally made it.
12 Portia Doubleday & Rami Malek Are Dating IRL
On screen, Elliot and Angela have a rather complicated relationship (to say the least), but one thing is for certain, their chemistry is uncanny. In fact, it’s so strong, that people started speculating that Portia and Rami were more than friends in real life. I mean, yes, they are really good actors, but it’s hard to fake that kind of chemistry!
Well, as it turns out, they weren’t faking it. After months of rumours of these two dating, they eventually made it Instagram official.
However, this isn’t the first time Rami gets close to a co-worker on set. Before he was a hacker on the show, he was a very handsome vampire in the Twilight movies, and back then he was heavily linked to his co-star, Angela Sarafyan, who also played an Egyptian vampire and was Rami’s love interest on-screen.
11 Carly Chaikin Was Threatened Via Text
It’s funny how fame works. One day, you are a regular girl doing your own thing, and the next you are getting threats via text because crazy people don’t understand the difference between a fictional character on a show and the actor who’s playing it. Just ask Carly Chaikin who one day got a text message from a random number that said: “Dolores Haze, f-society is coming for you.”
Though it may not seem that scary, it was frightening for Carly to think that someone had her number and was making crazy threats. So she called the number from a Google number, but of course no one picked up. Instead, they sent her another text to her real number asking her if she had just called.
She later asked the tech people on the show to find this person. Luckily, they did and she never heard from this lunatic again.
10 Rami Doesn’t Listen When Other Actors Speak To Him
You know how we are constantly listening to Rami’s thoughts throughout the show? Well, turns out he is too. He apparently records the voice over first, and then the crew plays it back for him while he’s performing.
He also has a lady named Sarah talking in his ear all day long, so most of the time he’s not even listening to the other actors talk. This has caused more than one unpleasant moment for the actor, including internal bleeding!
One time they were filming in Times Square, and he couldn’t hear Sarah with all the noise happening around him, so he asked her to yell. She of course did what she was told and the moment Rami took out the earpiece from his ear, it had blood on it, because, yes, apparently those things do happen.
9 Stephanie Corneliussen Threatened To Set A Fan’s House On Fire
And she had all the right to do so! Turns out Stephanie, who plays Joanna Wellick on the show, had a guy on Twitter instigating people to set her on fire! But Stephanie, being the woman that she is, decided not to take it. “It’s incredibly uncomfortable when you don’t know who somebody is but they have all this information about you because you are a public person all of a sudden,” she told Chelsea Handler on her Netflix Show, back in August 2016.
So with a quick 30-minute Google search, she was able to find out the guy’s name, his phone number, his annual salary, where he was employed, and all of his social media information. She then went on Google images, found an image of his house, followed him back on Twitter, and DMd him the picture with the caption: “one more peep out of you, MF.”
This dude clearly didn’t know who he was messing with.
8 The Show Has Made Carly Chaikin Paranoid
It’s no secret that Mr Robot portrays a very scary scenario of how technology can pretty much destroy the world, so it doesn’t really come as a shock to learn one of the main characters is much more paranoid about the world now than she was before the show started.
Carly Chaikin said in an interview that though technology and hacking didn’t really cross her mind before the show, she is painfully aware of this technological world now. “It’s kind of like every room I walk into I’m like, oh, I could hack that, I could do that, or I think that people are constantly recording me or watching me or tracking me or something. Now in my head everything is ‘what’s the worst case scenario’ and I think it’s actually happening.”
7 Dom Was Originally Thought As An Older Woman Close To Retirement
When Esmail first thought of Dominique DiPierro, he envisioned an old woman in her early 60's. However, he likes doing open casting calls — which means anyone who’s interested in playing a part can come in and give it their best shot. Lucky for us, Grace Gummer was one of the interested parties so she went for it, and well, the rest is history.
“Every time I do a casting call, this drives my casting director nuts” Esmail said in an interview with the USA website. “That’s quadruple our work, but I don’t care. I want to be surprised. I want to come in here and I don’t want to see what I expected in my head. I don’t know if that’s a normal thing or not. The one thing I value the most in every audition is the unexpected, the surprise, the choice, the boldness. That it’s not just to be different but there’s an honesty behind it. That to me is what resonates more than anything.”
6 The Actors Are Usually Talking To Themselves
You know all those scenes where Elliot is in his own head, kind of talking to himself? Well, as it turns out, those scenes—and many just like those—are harder than any of us mortals could ever imagine; they are done without the complete props to react to, so the actors are literally reacting to nothing, and are doing it in front of a whole crew.
“The last scene of mine when I’m looking at the whole board, when we’re actually shooting it, I was looking at a blank thing with pieces of tape around it” said Carly Chaikin to a news reporter. “A lot of the times we really don’t even have props or anything to do it. I think having Sam is the most helpful thing ever because I’ll be having a hard time going somewhere or doing something and you just talk about it and have a straight conversation about what’s really going on in a true and honest way that it just naturally gets you to that place of what they’re feeling.”
5 Everyone Loves Sam Esmail
I’ve got to admit, Sam looks like a pretty cool guy, so it doesn’t come as a shock to me that working for him is pretty darn awesome. I mean, we are talking about a man who came up with the idea of Mr. Robot all by himself because he was obsessed with computers and hacking. In fact, according to his Wikipedia page, he got his first computer when he was only 9 years old and started coding shortly after. I don’t know about you, but I certainly wasn’t “coding” when I was that age. So yeah, he’s cool.
However, he could be a cool dude who is also kind of an A-hole, so I guess he deserves some credit. Just ask Portia Doubleday, who apparently loves how collaborative working with Sam Esmail can be. “It’s a totally open relationship,” she said to InStyle magazine, after explaining that the cast can call him 24/7 if they don’t understand something and he’ll gladly explain.
4 Rami Malek Is Constantly “High” On Vitamin B
You know all those scenes where Rami Malek is sniffing morphine? As much as he would like it to be the real thing, it’s actually Vitamin B pills. And apparently, it gets really tiring to snort it over and over again.
During a guest appearance on the Late Night with Seth Meyers show, Rami admitted that doing take after take of snorting it can get unhealthy for him. “After a while I said: just look this is killing me, so can we do something about it?”
So they built him a vacuum that goes down his sleeve and instead of snorting the vitamin he actually vacuums it. “No one really knew that I had this so I would sit there the first day I came with the crew and just line up this huge rails of vitamin B pills and they didn’t know so they were looking at me like, dude, what is wrong with this guy?” he told the late night host.
3 The Show Helped A Local Business In Chinatown Get More Customers
You know how Elliot Alderson lives in an apartment in Chinatown in NYC? Well, the apartment is real and it is in fact in Chinatown in New York. When the show was just starting to get some air time, the owners of the building hated the fact that the crew was shooting there.
However, they later realized what a money maker it can be to have their stoop on a hit tv show so they redecorated the whole thing. And apparently the dumpling shop next door had a similar idea, and they upped their prices from a dollar to two dollars a dumpling. And honestly, who can blame them? Everyone knows people get richer, and establishments get more popular the moment they are part of a hit tv show. Well played dumpling place, well played.
2 Robert Downey Jr. Is A Big Fan Of The Show
Apparently Robert Downey Jr. is a big fan of the show, so he got Rami Malek’s email because he wanted to let him know how much he enjoys Mr Robot. However, Rami didn’t believe it was really him, because, well, it’s Robert Downey Jr! (I mean, if Tony Stark emailed me directly to say he’s a fan of something I did, I wouldn’t believe it’s him either. Then again, I’m not part of a hit tv show… yet.)
Luckily, a mutual friend emailed Rami and asked him why he hadn’t answered Robert’s email (yes, not everyone calls him by his full name. That would be weird). Of course Rami felt embarrassed because, well, he had been blowing off Robert Downey Jr.’s emails!
Rami immediately emailed him back and invited him to come on set and see him act. Robert agreed and Rami was everyone’s hero because, well, he had Iron Man come on set! What could be cooler than that!?
1 Rami Malek Ran Into An Ex Right After Winning An Emmy
Is this guy lucky or what? Not only did he win an Emmy the first time he was nominated for one, but he ran into his ex-girlfriend immediately after the fact. And honestly, if you’re ever gonna run into an ex, it better be after winning an Emmy!
However, his luck ran out right after that because he said something pretty dumb to her when he saw her: he asked what she was doing there. Uhmm, kind of rude, Rami.
Turns out she’s a makeup artist and, well, she had as much right to be in the Emmys as he did. But there’s no bad blood between them because, according to Jimmy Kimmel, who was was also there, she genuinely seemed happy for him. How nice.