When “Mr. Robot” premiered in 2015, it was hailed for pushing the boundaries in both storytelling and visual style. The USA drama returned for a second season last summer determined to take even more risks.
“There were some unique challenges, certainly Sam Esmail was looking to take Season 2 in a lot of crazy, different directions,” star Christian Slater said in an interview with TheWrap. “We had that sitcom episode, which I really loved. What was really fascinating about that was that the writing was so different in doing a sitcom-type scenario. I enjoyed that challenge.”
In the episode, Rami Malek’s character Elliot is transferred to an ’80s-style sitcom world by his more aggressive Mr. Robot alter ego. The episode, titled “eps2.4_m4ster-s1ave.aes,” features a cameo by the famous extraterrestrial sitcom character Alf (voiced by the original actor Paul Fusco).
“It’s always interesting when I show up for work on this particular show,” Slater said. “Certainly not only the writing, but the way that Sam Esmail chooses to shoot some of those scenes. It’s never the typical or obvious choice. He’s always got some sort of unique take.”
Esmail, the show’s creator and showrunner, is the credited writer on the vast majority of the episodes, and in Season 2 he took on the added responsibility of directing the entire season. As a result, the show has taken on even more of Esmail’s unique style in its sophomore outing.
“Toward the end Rami and I and Martin Wallström, had a scene where we had to really interact and do it all in one particular take,” Slater said. “And the camera was moving around and I had to hide and duck down and appear in different corners of the room. And I love the challenge and the opportunity of that because it was artistic and technical at the same time.”