Emmy Contender Christian Slater Spills ‘Mr. Robot’ Secrets (Video)

In an interview with TheWrap, Golden Globe-winning actor discusses the irony of a network show about taking down conglomerates

Last Updated: June 23, 2016 @ 10:21 AM

A version of this story on Christian Slater first appeared in the print edition of TheWrap Magazine’s Comedy/Drama/Actors Emmy Issue.

Something about the pilot script of “Mr. Robot” made Christian Slater pause. His character, the leader of an anarchist hacker collective and the person for whom the show was named, was a great role to play, but there was something else going on that wasn’t in the script — so Slater sat down with the show’s creator, Sam Esmail, and asked him point blank: “What’s the deal with the character?”

“He asked me if I really wanted to know,” said Slater, 46, “and I said yes. He told me, and I got very excited.”

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Photographed by HollenderX2

If you haven’t binged Season 1 of the USA show, you might want to stop reading now, because we’re about to spill the beans: In the final episode of the first season, viewers learn that Slater’s character doesn’t actually exist — that Mr. Robot is a “Fight Club”-style hallucination of Rami Malek’s character, Elliot.

“I never played it as if I was a figment of his imagination,” said Slater. “I always looked it as I was as real as Elliot imagined me to be. But I had fun with it.” And for those who wonder how the character will exist in Season 2 now that we all know he’s not real, Slater would only say that he had the same question, and that he’s “really looking forward” to viewers seeing how Esmail dealt with it.

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Since he was a teen star making movies like “Heathers” three decades ago, Slater has often been cast as an instigator and provocateur. “I have no idea why that’s the image that people project on me, but I do love playing those characters,” he said. And when asked if he agreed with the premise of “Mr. Robot,” that huge corporations are evil and are out to get us, he thought back to an Oliver Stone movie made the year before “Heathers.”

“This morning it hit me that in “Wall Street,” [Michael Douglas‘ character] Gordon Gekko said, ‘Greed is good.’ He could have said any word — he could have said humility, he could have said responsibility. Unfortunately, he said greed. I’m not gonna put it all on Gordon Gekko’s shoulders, but that certainly did set the template for things to come.”

He laughed. “But USA Network is a huge conglomerate, so it’s sort of ironic that they’re involved in a show about taking down a huge conglomerate. I enjoy that.”

See more of TheWrap Magazine’s Comedy/Drama/Actors Emmy Issue:

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