SXSW Q&A Highlights: The cast and creator of Mr. Robot premiere the series in Austin.


Earlier today at SXSW in Austin, Texas, the new USA Network series Mr. Robot premiered its pilot episode to a packed out Vimeo Theatre crowd. The series, a psychological thriller which closely follows the life of a computer hacker as he gets in deep in a world of corporate espionage, was followed by a Q&A with the film’s creator Sam Esmail alongside stars Rami Malek, Christian Slater (who plays the title character, currently known only as Mr. Robot), Portia Doubleday and Carly Chaikin.

The group, pictured above, spoke for about half an hour about the new series, which Esmail said was created in response to the opinion that “all the shows about hacking are fucking terrible… they feel they need to do CGI effects and nothing (in hacking) actually looks like that”.

A lot of the talk, rather humorously, focused on how the cast aren’t particular tech savvy, but are having to learn all this jargon for the series and still deliver it convincingly. Judging by the comments provided by the audience, it seemed that the general consensus was that they did their job – though Esmail did confess to be a minor hacker at one point in his early life. No doubt this served as inspiration for the series…

They also hinted at a few things about the series to come, such as a potential romantic triangles, while promising plenty of surprises and that yes, we would find out the real name of Slater’s character. Also, Rami Malek and Carly Chaikin performed “the robot” dutifully on request.

The release date for Mr. Robot has yet to be revealed, but stay tuned to The Iris for the full review of the pilot and more updates on the series release – currently scheduled for a ten episode run. When asked how long he hopes the series will run to ensure the full story arch is realised, Esmail pointed towards something along the four or five season mark. Given what they started to unravel in episode one, it would be assumed that a four season (or so) run would definitely serve it well.


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Larry Heath

Founding Editor and Publisher of the AU review. Currently based in Toronto, Canada. You can follow him on Twitter @larry_heath or on Instagram @larryheath.