Esmail signed up for a host of digital romance outlets, including Eharmony.com, as part of research for the series,he confessed at a Paley Center for Media event honoring his USA drama. When hackers broke into the service in September, “of course, my name is in the thing,” he acknowledged. The drama’s central protagonist, Elliot Alderson, hacks into the digital lives of people to connect with them, rather than trying to start a more typical human relationship.
The cast on hand – Christian Slater, Rami Malek, Carly Chaikin and Portia Doubleday – all said they regularly bothered Esmail to help them understand what was happening behind all the series’ technical talk. “We’re nosy and we’re needy,” said Chaikin. “We all want to know everything.”
Esmail and the cast offered few hints about what might take place in the series’ second season (it has already been picked up by USA). But Slater suggested that “Mr. Robot” is the logical follow-up to his 1990 cult-favorite film “Pump Up The Volume,” in which he plays an alienated teen who tries to establish a connection with society by broadcasting on a pirate-radio station of his own creation. “I think this is it!” he said in response to a question about whether the original movie might ever spawn a sequel.
Esmail vowed that viewers who wanted more information about the events of the series’ first season would get some answers in the second. At the same time, he suggested the answers might spur more questions.