Remote Controlled: Carly Chaikin Previews ‘Mr. Robot’ and How Trump Fits in Season 3

Welcome to “Remote Controlled,” a podcast from Variety featuring the best and brightest in television, both in front of and behind the camera.

In today’s episode, Variety’s executive editor of TV Debra Birnbaum chats with Carly Chaikin about the new season of “Mr. Robot.”

Chaikin addresses where her character, Darlene, picks up in Season 3. “It’s fair to say she’s not in the best of places,” she says. “We’re going to see her navigate where to go from here and basically having lost absolutely everything.”

Having her character “backed into a wall” at the end of Season 2 takes a physical tole on Darlene as well. “She really doesn’t wear any makeup anymore, no jewelry, no nail polish, none of her amazing outfits,” she explains. “She’s basically just in sweatpants and a shirt the whole season. She’s really just been stripped of everything.”

Rami Malek’s Elliot goes into Season 3 after recently being shot, but spoiler alert — he’s alive.

“He’s more tormented than ever,” Chaikin says. “Especially now with Tyrell [Martin Wallström] being back and being so, pardon my language, mindf—ed by all of this from every angle. Just this battle between if what he’s doing is right and not wanting to be involved anymore but knowing he has to be. Everything’s a double-edged sword.”

Chaikin says the state of Darlene’s relationship with her brother, Elliot, is ambiguous.

“There’s still that battle with them of her feeling left alone in this with him and wishing that he was there in a different way, but she obviously loves him more than anything,” Chaikin shares.

The drama is known for its season-long twists, but according to Chaikin,”This season really isn’t about trying to fool anybody or trying to trick anybody.”

Of course “Mr. Robot” will still have its share of secrets, but Chaikin says she avoids asking the show’s creator Sam Esmail too many questions.

“I’ve gotten to a place where I actually now don’t want to know if I don’t need to know,” she says. “A lot of times it ends up being a burden. We know everything our character should know.”

Esmail and Chaikin have been using the word “disintegration” to capture the theme of Season 3, which Chaikin says references Donald Trump.

“He exists in an interesting way because we’re still in 2015. We’re still in a pre-Trump world.”

Carly Chaikin photographed exclusively for the Variety Remote Controlled podcast.
Dan Doperalski for Variety
You can listen to today’s episode here:
New episodes of “Remote Controlled” are available every Friday, and you can find past episodes of “Remote Controlled” here.

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