Q&A: Rami Malek stays humble in the face of overwhelming acclaim for ‘Mr. Robot’
Rami Malek’s phone is having a rough couple of days.
Just a day after the star of USA’s critically acclaimed “Mr. Robot” was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild award, he received a second day of congratulatory texts, this time for nabbing a Golden Globe nomination for best actor in a drama.
The series, renewed for a second season before a single episode had aired, follows a paranoid hacker who’s left wondering if he can trust himself or anyone around him during his pursuit to bring down one of the biggest corporations in the world.
Malek took time to talk to us by phone about being surrounded by talented individuals, the groundswell of “Mr. Robot” support and what he hopes for each night before bed.
Walk me through this morning. Where were you when you heard the news?
I was at my home and all at once my phone, I felt like it was going to explode.
After the Screen Actors Guild nominations yesterday and the Golden Globe nominations today, will it be strange when your phone doesn’t blow up at 5 a.m. tomorrow?
I’m going to ride this wave for quite a while. This is not ever why I got into this. I love what I do as a career, but I have to say when the recognition comes in like this, it’s at once humbling and full of pride. It’s a really sweet moment.
It’s well deserved, I think. First of all, there’s this confluence of amazingly talented, artistic individuals that we get to work with on a daily basis. I feel almost as if they should all be recognized in some way. I think our show being recognized for best drama encompasses that.
I have to extend my admiration and respect for Sam Esmail who is a visionary with what he’s done with “Mr. Robot,” and this brilliant resurgence of Christian Slater only helped us get where we are today -- very talented individual.
As the first season of “Mr. Robot” aired it saw a lot of critical acclaim for the show as a whole, now that you’re getting awards attention for your performance specifically, is that gratifying in a certain way?
Is it exciting or is it a little intimidating to be nominated in a category with the likes of Jon Hamm and Liev Schreiber?
They’re all men that I admire and respect and who I’ve learned from. Counting myself amongst them is a uniquely humbling place to be.
In addition to the awards attention, “Mr. Robot” is also garnering a lot of traction as far as year-end “Best of the Year” lists go. Is it overwhelming at all to be a part of something that is so praised across the board? Does it seem unreal?
I will say that it is a profound place to be where you are recognized on this level.
Have you actively started work on season two yet?
We have! Not shooting it, but it is in the works and they are writing as we speak.
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