Before landing his breakout role on Mr. Robot, Rami Malek was an actor you’d have more than likely seen in the background of either an effects-driven blockbuster or a popular TV show, but never in the lead. He’d spent the early years of his career showing up in the Night at the Museum trilogy, Battleship, The Twilight Saga, Need for Speed, Gilmore Girls, 24 and The Pacific, but it was the part of Elliot Alderson that shot him to mainstream attention.
Thanks to an Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series gong for Mr. Robot and an Academy Award in the Best Actor category for Bohemian Rhapsody, the 40-year-old is a world-renowned talent that’ll next be seen as the villain in a James Bond movie when No Time to Die arrives. He might have nabbed an Oscar for playing Freddie Mercury, but Sam Esmail’s psychological thriller series remains the best work he’s ever done, while the show itself can arguably be called a classic of the modern television era.
Trying to sum up Mr. Robot would be doing both the premise and the plot a disservice, but the broad strokes find cybersecurity engineer Elliot drawn into a dark web of conspiracies, lies and revelations once he pitches in with a group of hacktivists, while he constantly struggles with social anxiety, clinical depression and drug abuse.
A multi-time Golden Globe and Emmy-winning show, Mr. Robot hardly set the world alight from a ratings perspective on USA Network, but the critical acclaim was consistently high. Thought-provoking, emotional, moving, thrilling and many other superlatives have been thrown at Esmail’s creation over the years, and Netflix subscribers are now discovering it for themselves, looking at how the show has risen to become one of the platform’s ten most-watched episodic efforts.