Mr. Robot Actresses Discuss Being More Than Glorified Scene Decoration

"We're not secondary characters."
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For Mr. Robot fans plugged in each week, the show’s staunch anti-establishmentarianist characters are a welcome break from the real-life villains with money and power at their feet and virtually no one to check them (looking at you, Sallie Mae).

Even more refreshing are the complex women who don’t just chew scenery, they’re right there in the thick of it. Take Darlene (Carly Chaikin), Elliot’s (Rami Malek) sister who wrote the rootkit for the attack on Evil Corp, or the master manipulator Joanna Wellick (Stephanie Corneliussen) who went so far as to stab herself with a fork to induce labor. This show proves you can have a male lead and include fully-realized women who are driven by their own experiences and goals.

Chaiken, Portia Doubleday and executive Dawn Olmstead elaborated on the show’s awesome female characters during USA Network’s presentation at the Television Critic Association’s summer press tour on Wednesday.

“They’re so strong, they have so much ambition,” Olmstead said, according to the Hollywood Reporter. “It’s not based on being a woman or being someone’s spouse or girlfriend.” Gummer added, “We’re not secondary characters. We drive the story as much as Rami (Malek) and Christian (Slater).”

For Chaiken, her role is even more meaningful coming off a part as a dumb blonde in the network comedy Suburgatory. “Of course, I love playing a smart person and not that blonde deadpan,” she said. “This is definitely a better representation of the work I want to do as an actor.”

If only more people in Hollywood realized that’s the goal for many working actresses.

(via The Hollywood Reporter, image via USA Network)

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