WEIRDLAND: October 2015

Sunday, October 25, 2015

R.I.P. Maureen O'Hara (The Queen of Technicolor)

The actor Maureen O’Hara has died, her manager said on Saturday. She was 95.

O’Hara, who was born Maureen FitzSimons in Dublin in 1920, starred in John Ford’s 1941 Oscar-winning drama How Green Was My Valley, set in Wales, and The Quiet Man, Ford’s Irish-set 1952 film that starred John Wayne.

She starred with Wayne in a number of films, including the western Rio Grande, also directed by Ford.

She also had notable successes working with Charles Laughton (Jamaica Inn, The Hunchback of Notre Dame) and Andrew V McLaglen (McLintock!), and starred in the perennial Christmas hit Miracle on 34th Street, in 1947, and the Disney children’s hit The Parent Trap in 1961. She was never nominated for an Oscar, instead being given an honorary award in 2014. After accepting her statuette, presented by Liam Neeson and Clint Eastwood, from a wheelchair, the then 94-year-old star protested when her speech of thanks was cut short.

On Saturday the Irish arts minister, Heather Humphreys, said O’Hara was “the quintessential Irish success story”. “Maureen O’Hara left Ireland to carve a successful life in America,” Humphreys said, “but in the hearts and minds of every Irish person Maureen was the quintessential Irish success story.

She went on to become one of the icons of Hollywood’s Golden Age at the height of her career.”

Humphreys said O’Hara would be “best remembered for her fiercely passionate roles in classic films and in particular the films she made with her great friend John Wayne”. Wayne once famously said he preferred to work with men, “except for Maureen O’Hara. She’s a great guy”. In 1991, O’Hara said of Wayne: “We met through Ford, and we hit it right off. I adored him, and he loved me. But we were never sweethearts. Never, ever.”

Humphreys added: “It was in [O’Hara’s] role as Mary Kate Danaher in The Quiet Man, the iconic film made over 60 years ago and still very much celebrated in Ireland and abroad, that we were first alerted to her natural beauty and talent. In later life, O’Hara married her third husband, Brigadier General Charles Blair. He died in a plane crash in 1978 and O’Hara took over management of the airline, which she eventually sold. “Being married to Charlie Blair and traveling all over the world with him, believe me, was enough for any woman,” she said in 1995. “It was the best time of my life.”

“My first ambition was to be the No1 actress in the world,” she said in 1999. “And when the whole world bowed at my feet, I would retire in glory and never do anything again.” In 1957 her career was threatened by scandal, when the tabloid Confidential magazine claimed she and a man had engaged in “the hottest show in town” in the back row of Hollywood’s Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. However, as she later told the Associated Press, at the time she “was making a movie in Spain, and I had the passport to prove it”.

O’Hara most often played strong and willful women. In 1991, she was asked if she was the same off screen. “I do like to get my own way,” she said. “But don’t think I’m not acting when I’m up there. And don’t think I always get my own way. There have been crushing disappointments. But when that happens, I say, ‘Find another hill to climb.’”

 “Her characters were feisty and fearless, just as she was in real life,” the O’Hara family said in a statement. “She was also proudly Irish and spent her entire lifetime sharing her heritage and the wonderful culture of the Emerald Isle with the world.” Source:

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Mr. Robot Season 1 on Blu-Ray

As cinema and television increasingly converge, TV shows are looking more and more like film – and Mr. Robot is arguably the best current example of that. The show’s all odd angles and characters edged into the corner of frames, like chess pieces on engulfing tableaux; not only that, but it looks at New York City in a completely new way, turning the shiny tourist-magnet into a cold, tech-y future metropolis.

Even though you can probably see the twist coming a mile away, it doesn’t stop the moment of revelation being heart-breakingly powerful.

And in those scenes, when the twist comes, Malek is absolutely devastating. Slater’s is the biggest name in the cast, but it’s Malek who emerges as the star of Mr Robot: approaching Elliot’s at-times difficult nature with a radiant mix of easy charisma and vulnerability, Malek is awards-worthy in the main role. He’ll likely go onto even bigger stardom on the silver screen after this, but it’s hard to imagine – as with Jon Hamm and Don Draper, Bryan Cranston and Walter White – that he’ll find anything so worthy of his talents.

Mr. Robot, which actually has meaty roles for its female characters, features two of the more interesting, conflicted women in TV, in Carly Chaikin’s Darlene and Portia Doubleday’s Angela. Angela gradually shows herself to be a quietly complex figure throughout the first season, a corporate lackey looking for revenge that also secretly seeks approval from the same powers-that-be that she despises. Source:

Universal Studios Home Entertainment has announced that it will release on Blu-ray Mr. Robot: Season 1. The release will be available for purchase on January 12, 2016.

Synopsis: Enter the "completely captivating" world of Mr. Robot. Cyber-security engineer by day and vigilante hacker by night, Elliot (Rami Malek, The Pacific) finds himself at a crossroads when the mysterious leader (Christian Slater, Very Bad Things) of an underground hacker group recruits him to destroy the firm he is paid to protect. Compelled by his personal beliefs, Elliot struggles to resist the chance to take down the multinational CEOs he believes are running (and ruining) the world. Now, watch all 10 Season One episodes back-to-back and uninterrupted of the psychological thriller that critics rave is "damn near perfect" (Jessica Rawden, Cinemablend). Special Features: Deleted Scenes, Gag Reel, Source:

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Pre-Code rarities on TCM, Friday 23rd October

Promotional still of Edward G. Robinson as Jim 'Buck' Turner and Glenda Farrell as Valerie 'Val' Wilson in "Dark Hazard" (1934).

Dark Hazard (1934). Director: Alfred E. Green. Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Genevieve Tobin, Glenda Farrell, Robert Barrat, Sidney Toler. Plot: Jim is a compulsive gambler. He meets Marge at a boarding house and they get married. His gambling causes problems. When he runs into old flame Valerie Marge leaves him. After a few years he returns, but she is now in love with old flame Pres. Jim buys racing dog Dark Hazard and makes a fortune which he loses on roulette. On TCM at 12:30 PM

Promotional portrait of Mary Astor and Adolphe Menjou in "Easy to Love" (1934)

Easy to Love (1934). Director: William Keighley. Stars: Mary Astor, Genevieve Tobin, Adolphe Menjou, Patricia Ellis. Plot: When Carol thinks her husband John has been unfaithful, she hires a private detective; having long been pursued by Eric, she apparently accedes and accompanies him to an apartment and enter the wrong one. There, they find Carol's best friend, Charlotte, and John hiding in a closet. On TCM at 1:45 PM.

Promotional still of Kay Francis and George Brent in "The Goose and The Gander" (1935).

The Goose and the Gander (1935). A divorcee can't stop meddling in her ex-husband's affairs. Director: Alfred E. Green Cast: Kay Francis, George Brent, Genevieve Tobin, John Eldredge, Claire Dodd, Ralph Forbes, Helen Lowell. On TCM at 4:15 PM Source:

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The Chairman: New biography of Frank Sinatra

Frank Sinatra's flaming obsession with Ava Gardner never waned, but there were other headline-making women in his life — most notably Marilyn Monroe, Mia Farrow and Barbara Marx.

A new, in-depth biography, “Sinatra: The Chairman,” provides an intimate glimpse into Ol’ Blue Eyes’ relationships with each of these significant others. James Kaplan’s first door-stopping tome, “Frank: The Voice,” brought the singer up to the glorious moment in 1954 when he won the Oscar for “From Here to Eternity.” It was the comeback of all comebacks.

Back on top of the heap, Sinatra was busy with the ladies. In 1961, he finally got around to Marilyn Monroe. The two had brushed against each other through the years, but now it seemed something serious was afoot. Or, seriously sexual, at least. Shortly after Monroe’s divorce from Joe DiMaggio, Sinatra and the Yankee Clipper got drunk and ended up breaking down a door, five henchmen in tow, expecting to find Marilyn Monroe in bed with another man. Eight years later, in 1962, DiMaggio had Sinatra turned away from Monroe’s funeral. They had become rivals of sorts, each believing he was the man to save the goddess in her final downward spiral.

During Sinatra’s dalliance with Monroe, there are conflicting reports as to who wanted it more. Kaplan sides with Milt Ebbins, a talent manager, who claimed, “There was no doubt that Frank was in love with Marilyn.” Sinatra even considered marrying Monroe to save her from herself. Kaplan quotes sources that told an earlier biographer, Randy Taraborelli, that Sinatra believed being his wife would protect her from the vultures.

“Yeah, Frank wanted to marry the broad,” Jilly Rizzo, Sinatra’s chief henchman, said. “He asked her and she said no.” Source:

Thursday, October 15, 2015

R.I.P. Joan Leslie - The Girl Next Door

R.I.P. Joan Leslie (January 26, 1925 - October 12, 2015)

Joan Leslie, who made an impact in such classic films as “High Sierra” (1941) with Humphrey Bogart and “Yankee Doodle Dandy” (1942) with James Cagney, has died. She was 90 years old. Her death was first reported on October 15, 2015, but she passed on October 12. Born Joan Brodel, the actress was discovered by a talent scout while performing on stage with her two sisters. She was first signed to MGM, but later signed with Warner Brothers. Joan was only in her teens when she appeared in “High Sierra” and then “Sergeant York” with Gary Cooper. In fact, she celebrated her 17th birthday during the filming of “Yankee Doodle Dandy.”

Her other films include “The Sky’s The Limit” (1943) with Fred Astaire, and the all star films “Thank Your Lucky Stars” (1943) and “Hollywood Canteen” (1944). In 1946, Joan Leslie had become dissatisfied with the limited supporting roles she was being placed in by Warners, and sued to get out of her contract. Jack Warner was influential enough to keep her from obtaining work at the other major studios, so she worked in low budget films at Eagle-Lion and Republic Pictures. Many of her films for these studios were westerns, so she remains popular with western movie fans.

Joan married William G. Caldwell, a physician, in 1950, and her roles in movies became less frequent, as she chose to spend more time at home raising her twin daughters. Along with her acting career, Joan was also involved in a business designing clothes, and did extensive charity work for the St Anne’s Maternity Home. When her husband died in 2000, she founded the Dr. William G. and Joan L. Caldwell Chair in Gynecologic Oncology for the University of Louisville. Joan died of natural causes in Los Angeles. Source:

Joan Leslie: “The Girl Next Door”: Joan Leslie was Warners’ ingenue in residence, a pretty and perky actress with a pleasant demeanor who photographed well, could sing and dance when called for, and could emote effectively against the likes of Ida Lupino and Humphrey Bogart.

Every studio had at least one actress under contract who personified the wholesome, all–American girl next door, Jeanne Crain at Fox or Anne Shirley at RKO. As far as Jack Warner was concerned,
he expected Joan’s private life to be just as sweet and squeaky clean as her screen persona. And then when she had the nerve to defy him, he, in effect, grounded her—by making sure that no other studio would hire her. Joan ultimately got the last laugh by leaving show business in the 1950s and enjoying a successful marriage.

After "High Sierra," Joan’s next appearance was in a rarely seen short subject called "Alice in Movieland" (1941), produced by Jack Warner, Jr., and directed by Jean Negulesco. Joan played a starry-eyed miss on her way to Hollywood. When an assistant director berates her, she gives him a solid tongue lashing, which the director sees as the emotional fire of a great actress. She then gets a starring role and wins an Academy Award before waking up from her dream. Joan remembered it as a delightful story that she had fun performing.

Prior to leaving for New York on a publicity tour, Jack Warner advised her, “I don’t want to see you smoking or drinking.” At a lavish studio party honoring visiting Army dignitaries, she was accidentally put next to Hollywood’s leading womanizer, Errol Flynn. “How do you do, Joan?” he asked. “I’m afraid we never met.” In the room, which was brimming with photographers, it was only a matter of time before someone took notice of Joan’s encounter with Flynn. “Cameras went off and flashed pictures of us smiling at each other in a most cordial, but rather formal way,” Joan recalled. “And in no time at all, a publicity man, of which there were an enormous number at that time, came in and separated us, and pulled Flynn off one way and pulled me off another way. Then I heard that the pictures were killed.”

Joan’s hard work paid off with her first leading lady role in "The Great Mr. Nobody" (1941), an amusing B co-starring Eddie Albert as an accident-prone reporter. Warners thought they worked so well together that they were paired up two more times, in "The Wagons Roll at Night" (1941) and "Thieves Fall Out" (1941).

"The Wagons Roll at Night" also is interesting for its subliminal incestuous themes that seem to be evident in Bogart’s character. His jealousy over the relationship between his sister (Joan Leslie) and the lion tamer smacks more of the spurned lover than the protective older sibling.

Then Warner finally saw to it that Joan appeared in a production of the level of "High Sierra." She was chosen to appear opposite Gary Cooper in "Sergeant York" (1941), director Howard Hawks’ stirring biography of World War I hero Alvin York. The movie, in which York served as technical advisor, began with a look at his early years as a Tennessee farm boy before moving on to his military service career. Joan played Gracie, the backwoods girl he romances and later marries. Their original script was penned with Hawks’ original choice, Jane Russell, in mind, and depicted Gracie as something of a sexpot.

Also successful was "The Male Animal" (1942), the film version of James Thurber’s topical stage comedy that used football and campus politics to parody government. Joan played Olivia de Havilland’s kid sister whose biggest concern is keeping a hulking quarterback (Don DeFore) away from the campus vamp, nicknamed “Hot Garters.” Joan’s role was small and undemanding.

As Mary Cohan in "Yankee Doodle Dandy" (1942), Warners’ flag-waving musical, Joan was required to age roughly thirty years over the course of one hundred and twenty-six minutes. "Yankee Doodle Dandy" was essentially the typical Hollywood musical biography of the ’40s. The difference in this case was James Cagney’s exuberant performance, the high point of his career. The movie opened with Cohan meeting with President Franklin D. Roosevelt, a device that opened the door for a flashback tour of Cohan’s life. The movie was Warners’ first attempt to do a big-budget musical since its Busby Berkeley extravaganzas of the early to mid–1930s. Joan was nicely spotlighted in several numbers, including “She’s the Warmest Baby in the Bunch” and “Mary.” Bosley Crowther raved that Joan was “excellent as Mrs. George M. Cohan” in The New York Times.

Publicists generally found Joan to be unusual among the crop of starlets and glamour girls that populated Hollywood at the time. Joan still lived with her parents and her sisters in their Toluca Lake home, and as such seemed uncorrupted by the many temptations of Hollywood. Her off hours were spent palling around with Jeanne Cagney, whom she met on the set of "Yankee Doodle Dandy," and Jane Withers. In keeping with her wholesome image, Joan was not prone to hitting the night spots frequently or wearing a lot of makeup. On-screen, though, she yearned for the glamour girl treatment her contemporaries, like Alexis Smith and Faye Emerson, were receiving. —"The Women of Warner Brothers: The Lives and Careers of 15 Leading Ladies" (2001) by Daniel Bubbeo

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Mr. Robot "I forgot to remember to forget"

 During New York Comic Con, Rami Malek and Christian Slater talked about what it was like to get into the mind of a man in deep psychosis, and how doing so was so crucial.

"As much research as I did on hacker culture and trying to identify with that, I did way more on the psychological aspect of that: mental health, mental illness," Malek told WhoSay. "As technically accurate as we are with all the computer stuff, we wanted to be as accurate with the illness and the emotions." "It takes away that sense and feeling of being alone," Slater explained. "That's another responsibility of our industry, to shed light on certain things and expose it and just remind people that [they're] not unusual." People go through things. You're not alone. "Everybody is still trying to achieve something for better or worse, to try to persevere, to be as hopeful as they can," Malek said. "Hopefully this show gives everybody more of the power to do that." Source:

When it comes to character arcs, some of the interesting developments we are going to see are going to be with Portia, who plays Angela. “At some point I felt I was almost making a different movie,” said Doubleday. “It’s fun to play a character that is corrupted so slowly.” The character of Angela has definitely gone in a new direction.

Rami Malek explained that with Elliot, “His major struggle is that he’s alone in life and just wants to connect with human beings.” We expect to see that as a continuing theme in season two. In some ways, Angela and Elliot’s stories parallel each other. Both want to connect with others and are corrupted in different ways. Angela wants to become part of society while Elliot wants to destroy it. Source:

Rami Malek ("Real Wild Child") video. Songs "Mailman, Bring Me No More Blues" & "I'm gonna love you too" by Buddy Holly, "Real Wild Child" by Iggy Pop and "I forgot to remember to forget" by Elvis Presley.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

National Sickness (Lou Reed's music), Mr. Robot (Season 2 will be darker)

“If I was restricted to me, it’d get very dull for me. I create a character—and that may or may not apply to me.” —Lou Reed.

For Lou Reed, Shelley Albin was like a prism, an effect Lou later wrote about in “I’ll Be Your Mirror.” It was Lou’s first great love.“People say "I’ll Be Your Mirror" was for Nico, but that’s my conversation with him,” Shelley said: “Lou was a romantic at heart, a total romantic in the sense that Byron was a romantic.” But Shelley didn’t want to be a part of Lou’s artistic persona or take part in the real-life stories behind his increasingly sordid material. “People would always say, ‘Oh, you’re his muse,’ and I would say, ‘Thanks. I’d rather not be.’” Nevertheless, Shelley became the basis for numerous songs over the course of Lou’s early career ("Pale Blue Eyes," "I Can't Stand It").

"White Light, White Heat" is poststructuralist rock par excellence. In its anarchic harmonic structure, the fragmentary splicing that exposes the multitrack recording, and its polysemous lyrics, the album mirrors the horrors of urban life—a rupturing of the physical self, and ultimately the mind—in a thwarted path to fulfillment. Like gestalt psychology, it operated on the fragmentary nature of consciousness in a fractured world that was becoming increasingly incoherent. “Here She Comes Now” concludes the A-side, lulling the listener into a false sense of security. On the flip side, it all gets turned upside down, reaching a psychosomatic climax with “I Heard Her Call My Name,” the most chaotic track the Velvets ever recorded. At once a metaphor for orgasm—“I heard her call my name, and then my mind split open”—the “call” brings the user back from rapture to reality while reconstituting the wall between the self within and the external world without. What was Lou searching for? Spiritual enlightenment, ecstasy, mind-numbing bliss, love? It would be decades before he truly found his mainline, and it didn’t come from the barrel of a hypodermic needle. Shelley would always remain the Daisy Buchanan of his misspent youth.

Then Lou met Bettye Kronstad, who actually had pale blue eyes. They had little in common but floated in the same concentric social circles. Though Bettye had auditioned to be a dancer for the Exploding Plastic Inevitable, they eventually met through Lincoln Swados, who since leaving Syracuse was in dire straits. Swados had attempted suicide, jumping in front of a subway train. As fate would have it, one day, Lou and Bettye’s hospital visits coincided. Bettye instantly caught his eye when they met in the hallway; Lou approached from behind, concealing heart palpitations behind braggadocio and swagger. “Hey you,” he said. “You’re beautiful. Turn around.” She looked at him, startled. Lincoln persuaded Bettye that Lou’s macho posturing concealed the fragile ego of a “nice guy” within. Lou agreed to meet Bettye near her apartment at the West End. “He was a gentleman, and he insisted upon walking me back.” Lou would take the Long Island Rail Road into the city, or Bettye would take it out to Freeport; they were madly in love. “He was kind of lost. He was a serious, reflective, almost teddy bear kind of a man. He was a sweetheart, but fame does awful things to people.” Lou and Bettye got engaged. After a year of living with Lou’s parents and saving, the couple found a studio apartment on Seventy-Eighth Street between First Avenue and East End Drive. Lou dedicated “Perfect Day” to Bettye, immortalizing a summer night early on in their romance. In early January, 1972, Lou and Bettye got married in their apartment on Seventy-Third Street.

Lou Reed was simultaneously East and West Berlin. He was at that moment a symptom of a national sickness. Berlin traded the tragicomic sarcasm of Transformer for a decidedly tragic narrative arc. With Bettye gone, Lou upped his Scotch and speed intake. Days later, he partied all night in Amsterdam, and while appearing the next night in Brussels, he collapsed onstage, narrowly averting an overdose.

Revisiting the ugliness of relationships from a position of unprecedented emotional stability, Lou adopted a critical distance in Ecstasy that allowed for penetrating insights into everything that had once gone wrong in the morass of romantic dysfunction. It was rock therapy. Lou’s ecstatic vision anatomized non-cathartic feelings—paranoia, jealousy, disgust, regret—as they came into conflict with rapture and love.On “Paranoia Key of E,” Lou enumerated a kind of DSM synesthesia—“mania’s in the key of B, psychosis in the key of C”—The eighteen-minute “Like a Possum” returns to the licentious territory of “Heroin,” with Lou recalling “playing possum” with a spiritual death.

Lester Bangs described Lou Reed as having “nursing-home pallor” and a “rusty bug eye” as he drank off the shakes. “I take drugs just because in the 20th century in a technological age living in the city there are certain drugs you have to take just to keep yourself normal,” Lou told Lester in a moment of uncharacteristic frankness. —"Dirty Blvd.: The Life and Music of Lou Reed" (2015) by Aidan Levy

Created and written by Sam Esmail, “Mr. Robot” follows social anxiety-riddled, bug-eyed Elliot (Rami Malek) as he entertains paranoid delusions of being followed (or is that really happening?) and pontificates on the evils of capitalism, the disparity between rich and poor, the disappointment of fallen heroes, and corporations that are ruining the world. Source:

Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail took to the stage at New York Comic Con on Friday, October 9th with the entire core cast including Rami Malek, Carly Chaikin, Portia Doubleday, Christian Slater and Martin Wallström. Esmail also pointed out that Season 2, which will have 10 episodes like the first season, will explore elements of the history between Darlene, Elliot and their father, as well as what he called “the precursor to how fsociety was formed.” Said Esmail, “For me in doing this show what’s cool is I don’t want you to just want to know what happens next. I want you to want to know what happened before. “

When pressed to give one word that would set the tone for Season 2, Esmail said ominously, “Dark. It gets really f---ing dark.” Malek added that Esmail told him the new season is "going be tough. It’s going be harder than last season.” The star then asked Esmail if Elliot would get another love interest. Esmail’s response? A vague but provocative “interesting question…” Source:

Saturday, October 10, 2015

The Neon Demon, Mr. Robot's Demon

“One morning I woke up and realized I was both surrounded and dominated by women,” Refn says on his decision to write a female-driven genre film. “Strangely, a sudden urge was planted in me to make a horror film about vicious beauty. After making Drive and falling madly in love with the electricity of Los Angeles, I knew I had to return to tell the story of The Neon Demon.”

In the film the character of Jesse is played by Elle Fanning, whom Refn calls “a powerhouse of talent” and “absolutely amazing.” The 17-year-old is said to become enveloped by a clutch of vapid LA women who resort to voodoo and cannibalism as a way to harvest her beauty.

We don’t know specifically who else has been assigned roles in that hideous clique. However, as the remainder of the ensemble includes former Refn player Christina Hendricks, who took charge as Mad Men‘s self-appointed matriarch, we’d hazard a guess and say: she’s probably involved in the madness. The Hunger Games Jena Malone and Dark Shadows‘ Bella Heathcote round out the main female complement. Source:

Mr. Robot #4 "Daemons" was blanketed in vagueness and open for interpretation, taking us on a journey to figure things out for ourselves while also not putting too much stress on getting those answers. What first seemed like a show solely about paranoid Elliot and his hacker adventures is quickly becoming a spotlight on fringe lifestyles. We'll start with Elliot, whose increase in snorting pain powder quickly spiraled into full-blown physical dependency after he broke his rule of moderation during a particularly stressful period of responsibility with changing the world. "Daemons" became the druggie dry-out episode as Elliot was thrown into a hotel room to exorcise his demons and went on one hell of a mental adventure.

He obviously has an unrequited thing for Angela that's been put to the side since the pilot in favor of hooking him up with Shayla, he's repressing his childhood because his dad died and his relationship with his mother was awful, and the dreamy imagery backed all that up. Source:

The cast and creative team sat down at New York Comic Con to shed what little light they could on the series’ much-anticipated season 2. “I was just driving over here with [creator Sam Esmail] trying to pick his brain, and he wouldn’t reveal much because that’s Sam,” said Rami Malek, who stars as perpetually-hoodied hacker Elliot Alderson.

“He did say ‘get ready.’ And I said ‘what do you mean?’ And he said ‘it’s going to be rough.’ I’m thinking, how much rougher can it possibly get? He just looked at me and said ‘it’s going to get worse.'” Mr. Esmail, for his part, was as tight-lipped as Mr. Malek described, but he did offer up an idea of what to expect while answering the only issue I had with Mr. Robot‘s first season: why would anyone stay so loyal to Elliot, while he is so obviously mentally unstable.

“You have to think about what all the members of fSociety’s intentions are. They want to cause this awful, catastrophic event. They’re not the most balanced folks either,” Mr. Esmail told me. “But we’re going to explore that in season 2. We’re going to look at why they are following this leader who is a little off.” Source:

Angela is ambitious but lacks confidence, savvy but lacks technological skills. She relies on her childhood friend and colleague, Elliot Alderson, for assistance in critical situations -- in both business and her personal life. Angela’s mother died when she was young, from cancer which developed after her exposure to toxic chemicals at a factory owned by Evil Corp. She has a strong relationship with her father, Don, though events at Allsafe begin to strain their relationship. As Angela navigates corporate politics, Don worries that his daughter approaches moral compromise.

As a senior network technician for cyber security firm Allsafe, Elliot protects corporate clients — including the ubiquitous Evil Corp. As a vigilante hacker, he monitors the people in his daily life and protects those he’s close to from their own flaws. Originally from Washington Township, New Jersey, Elliot now lives alone on the Lower East Side. He suffers from crippling anxiety, which stems from memories of his difficult childhood. His father died when Elliot was young, and his now-estranged mother was brutally cruel. Elliot has spent most of his adult life isolated from the world around him.

With the arrival of Mr. Robot, Elliot’s world changes entirely. Fsociety’s members and mission offer him a renewed purpose leaving him faced with the question of whether to numbly continue the life he knows or risk everything and participate in Mr. Robot’s revolution. Source:

“I think I watched Taxi Driver more than any film I did in preparation for Mr. Robot,” Malek revealed. “I was enthralled by [Travis Bickle] and it’s such an iconic movie. De Niro did something so revolutionary with that character. He embraces a guy who was on the fringes of society and made him relatable — humanized him. That’s something we’ve aspired to do with a lot of the characters on this show and something I really work hard at doing with Elliot.” Source:

In Martin Scorsese's 1976 film Taxi Driver, Robert De Niro plays a mentally unstable Vietnam veteran, Travis Bickle, who drives a cab and fantasizes about a beautiful blonde who works at a political campaign headquarters. In his unbalanced state of mind, the taxi driver figures that his assassination of a presidential candidate would really make him somebody in the eyes of the world and of his fantasy object. As the film unfolds, he becomes increasingly depressed at the sleaze and degradation around him and anoints himself the defender of a teenaged prostitute, Iris. -"Conspiracies and Secret Societies: The Complete Dossier" (2012) by Brad Steiger