Magazine article Variety

Cybergeek on Set Makes 'Mr. Robot' Authentic

Magazine article Variety

Cybergeek on Set Makes 'Mr. Robot' Authentic

Article excerpt


WRITER-PRODUCER SAM ESMAIL Was fed up with the Hollywood clichés of hackers. As a former hacker himself, he wanted his debut TV show - USA Network's "Mr. Robot" - to represent that community as authentically as possible. After all, he reasoned, practically everyone today has a smartphone or laptop and knows how to use technology; audiences will notice inaccuracies. That's why a key position on "Mr. Robot" is the technical advisor.

"If I make a mistake, I know it's going to end up on Reddit or Twitter," says that advisor, Kor Adana. "And then Sam is going to email me about it. Our fans are awesome and super smart, and I have a lot of anxiety when we're airing episodes."

Adana began on season one as an assistant but quickly made his way into the writer's room. (Esmail is known for sailing a nontraditional ship.) As season two gears up to air on July 13, Adana explains how his job takes him all the way from pre-production to post.

"In production, my job evolves into that of a full-time tech consultant," he says. "I research hacks and figure out exactly what Elliott [the hacker played by Rami Malek] would be doing at his computer and what would be seen onscreen, what kind of software he would have, and what commands he would use."

For Elliot's screenshots, Adana - formerly a "white hat hacker" for a cyber security firm - researches software and comes up with detailed breakdowns, complete with photo and video samples. …

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