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SDCC 2016: ‘Mr Robot’ Star Portia Doubleday Teases Angela “Has a Game Plan in Her Back Pocket”

Nora Dominick ’17/ Emertainment Monthly Co-Executive Stage Editor

A character that was largely underestimated during season one of Mr. Robot, Angela has risen to the occasion. She is one of the most complex, strong, independent female characters on TV and Portia Doubleday portrays her flawlessly.

At SDCC 2016, Portia Doubleday discusses Angela’s game plan in season two, Angela’s relationship with Elliot (Rami Malek) and Darlene (Carly Chaikin) and much more.

When season one of Mr. Robot ended, Angela has officially travelled to the dark side and began working for Evil-Corp. Now, looking at season two, Portia Doubleday couldn’t relate to Angela more. She says, “I relate to her on so many levels. She’s a layered, very complex and real person. I identify with her sitting with Terry Colby [Bruce Altman] and him saying to her, ‘You want to make a difference? You’re going to have to work from within. This lawsuit man’s sh*t and it’s not going to make a difference. If you work from within you could be in a positions where you could implement change that you want.'”

Doubleday discusses the fan reaction that went along with Angela’s decision to join Evil-Corp. She says, “A lot of people were freaking out saying, ‘Oh my gosh, she’s working at the company that killed her Mom.’ But if someone said that to you and you were in that position where you could actually make those changes, would you do it? And I would do it. There’s so many of those moments this season like, would you do it if you were in her shoes.”

More so this season, Doubleday has been looking at the internal struggle Angela is facing. What went into her choosing to work for Evil-Corp and take them down from the inside. She says, “I think there’s aspects of her that’s desperately trying to maintain her moral compass and her integrity. But there’s also part of her that lost her mother and I really started thinking about the implications of that.” She continues saying, “When you lose, as a child, power and control, and you never feel justified, whether her being validated in this environment, from the CEO that’s literally saying ‘I believe in you,’ whether or not those inner needs becomes bigger than perhaps being a good person.”

Portia Doubleday in the Mr. Robot episode "eps2.0_unm4sk-pt2.tc." Photo Credit: USA
Portia Doubleday in the Mr. Robot episode “eps2.0_unm4sk-pt2.tc.” Photo Credit: USA

Mr. Robot has become known for its crazy twists. Doubleday says she tried to figure out the big surprises for season two, with no such luck. She says, “I asked Sam [Esmail], he’s like ‘You’re never gonna guess it.’ And I’m like ‘Yes I will.’ So, I ran through every scenario I could think of and he was like ‘Nope. Nope. Nope.'” She continues saying, “I was sitting at the table read and we hadn’t read it yet. We read this first six by ourselves and went to a warehouse and read the last four together for the first time. I was sitting there reading and he looked over and was like ‘Told you.'”

Doubleday leaves us with the tease, “I will say that there are so many things this season that are really unpredictable. It’s gonna be really fun.”

One of the most important relationships from day one of Mr. Robot is Angela and Elliot’s bond. It’s one of the first relationships fans are introduced to in the beginning and this season it’s explored even more. Doubelday says, “There’s definitely a lot of things going on. The both lost their parents. Sam said, they’ve had conversations about wanting to change the world and they are going about it in two completely different ways. But they both, essentially, want the same thing. She’s within the system and he’s basically trying to take it down outside.”

Teasing what is ahead for Angela and Elliot, Doubleday says, “Sam did say to me this season, ‘Remember who you are different around.’ Because I have a very specific dynamic with Elliot and I have a very different dynamic with Darlene and those kind of stay. No matter how much Angela might shift. Those relationships seem to stay.” She continues saying, “It’s kind of like anything else. The people that you’re closest to you act differently around. What I will say is, those three have a lot to do with each other this season. Darlene, Angela and Elliot. You get to see a lot more about their relationships with each other, especially Angela and Elliot’s.”

So, what’s in store for Angela now that she’s working for Evil-Corp? Although Doubleday couldn’t give away too much, she teases, “I think that if she can kind of work her way in and get to a certain place. She’ll be able to start playing around. She’s really smart. I think that’s what’s very unpredictable. I think people did underestimate her, completely underestimated her.” She continues saying, “I think Angela is one you should never underestimate. She has a game plan in her back pocket and she’s setting it. If you watch really closely, she sets it early on.” 

Catch Portia Doubleday in Mr. Robot Wednesdays at 10/9c on USA. 

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