The Women Of Mr. Robot On Why They're Primary Characters

Photo by: Chris Haston/NBCUniversal
Mr. Robot is a rare show in that it’s both about hackers and doesn’t lose itself into either the computer world or masculinity. (Granted, the Angelina Jolie-fronted Hackers didn’t either, but the less said about that film the better.)

Although Rami Malek’s Elliot is the lead alongside Christian Slater, the women of Mr. Robot play just as critical a role in the show’s ongoing plot machinations. Grace Gummer, Carly Chaikin, Portia Doubleday, and Stephanie Corneliussen don’t just play bit roles, they drive the show.

Mamie Gummer, who joined the cast this season as FBI agent Dominique “Dom” DiPierro, said as much when speaking on a Wednesday panel at the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour in Beverly Hills, EW reports.

“I don’t think we’re all driven by some female motor or some female agenda,” Gummer told the audience. “I think we all have our own purpose and our own drive, and we are not secondary characters. We drive the story just as much as Rami and Christian and now, also, the new characters on the show, too.”

Stephanie Corneliussen, who plays the increasingly-unhinged Joanna Wellick, says that the miracle of the show is that its female characters are naturally equals.

“We’re not being unrealistically empowered or set up to be anything more than what we are,” Corneliussen said. “We are women, we are equals, and I think that makes [us] something new in television.”

The women basically had their own show during the first four episodes of the season, when Elliot was lost in his head and the men were relegated to ineffectual thrashing about. What sets Mr. Robot apart from other shows is its matter-of-factness about female leads. There’s no reference to gender or sexualization. The women of Mr. Robot are important, full-stop, with no explanation needed. They’re master hackers, or FBI agents, or murderous psychopaths — their gender is present, but it's not a defining characteristic.

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