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USA’s new drama Mr. Robot has premiered to great reviews and has already scored a second season. While star Rami Malek has to keep mum on what lies ahead for his socially maladjusted computer specialist/hacker Elliot, we did get him to dish about our second favorite character introduced in the pilot — Elliot’s new dog, Flipper.
In real life, the Cairn Terrier is named Dusty. “So there are times when I’m filming when I’m like, ‘Dusty! Dusty!’ to get her to do what I need her to do,” Malek says. So Flipper is a lady dog? “Flipper is a girl. I just saw a little bit of episode 2 when I walk Flipper. Flipper keeps pooping in my apartment, so I take her for a walk and I show her what she has to do. There’s a moment [in the pilot] when I’m trying to pump myself up in the server farm, and I say, ‘You got this! You got this! You got this!’ So I ad-libbed this line to Flipper. I get down and I’m like, ‘You got this.’ It’s really good,” he says, laughing. “[Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail] dug it, and he doesn’t always like me — or ever like me — ad-libbing dialogue.”
Malek also gave us the backstory on Elliot’s fish, Qwerty. “Qwerty was originally a cat. And then they asked me how I am with cats. I go, “Honestly, I have a few allergies. Not all cats, it’s not a big deal. I mean, how often is the cat gonna be there?’ I guess everyone went berserk and was like, ‘He can’t have a cat.’ So Qwerty became a dog,” he says. “We shot with this big fluffy white dog that you saw in the production stills. I walked in, and I said to Sam, ‘You got the sitcom dog. That’s the dog that’s in every family home on every sitcom. That is not my dog.’ As soon as you say the word ‘sitcom’ to Sam, he’s like, ‘Kill it.’ He didn’t kill the dog,” Malek clarifies with another laugh. “So then, Qwerty became a fish. But Flipper was always Flipper.”
For more fun with Malek, watch him quiz co-star Christian Slater on Slater’s movie lines:
And in the video below, we had them ask each other probing questions to reveal what we’d uncover if we were to hack their lives (embarrassing photos, weird online purchases, and one fake celebrity cell number!):
Mr. Robot airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on USA.