While TV stars often show up at big automotive events, the reaction to Mr. Robot's Rami Malek, who is currently filming season three in New York City, was unusual.
Entering an event for the launch of the Audi Sport brand at the New York International Auto Show, the Emmy award-winning actor attracted a throng of admirers who reached out to touch him as he walked by (which he took in stride). Malek, who lives in both L.A. and N.Y., chatted about growing up taking the bus and why he finds freedom in driving:
So, you're an Audi guy....
I've been driving an Audi for a while now. For me, there is an elegance and class to the brand, and that combines with a sense of power when I'm on the road. I have an S5. It's a really nice car to drive.
Are there certain roads that you like to drive when you're in L.A.?
I grew up near Sepulveda Boulevard - where the road gets windy right by the 405 - and I went to Notre Dame High School. I'm a Valley kid and I liked cars. But I grew up taking the bus in Los Angeles, I'd take the bus down Riverside, the 424 down Ventura Boulevard, I'm still pretty adept at that.
What about when you're in New York?
I spend half my year between the two cities. I grew up in L.A., but I love New York. I love the interactions I get here. Sometimes I'll drive when I'm in New York, but usually I'm on the train when I'm here. With the level of traffic that's in this city, it's brutal. But when I'm in the back of a car, that's nice, too. There is something about being driven around; you can get a lot of work done in the backseat of a car. Like anywhere, you can make it a nice comfortable space to get work done. But I would always prefer to operate my own vehicle.
What do you do when you're in the car in L.A.?
I listen to a lot of music. I like to turn on the jams and try to evade the traffic as much as possible. L.A. is a tough town. Sometimes you can feel really secluded, but at the same time, with that sense of privacy of being in your vehicle, you're able to shut everything out. When I'm driving, it's nice having that control of getting from point A to point B and literally feeling like the pilot behind the wheel. I think I find freedom in any drive I take, at least I hope, but I don't feel like I have to seek out a road to find a sense of freedom.