“Mind awake, body asleep”: Rami Malek’s Emmy Win Is Not A Lucid Dream

By Ilse Apellaniz

Television’s most awaited night of the year finally arrived last night — and it swept us off our feet.

The 68th Primetime Emmy Awards surprised everyone when Rami Malek (star of USA Network’s hit show Mr. Robot) was recognized as Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. The award, though well deserved, was certainly unexpected since Malek was running against all-time favorites like Kevin Spacey (House of Cards), Bob Odenkirk (Better Call Saul) and Kyle Chandler (Bloodline). As opposed to these iconic stars, the Egyptian-American’s time in the spotlight has been as brief as it’s been notable. Before being casted by Sam Esmail as Elliot Alderson, Malek had done minor appearances in films like A night at the museum. It’s no surprise that the most shocked of them all was Malek himself when his name filled the room as it completed the sentence “and the winner is”.

“Please tell me that you’re seeing this too”, joked Malek with a shaky grip on the golden statuette. The joke is a reference to Elliot’s schizophrenic eruptions in the show, which tells the story of a troubled young hacker who sets out to change the way society is controlled by a handful of corrupt, greedy individuals. Malek’s acceptance speech was emotional, as he talked about how there’s a little Elliot in all of us: alienated, voiceless, frustrated.

Elliot Alderson is not just another character from just another wholesome form of entertainment. Elliot embodies a call for action. Mr. Robot is a crude representation of our collective, mindless intake of corporative and political maneuvering. It’s a wake-up call for everyone whose frustration has outgrown their numbness.

The actor’s win perfectly coincides with the show’s second season finale, which airs this Wednesday.