Elliot isn’t the only one in bad shape in the season 2 premiere of Mr. Robot; his best friend Angela isn’t much better off. After apparently selling out and switching sides, taking a job in Evil Corp public relationships, the former AllSafe employee is having meaningless sex and muttering positive affirmations to herself. Not great.
The actress who plays Angela, Portia Doubleday, was fascinated by the direction her character took at the end of last season and relished the opportunity to delve further into her transformation. “I was thinking ‘What moves a person to need that kind of structure and control?’” Doubleday said.
One of Angela’s most important relationships in season 2 will be with Evil Corp and with the hater of leftover food on people’s lips, Phillip Price. Doubleday teased a bit of a competitive dynamic between the two as they each try to play the other. “She’s in an environment primarily dominated by men, where she’s just trying to move up in this company and discover more about that world,” she said. “But also she’s really troubled by that world and the actions she’s doing and is really coerced by Price to do things that in the first season, she wouldn’t be capable of.”
Angela’s positive affirmations play directly into one of the major themes of the season so far: the need for (and illusion of) control. The phrases reveal her desperate efforts to take the reins in her life, but Doubleday sees through them. “I love this aspect of her that’s constantly trying to be in control of her mind and the toll that takes on your soul,” she said. “You actually need to confirm to yourself that you have power and are confident and that you trust yourself. She’s constantly trying to manipulate herself into being able to make these decisions.”
A big factor in all of this is the state of Angela’s relationships. Without Darlene or Elliot in her corner, the world has become a harsher place. “Angela loves Elliot and Darlene and cares for them,” Doubleday said, “but she’s completely engaged in being able to create an identity for herself, and she’ll go to any lengths to achieve that.”