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Unstoppable Force

Actress Carly Chaikin enters a bold new world in the highly anticipated second season of Mr. Robot.

The second season of Mr. Robot premieres July 13 on USA Network.

If you think you’re anxious for the return of the award-winning cyber-thriller Mr. Robot, you’ve got nothing on its star Carly Chaikin. “I was just scrolling through a script to see if any of my lines or the plot had changed. The next thing I know, I just couldn’t stop reading it entirely through,” she confesses. “Season two is so good. I cannot wait for it to come out.” Chaikin has every reason to be excited. After an intense inaugural season, where her character Darlene was sidelined for the payoff of a major plot twist, Chaikin now gets to fully explore her role. “We really dive into Darlene’s world,” says the actress. “And we come back after the hack, battling if we did the right thing. There’s always cause and effect.”

The 26-year-old may seem like a natural fit for the role of the sardonic computer genius, but Chaikin reveals she had to fight for the job. “They didn’t want to see me at all because [creator Sam Esmail] had seen me in Suburgatory. They looked me up and saw pictures of my blond hair, pink outfits and spray tans and said, ‘This is not who we’re looking for.’ The casting director had to fight for me.” Instead of being discouraged, Chaikin was thrilled. “It’s flattering that someone would assume that that’s who I am because it means I was able to embody the character of Dalia,” says Chaikin on her former part. “It’s just really funny that people assume I actually act like that.”

Proving herself professionally is just par for the course for the native Angeleno. At 18, with no experience under her belt, she decided—much to her parents’ dismay—to skip college and pursue acting instead. Within the year she landed one of the leads in The Last Song opposite Miley Cyrus and has been making her mark ever since. “I really knew with every fiber of my being that acting was—for lack of a better word—my calling,” says Chaikin. “I’ve been so lucky to be able to go into such different worlds from my own, and that’s what makes my job so fun. I just want to continue doing that.”

Makeup by Nick Barose for Exclusive Artists Management using Sisley Paris; shot on location at The Jane; styling by Jessica Margolis