Oct 31, 2018
Is Christian Slater real? An investigation
Mr. Robot, USA Network’s new summer cyber drama about a young computer engineer invited to join a mysterious group of misfit hackers in their quest to take down the EVIL CORPORATION responsible for his fathers’ death…
…raises many complex questions, both about our increased reliance on the internet as a replacement for in-person communications, and our willingness to share personal information about ourselves online. Interestingly enough, however, the most important question it raises has nothing to do with either of these things. Peruse the message boards for Mr. Robot, and you’ll see very few posts on internet privacy, corporate data security, or all that philosophical mumbo jumbo. So what are all Mr. Robot fans actually talking about? Mr. Robot himself, obviously.
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Though the new series has much to offer its viewers in terms of intriguingly socially awkward and morally ambiguous characters, high stakes cyber-crimes in the works, the ability to hack into someone’s Android cell phone without going to jail, and unpredictable plot twists, the real fun of watching Mr. Robot is trying to determine whether Mr. Robot (played by Christian Slater) actually exists at all.
I mean, we see him! The main character Elliot (Rami Malek) sees him. We just aren’t entirely sure anybody else on the show actually does. In fact, it could be argued that Elliot, who it is made very clear from the pilot episode has some heavy-duty drug problems, serious social anxiety, and possible signs of mental illness, is the only person who ever interacts with Mr. Robot.
One particularly fun game to play while watching Mr. Robot is to closely examine every scene with Christian Slater in it and try to find a moment where someone other than Elliot actually acknowledges his existence.
Hint: It didn’t happen here.
Definitely not here.
Probably not here either.
This makes watching Mr. Robot kind of like watching The Sixth Sense when you already know Bruce Willis is dead, or Fight Club after you’ve learned that Ed Norton and Brad Pitt are the same person. You get this sort of smug sense of satisfaction with yourself for being “smarter” than all the people who… well… probably aren’t watching the show anyway. But hey, we TV nerds take our smug satisfaction where we can get it.
So who is Mr. Robot? Is he a mere figment of Elliot’s lonely, drugged up imagination? A manifestation of dissociative disorder? A Tyler Durden-esque alter ego, one whose bold and outspoken personality is the antithesis of the main character’s? Or is Mr. Robot actually Elliot’s dead-before-his-time father, a wise-cracking ethereal vision whose sole purpose is to help Elliot cope with and avenge his own death?
You know, all this pontificating about Mr. Robot’s true identity has got me wondering about the actor who plays him. What the heck is up with Christian Slater?
Is there a possibility that Christian, like his alter ego Mr. Robot, may not, in fact, be a real human being?
The following is some disturbing evidence we’ve uncovered to support this frightening hypothesis.
For those of you who have seen the high school cult classic Heathers, there’s actually a ton of empirical evidence to support the theory that Slater’s James Dean was not a real boy, but merely a manifestation of Winona Ryder’s Veronica’s subconscious hatred for her asshat popular friends, most of whom just happened to be named Heather.
In another teen classic film, Pump Up the Volume, Christian Slater’s loner character, Mark Hunter, gained fame as a disc jockey using the entirely fabricated shock jock persona of Happy Harry Hard-on.
In the failed television series My Own Worst Enemy, Slater plays a man with multiple personality disorder who has no idea he’s leading two separate lives.
In the also failed television series Mind Games, (not too lucky lately, are we, Christian Slater?) Slater stars as Ross, a con man who decides to go “straight” and run a psychological firm whose job it is to convince people that unreal things (like himself?) are actually real.
In short, Christian Slater really likes to fuck with our minds. And he seems to have a real problem playing characters who others recognize as actually being real in the traditional sense of the word. He’s constantly challenging us to peel away the layers of his fictional characters’ alter egos’ fake personas’ public facades. Will we ever find the true identity underneath it all? Or is he just a mass delusion? An airbrushed image in our mind who’s really into hair gel and “I smoke ten packs of cigarettes a day” voice impressions?
Perhaps the projects he chooses are nothing more than a thinly veiled message to the masses about his identity. Or perhaps marathoning all the episodes of Mr. Robot have made us as paranoid and drug-addled as the series’ main character. Either way, we know that the truth is out there about Christian Slater… somewhere.
Your move, Christian Slater, if that’s even your real name. Prove us wrong. Convince us that you really exist. We dare you!