Joey Bada$$ talks about his role on the TV show "Mr. Robot."
Although Nyck Caution recently revealed to us that he's also had a passion for acting, and expressed a desire to pursue it once his rap career takes off, his Pro Era comrade Joey Bada$$ is already there. Joey has begun tackling TV, with a role in the drama "Mr. Robot," which is about to air its second season on USA Network and is definitely worth getting into if you're not already.
Timing with the season two premiere of "Mr. Robot," Joey chopped it up with Rolling Stone for a Q&A based around the show. Take a look at some excerpts below, where he reveals how he got cast in the part of Leon, interacting with Rami Malek (who plays the main character on the show, Elliot) and more.
How did you get involved with "Mr. Robot"?
There was a casting call. I auditioned for the role of Leon. I got three callbacks, and I was finally casted. That's pretty much how it happened. My character is basically speaking to the main character in this diner, so it wasn't hard at all. It's simple, actually. I just went in the audition and I had my lines memorized, like, literally, five minutes before I walked into the room, because I had no time to rehearse because of my business schedule. And yeah, I just went in there and Sam [Esmail] was right there when I auditioned. I had him laughing from the very moment that I started doing my lines. I was pretty confident after that.
When did you meet Rami Malek?
First time I met him was on the first day that we shot. That was in March. The first day I shot, I had scenes with him and Christian Slater. For me, it was like, they set the bar high. It was a little bit of pressure on me because I'm like, "Wow, I'm right in between these two amazing actors. I've got to be great in their presence." But they gave me a lot of confidence and pointers. They made me feel comfortable so I could do what I had to do.
Have you done any acting prior to "Mr. Robot"?
Yeah, briefly in high school. I got accepted into my high school theater, so I was in a couple of plays and productions. And that's pretty much it for my acting history. I went to Edward R. Murrow. Basquiat also went there, and Adam Yauch, and then also Joey Bada$$ attended that school.
Have you auditioned for any shows or movies before "Mr. Robot"?
Yep. I actually was casted for this film titled "Barry," which is about the early life of Barack Obama. But I couldn't do it because I had to do Coachella. The week that they wanted to shoot was the week that I had to play Coachella. So I missed out on the Obama movie for Coachella. That's one hell of a story to tell. You're the first person I've ever told that to in a public space.
Obviously no one's seen the second season yet. Can you talk about the relationship Leon has with Elliot in the show?
Leon becomes a new friend of Elliot's. He really likes Elliot, and he really thinks he should look out for Elliot. That's all I can tell you without getting in trouble.
On the show, Elliot doesn't talk to anybody – except for the imaginary Mr. Robot. How is Leon able to get through to him?
Leon is just different. Elliot pretty much doesn't talk, but Leon is really talkative. So I guess that's where the relationship works. Elliot can sit there and just listen to this guy just babble off about a whole bunch of random stuff, including "Seinfeld." So they build a dope relationship over Leon talking and Elliot listening.