Star of the hit TV series, Mr. Robot, Christian Slater chats to Mindfood about career, raising teenagers and the horrors (and benefits) of social media.
These days one aspect of being an actor means you have to be active on various social media platforms yet you need to keep your privacy too. How do you balance that?
Yeah, it is vital. But again, it’s always very fascinating though to be unattainable, you know. I think that does create a certain mystery so there’s something very sexy in that which I admire and respect. I think there’s also the other side of it where it is very important to, you know, shake hands and be polite. It’s not only important for the business but I think important for me as a human being to participate in events and I do like meeting people and I appreciate doing interviews like this (laughs).
Do you think there is a certain paranoia that the series has picked up on that is prevalent in our society now?
Yeah, I definitely think that, that is very true. It certainly has done that for me in a lot of ways. Working on a show like this, I have got even much more aware about security and I asked the technical experts that we work with about security measures that I can take. And it’s basically updating passwords. But it’s certainly advisable to put that piece of tape over the camera of your computer, for sure. You just don’t want to leave that thing open because anybody can hack in. The scariest thing is that it’s a lot easier than any of us really know. This was one of those things where people weren’t really aware of how easy it was and a show like this certainly has raised people’s awareness levels on that issue and the dangers of it and how scary it can actually be.
You’re in a privileged position. You’ve been an actor all your life, you’re very successful, how do you relate to poverty and homelessness? Things that are outside the entertainment industry?
Well, I mean, I certainly love the opportunity to get to be an artist. Doing theatre which is really the roots, the foundation of my life and career, is not necessarily riddled with riches and glory. Theatre is not the movie business so I’m really grateful for that foundation. I’ve played homeless people and as an actor you try and immerse yourself as much as you possibly can into the character. I’ve definitely put myself in some of those positions and situations. I’ve borderline played with Method and doing those sort of things but I tend not to take myself as seriously as some Method people might. I do like the structure and the honesty and the believability of wearing the underwear of the character that you’re playing and what it gives you as an actor. As far as charity, I’m involved in organisations and I don’t want to pat myself on the back for anything but I do try to give back wherever possible.
What attributes do you think are important to pass onto your children?
With my children I try to be an example, to the best of my ability, of somebody who tells the truth, who’s a straight shooter, who works with integrity. You know, I am not here to try and screw anybody else over. I’m here to be a part of a team, hopefully to be a gentleman, and as much of a dignified example as I can possibly be in this world and give back. Hopefully they absorb that.
What kinds of things are they into?
Well, with my son, I don’t know where he got it from but he seems to be really interested in military service so that may be his way of giving back. He did have a grandfather who served in World War II, in the Canadian military. He drove a tank, so maybe that did something. He seems to really have a desire to be of service and I’m very proud of him for that. And my daughter is (pauses) you know, well, she’s 15. (laughs). She’s finding out where she wants to go and what she wants to do. She’s testing boundaries and testing my wife’s patience a lot which is great. She’s wonderful too and she’s a great student. Boys and girls are so different and I’m excited about the whole prospect. I can’t wait to have more kids (laughs).
Do you have something you’d like to announce?
(laughs). We’ll see what happens.