Mr. Robot is a dystopian cyber drama filled with plenty of hacking, conspiracy theories, and revolution. As a nod to the premise of the show, the creators leaked the first part of the two-part season 2 premiere this past Sunday, though it’s officially set to air tonight. One of the bright spots of the episode was the addition of Pro Era capo Joey Bada$$ to the cast. The show follows Elliot Anderson, a young cyber-security engineer involved in an underground hacker group called fsociety. Bada$$ (stereotypically) plays Anderson’s drug dealer and friend, Leon. But there is some slight nuance to his Seinfeld-obsessed character, and his performance got him some love on the interwebs.
Leon is my new favorite character in "Mr Robot"
— caitlin bruner (@ccbruner) July 11, 2016
@joeyBADASS killin it as Leon on Mr. Robot 💯💯
— Mahmoud (@Mackiee04) July 11, 2016
It’s not surprising that the Badmon has acting chops because that’s initially what he went to school for. As he told Rolling Stone in an interview, he auditioned to attend the storied Edward R. Murrow High School, an arts school that boasts notable alumni such as artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, Javier Muñoz of Hamilton fame, and actress Marisa Tomei. Bada$$ starred in a few plays during his tenure at Murrow including this weird bit of John Cusack Is Not a Famous Actor below.
Here’s how he prepared for the Mr. Robot role:
I just rehearsed my lines over and over. I had to watch a lot of Seinfeld because my character is really in love with that show. What else? I watched the whole first season to know what was going on and where we was at. That’s pretty much it.
The Brooklyn rapper also mentioned he was cast in a supporting role in Barry, a biopic about young Barack Obama, but couldn’t film because he had to perform at Coachella. Here’s the role he passed up:
I was supposed to be his best friend. I was the guy who was supposed to show him the projects, and show him how black people was living in America at the time.
Acting is something Bada$$ has seriously considered since 14 or 15 years old, and now at 21, he’s got a #2 album under his belt and a budding acting career. Read the interview in its entirety here, and check out the trailer for season two of Mr. Robot below.
UPDATE: You can watch Joey Bada$$’s first appearance on the show here — he comes in around the 8-minute mark, enthusing about Seinfeld as promised.