After a groundbreaking first season, Mr. Robot has more than earned its reputation as one of the most fascinating TV shows—and not just because it’s thrilling to watch the drama unfold. The USA series has been lauded for its accurate representation of the hacker world’s advanced technology, employing often mind-boggling strategies and coding keywords that aren’t quite a part of the average viewer’s daily vocabulary. (Raspberry pi, anyone?)
But we’re not the only ones who have had to look up the meanings behind some of the show’s key phrases. Christian Slater—aka, Mr. Robot himself—made a valiant effort to be as prepared as possible before filming began in order to keep up with his character (and impress the show’s tech whiz creator, Sam Esmail). “I went immediately to Google Search and Wikipedia, looked up all these terms, and learned about everything as much as I possibly could,” Slater said during a panel at South by Southwest in April. “It is an ever-evolving situation—so to stay current, it’s very, very tricky. As soon as I learned everything and got [to the set], literally all of those terms were already outdated and completely null and void. But I’ve gotten, I think, much better since.”
Rami Malek also felt some pressure to appear as computer literate as his onscreen counterpart, cyber security engineer Elliot Alderson. To keep up with his hacker character, Malek decided to get a head start and arrive to set before filming began. “You have to come in a little bit early,” he told reporters at the same panel. “I have to look at all of the animations and graphics and go through it with the tech guys.” Heading into season two, Malek has grown accustomed to typing code at rapid-fire speed. “It’s gotten so much better,” he said.
While adjusting to the fast-paced world of Mr. Robot may understandably be a challenge, the show’s leading ladies—Carly Chaikin, Portia Doubleday, and Stephanie Corneliussen—recently told InStyle that they’ve gotten the hang of things rather quickly. So, we asked the three actresses: Who’s the most tech-savvy star on the show? Scroll down to see what they said and tune in for the premiere of the second season this Wednesday, July 13 at 10 p.m. ET on USA.