The trailer for the second season of the USA Network's acclaimed psychological thriller Mr. Robot was released today. Besides looking as deliciously suspenseful as we've come to expect from the hacker drama, this clip has a secret weapon: An apparent cameo from one Barack Obama, an up-and-coming actor you may be familiar with from his previous role as president of the United States of America.
Obama appears on a TV screen in the midst of what looks like a garden-variety press conference. His comments are generic as you'd expect—at least, they start off that way. "There hasn't been anything like this in the past," Obama says. "This is going to be affecting our economy in ways that are extraordinarily significant."
This statement sounds like it could have been repurposed from any old speech precisely because it was. In fact, those two sentences are stitched together from the president's end-of-the-year remarks to the White House press corps in December 2014. In that context, the first line referred to normalizing relations with Cuba and the second—more in line with the themes of Mr. Robot—to cyber attacks.
But from there, the voice of Obama gets awfully specific. "The FBI announced today that Tyrell Wellick and fsociety engaged in this attack," he says, seemingly commenting directly on the events of the show's first season. Uh…
Former E Corp executive and forever sociopath Tyrell Wellick (Martin Wallström) is a Mr. Robot character, and fsociety is the Coney Island-based hacker group led by the titular Mr. Robot (Christian Slater). Both, of course, are fictional, and very, very unlikely to have ever been mentioned in POTUS stock footage that somebody in the production office happened to find lying around.
Golden Globe or no Golden Globe, it would be an unbelievable coup if the series managed to recruit our Commander in Chief, seasoned TV star though he may be, to record some dialogue. But if not Obama, that's one hell of a voice actor: Who? How? What?
Then again, with a little movie magic, the 1997 sci-fi flick Contact borrowed real-life footage of Bill Clinton discussing a rock from Mars and made it sound like the then President was talking about the extraterrestrial signals at the heart of the plot. I wouldn't put anything past Mr. Robot, particularly not a feat of editing.
We've reached out to the USA Network in the hopes of getting to the bottom of this presidential mystery. Stay tuned.
Mr. Robot returns July 13 at 9 p.m. ET on the USA Network.
Molly Fitzpatrick is senior editor of Fusion's Pop & Culture section. Her interests include movies about movies, TV shows about TV shows, and movies about TV shows, but not so much TV shows about movies.