Celebrating Sam Esmail’s Journey Of Incredible Storytelling Throughout Hollywood

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 24: Sam Esmail attends the premiere of Amazon Studios' 'Homecoming' at Regency Bruin Theatre on October 24, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images)

We are here to commemorate the birthday of the talented Egyptian-American screenwriter, director, and television producer Sam Esmail, who was born on Sept. 17, 1977. He was born in Hoboken, New Jersey and he is of Egyptian descent. Esmail’s work often centers on the themes of alienation, technology, and society in general. He is best known as the creator of the television series Mr. Robot which featured fellow Egyptian-American star, Rami Malek.

Esmail has unquestionably been a great force and a creator of tales that stress the notion of alienation and the way society treats individuals who are thought “not fit” with aggression. For example, In a BBC interview, Esmail explained the influence of his heritage on his work by claiming that “I tend to write about alienated figures who can’t connect with others and who are kind of distant from American culture. It’s not something I am consciously doing but it’s something that happens to be infused inside me because of my experience growing up in America.”

He also told Rolling Stone back in 2016. “I’m Egyptian, and my parents stupidly decided to move us down to South Carolina when I was five, which was pretty brutal. I got called various racial slurs all the time, to the point that I didn’t even know they were slurs. I just thought that’s ‘who I am.’”

Esmail has made a name for himself in the drama world with works like Mr. Robot and Homecoming that examine a grim version of society where mind control, hacking, technology, and the government can influence how we live, think, and even believe. Even though they both use Esmail’s distinctive aesthetic, the two shows are significantly different from one another, showcasing the creativity and vision of Esmail.

However, their work together in Mr. Robot has shown that Esmail and Rami Malek make the ideal Egyptian duo. Back in 2018, it was revealed that the two would be working together on the highly anticipated spy thriller American Radical. Although a writer has not yet been selected, the movie is guaranteed to be fantastic given the caliber of work we have seen from the two stars. The movie will tell the tale of an American FBI agent who is Muslim and goes undercover to fight terrorism from within.

Esmail has consistently emphasized how the Middle East is represented in his work, and if we pay great attention, we can see that he infused his own experience into the production of Mr. Robot. His childhood spent feeling like an outsider is what shaped Rami Malek’s character Elliot in Mr. Robot and the mission of f-society. The through line between the alienation Esmail felt as a child and what Elliot experiences through his mental illness, and what Trenton and Mobley (characters in Mr. Robot) experience as the children of immigrants is clear.

Via ET
Sam Esmail & his wife Emmy Rossum

It is also important to note that Esmail does not approach the concept of “diversity” as some abstract idea that would entail crossing different racial, ethnic, or cultural groups off a casting director’s list. Instead, Esmail genuinely focuses on the connections between his own childhood, the experiences of his family members in Egypt during the Arab Spring, and the difficulties faced by specific communities on a daily basis in America within his works.

Esmail has been able to adapt books, podcasts, and feature films into drama television episodes that keep us on the edge of our seats in addition to his Middle Eastern depiction. For instance, Esmail was immediately excited about the Homecoming podcast after his agent forwarded it to him, but it took him some time to realize what he could add to the narrative that Gimlet Media hadn’t already done in their audio series.

Via filmaffinity
Homecoming starring Julia Roberts

He told Wired: “I just remember thinking, ‘Well if it’s great, why are we talking about adapting it?’ It’s already in the medium it should be,” he says. “I binged it, back-to-back. I loved it, and then I binged it again. As I started listening to it that second time, I realized that there could be things in the visual medium that could really open up a lot of the storylines in the podcast.” This was when Esmail knew that this could be something really special.

WE SAID THIS: Don’t forget….Happy Birthday To The Iconic Rami Malek: Here’s A Glimpse Into His Acting Journey