Welcome to our series, the T+L Carry-On, where we take a look inside the luggage of those who find themselves frequently traveling around the world—and gain a few expert tips along the way.
This week, we caught up with Mr. Robot star Carly Chaikin at her New York City apartment, and talked about her passion for art, what to expect from her character, Darlene, this season, and of course, all things travel-related. Plus, don’t forget to read last week’s column with actress Julia Stiles.
On Her Relationship with Travel:
“Work travel is mostly between New York and Los Angeles, so the other times when I actually travel, it’s with friends, family, or my boyfriend. I love beaches—always beaches. I probably go somewhere for leisure a few times a year—I’ll go to Las Vegas or Hawaii with my Dad and my sister. My favorite travel memory is probably going to Paris with my best friend a few years ago—it was amazing; I love Paris and Italy. And I’m going to Berlin soon, for a movie!”
Her Travel Essentials:
“Oil absorbing sheets are a must-pack. I usually carry Wet Ones, hand sanitizer, lip balm or chapstick, Le Volume de Chanel mascara, headphones, my laptop, and gum. Then a hat, jacket, pants—if it’s a long trip I’ll do sweatpants, and if it’s not, I’ll just do jeans. And I’m just addicted to my phone games. I’m obsessed with—like, I need to go to a 12-step program. I love Diamond Digger, Alphabetty, and Farm Heroes Saga. I learned to knit and crochet when I was 15, I so sometimes I try to detach from my phone with knitting. I always carry around a notebook and my bag of pens, because I love to doodle and draw. I doodle a lot, but I’m not a very good “drawer”. Like, I could never sketch the things that I paint, because I think more in colors and shapes than I do in lines. And a good book—I just finished this Brain on Fire. I randomly bought it at the airport in Miami because the title caught my eye, and I started reading it and finished it in three days—it was amazing.”
What She Misses Most about L.A., Her Hometown:
“The only thing on my mind right now is Juice Crafters because it’s right next to my place in Hollywood. I go there every single morning. I’ve been craving it so much because I haven’t been able to have it here [in New York], obviously.”
Her Advice for Beating Jet Lag:
“I feel like jet lag is like a hangover—there’s nothing you can really do about it. Just drink a lot of water?”
The Differences Between Living in New York and L.A.:
“They’re both big cities, and I absolutely love them, but they’re so incomparable to each other—they just have completely different vibes. I think the biggest difference is that in L.A., nobody walks anywhere; you’re in the car the whole time. I have a Walgreens two blocks from my house, and sometimes I drive there. But here [in New York], I walk miles on end. I prefer to walk in New York, but in L.A., you feel like you’re moving like molasses because nobody else is doing it. But I love the energy here—and I love the subway.”
Her Off-Duty Hobby:
“I’ve always painted. I have a bunch of my art in my apartment here [in New York City] and in L.A.. But I started really painting when I was about 17. I have an art Instagram—@carlychaikinart. But yeah, I do oil painting most of the time, or acrylic. It’s mostly abstract stuff.”
The Similarities Between Her, and Her Character, Darlene:
“I think for any character an actor plays, there’s something in them that’s similar, or their vibe is in line with the character—and that’s why you get the job. In some ways I am similar to Darlene. I think she’s very honest, and she’s a go-getter, and has things that she strongly believes in and sticks by. And I think she’s kind of balls to the wall. She just doesn’t let anyone get in her way."
What to Expect from Darlene this Season:
“Last year, we set the bar so high, so it’s like, where do you go from here? But this season, it matches that bar—or exceeds it. Last season, we had to keep Darlene more hidden until “the big reveal,” in order for that to pay off. I was so anxious for the reveal to come out—I still feel like I can’t say it, and I’m not going to say it to spoil it for anyone—but now that it’s out in the open, we get to really see who she is this year, her past, and why she’s doing what she’s doing. We see why fsociety was started and we see her through this whole journey after the hack. So we’re in the aftermath of the world we just created and we get to see her battle with what to do now.”
On Darlene’s (Theoretical) Relationship with Travel:
“At this point in time, I don’t think she’s trying to go to Hawaii, but I think under any other circumstance, she’d be into it. Not in a luxurious way, but I think that she is someone who would want to go see the world and go create chaos. Her travel essentials? A computer, her sunglasses, and cigarettes.”
Mr. Robot, season two, airs on USA at 10pm on Wednesday nights.