And it’s Wong’s role on Mr. Robot that’s earned him increasing notoriety. On creator Sam Esmail’s USA series about a cybersecurity engineer-turned-hacker who joins a group of hacktivists with the goal of bringing down corporate America, the actor plays Whiterose, a transgender leader of the Dark Army, who made a brief but powerful appearance in the first season. In the season two episode “eps2.3_logic-b0mb.hc,” Whiterose returns, but is seen presenting as male, disguised as the Chinese minister of state security. It’s especially shocking, since it reveals the layers of complexity of the Dark Army’s reach and mission, but Wong says it’s also a tormented moment for Whiterose.
“She’s interfacing in public as a man. It’s not comfortable for her,” Wong explains, adding: “I didn't fully understand that exactly, because Sam didn't necessarily write that discomfort into the show or the part, but I realize now, as a writer, and it's almost a theatrical concept. What he's really doing is he's forcing a discussion about gender politics through the use of this character, meaning that in this male-dominated world, a powerful woman almost has to figure out a way to get what she wants by presenting herself as a man and she herself recognizes that.”
In fact, it was in season two that Wong finally came to understand more of who Whiterose is, appreciating her internal conflict as she plays both sides. And now that Wong has been upped to a series regular in season three, he’ll have more time to explore her complexities. “Season three is vastly different from season two, which was vastly different from season one. And the character evolves in infinitely interesting ways,” he says of the role, which he’s been busy filming throughout the summer.