T.J. Miller Explains Why He Left ‘Silicon Valley’ In Very Candid Exit Interview
Sunday night’s season finale “Silicon Valley” was the not only the last episode of Season 4, and it was also the final appearance of Erlich Bachman. T.J. Miller is leaving the show so he can focus more on his other projects such as the Comedy Central show “The Gorburger Show,” as well as upcoming movies “The Emoji Movie” and the sequel to “Deadpool,” plus his standup comedy. Miller gave a very candid exit interview to The Hollywood Reporter where he praised some colleagues, but seemingly threw barbs at others.
In May, it was reported that Miller was leaving the hit HBO show and his departure was something that “Silicon Valley” producers “mutually agreed that T.J. will not return for season 5.” However, in the new interview it comes off that T.J. Miller dumped “Silicon Valley” and it was not an amicable breakup.
They came to me and said, “Look, we’re not going to pick up your contingency because we want to offer you doing five episodes out of the ten, or three episodes.” And then when I said, “Oh perfect, I had been wanting to ask if you guys would open to me leaving the show.” And then they suddenly said, “Wait, no, what? You can do whatever. What? What do you mean?” And that was so good of them. They said, “Look, we wanted to reduce … We just wanted you to have more time to do all of the things you’re doing.” And I said, “Well, the best way for me to be involved in the show is by no longer being on it.” I swear to god, that’s why the internet broke. Everybody was like, “What the f— are you talking about? You’re on this successful show. Don’t you want three more years of solid acting work and don’t you want to be a famous television actor?” And I was like, “No, not really.” I’d like to parasail into the Cannes Film Festival for “The Emoji Movie” because that’s the next new funny thing that will make people laugh.
Miller, the self-proclaimed “hardest-working man in show business,” said leaving the Emmy-nominated comedy “felt like a breakup with HBO.” When the producers said they wanted to still see Erlich in Season 5 and offered Miller a diminished role, he nixed that notion.
“I know but I think this is for the best.” HBO has never treated me as an employee, always as a collaborator. They were understanding and said, “Look, if you really think that this is the move and that you’ll be able to produce an hour special for us sooner than you would have if you were on the show and if you feel right now under the current administration that you need to do standup because you need to be talking to the American public, then we support that.”
Miller said HBO executives “were very, very cool about it, and that final conversation was super friendly and sad. It was heartbreaking on my end.” Miller appears to have issues with the show’s executive producer Alec Berg. “I didn’t talk to Alec because I don’t like Alec, but I think Mike Judge and Clay Tarver are brilliant.” Sarcasm or real?
Miller threw verbal bouquets to his colleagues. “Knowing that Kumail [Nanjiani] is brilliant, Zach Woods is the greatest improviser alive, Thomas Middleditch is one of the funniest people of all, Martin Starr is the deadpan comedian of our generation, what if I just stepped aside and let them continue the show and see what it becomes?” However, Miller also seems to take a little shot at Middleditch. “Thomas Middleditch has always wanted to be a star,” Miller said. “He’s always wanted to be the star of the show. So I thought, really it’s an ensemble show and if I step aside, the ensemble will each have a little more room.”
Miller also said he’s not an actor:
I’m not an actor; I’m a comedian. And I don’t know how the fuck I hoodwinked Hollywood into giving me a career in this. But I’m not sitting here saying, “I need more lines. I’m not funny enough.” I’m not Thomas Middleditch. I’m me, the guy that thinks all of this is sort of ridiculous. It was a joke. Leaving was a joke that I thought would be a good joke because the show would grow and change. It seemed like a funny trick to play on everyone.
You can read the entire interview here.