Season five will be Silicon Valley‘s first without T.J. Miller, whose character, Erlich Bachman, went to the great opium den in the sky (he’s not actually dead; he just feels like he’s floating among the clouds). The comedian left the HBO series last year because “no one was sick of him, when he had worn thin but not worn out,” or maybe because “comedy writers in Hollywood are f*cking Harvard graduates and that’s why they’re smug as a bug,” or possibly due to his preference for “[parasailing] into the Cannes Film Festival for The Emoji Movie because that’s the next new funny thing that will make people laugh,” or any of the other claims in Miller’s still-fascinating exit interview. But Silicon Valley creator Mike Judge has a different take on what happened.
“There are a lot of different ways you can find out somebody doesn’t want to do the show anymore,” he said. “And it’s not fun to work with someone who doesn’t want to be there, [especially when] they’re one of the main people and you’ve got however many crew members and extras and people who are [not paid as well] and they’re all showing up before 7 a.m… It just wasn’t working.”
Miller, who was offered three episodes for Erlich’s send-off in season five (he declined), reportedly fell asleep on set, assuming he showed up at all, and one unnamed source called him a “danger” to have around. When reached for the comment about the allegations, Miller told The Hollywood Reporter, “In real life, I’m not always high like Erlich is. And this will blow your readers’ minds, but I’m not high when I work because it gets in the way of the comedy. I also am not a guy who’s blackout-drunk, bumping into things on set… What was occurring was I was out doing stand-up all the time, even if it meant I only got three hours of sleep. So, the thing I have a problem with? It’s pushing myself to do too much.” That still doesn’t explain Yogi Bear and The Emoji Movie.
As for Silicon‘s future without Miller? Well, a) Oscar nominee Kumail Nanjiani is still around, as is the rest of the incredibly strong ensemble and b) Judge isn’t worried. “There is no question that T.J. is really funny and that Erlich was really funny,” he said, but “I think there was only one time in the room where it was like, ‘Oh, that would’ve been a good thing for Erlich.'”
(Via The Hollywood Reporter)