Published Jun 26, 2017Last night, Mike Judge's hit HBO comedy Silicon Valley said goodbye to T.J. Miller's Erlich Bachman, who had previously warned us that he would not be returning to the show. While Miller had previously said he was leaving the show on good terms, a new interview suggests otherwise.
The frequently unpredictable comedian offered a lengthy sit-down interview to The Hollywood Reporter, where he suggested that he was not getting along with co-star Thomas Middleditch or showrunner/executive producer Alec Berg.
Miller explained that he was offered a reduced role in the show's forthcoming fifth season, but decided to duck out from the series altogether. When he made that decision, he only told Mike Judge and Clay Tarver. "I didn't talk to Alec because I don't like Alec, but I think Mike Judge and Clay Tarver are brilliant," he said.
He went on to take some potshots at Berg's Harvard education:
I think that HBO and Alec Berg, specifically, kind of thought — and I guess apparently Thomas Middleditch — I guess they thought, "Alright, maybe this is the end of the character. But like everything in the show, we'll sort of solve this and then it's back to normal." And they just didn't imagine that I would be in a position of being like, "I think that's it." … I don't know how smart [Alec] is. He went to Harvard, and we all know those kids are fucking idiots. That Crimson trash. Those comedy writers in Hollywood are fucking Harvard graduates and that's why they're smug as a bug. … I think that in television you usually have one element that is very challenging, very frustrating. It's an obstacle, right? So you're doing the best work that you can do. Alec was that for me, and I think I was that for Alec. And a very good article was written that says that Erlich in the show is just this constant annoyance to Richard. ... And I think in some ways, that is analogous to real life. I think in some ways Thomas Middleditch is … we have a contrarian relationship, like a big brother-little brother relationship. And this is also an opportunity for me to be like, "Let me just step off, dude. Like, just do your fucking thing. You're amazing." I did a two-man improv show with him for a decade. He's amazing.
While he compliments Thomas Middleditch throughout the interview, there are plenty of quotes that suggest the two are not exactly amiable. At one point, he said, "Thomas Middleditch has always wanted to be a star. 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."
At another point, he said, "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."
The full interview, wherein Miller also admits he's on a "downward spiral, career-wise," can be read here.