This T.J. Miller Interview Reminds The World Why He's Insufferable
T.J. Miller, the stand-up comedian and actor most known for playing Erlich Bachmann on Silicon Valley, recently sat down with Vulture's David Marchese to discuss his departure from the aforementioned show, his opinions on working in Hollywood, and the best tactics for navigating a press interview. Miller is not known for his discretion or politeness—he was arrested in December for allegedly slapping an Uber driver over an argument around Donald Trump—and this interview milks the actor for all his irreverent worth. The conversation comes a few weeks after his revealing interview with The Hollywood Reporter about leaving Silicon Valley, in which he alludes to Thomas Middleditch's ego on set and had no hesitations about criticizing the show's cyclical plot-line (I actually agree with you there, T.J.). He's even more candid in the sit-down with Vulture, and by the end of the article it's impossible not to feel some sympathy for Marchese, who had to sit and listen to the whole thing in person.
Don't have time to read the interview, or simply don't want to wallow in so much self-righteousness? No fear, because we've compiled the most interesting tidbits.
He uses Evian Natural Mineral Water spray.
And shames David Marchese for not knowing what it is after spraying it on his face mid-interview after asking his publicist whether he can smoke marijuana as they talk.
He vocalized his opinions of Silicon Valley on purpose, to get people talking.
“Nobody right now is publicly the Lindsay Lohan-train-wreck-but-not-quite person. If I’d just said it was an honor to work on Silicon Valley and was thankful to Alec Berg, I would have disappeared. Instead, by being just a little authentic, I infected the news cycle.” He spritzes his face and clarifies further. “It’s more important to be polarizing than neutralizing. That’s my position.”
He fails to note the irony of using a neutralizing face spritz while polarizing America with his words.
He wants to build a world-wide brand.
“My goal,” he says, “is to distract people from the tragedy of the impermanence of everyday life. And I can do that best by oversaturating the market. Statistically, I give people a better chance of laughing if I do film, stand-up, improv, podcasts, TV, advertising” — he’s currently a pitchman for Mucinex and Slim Jims — “than if I just say ‘What’s a bigger TV show I can be on?’ I’m not making things for wannabe intellectual hipsters complaining on Reddit. I’m doing The Emoji Movie and Deadpool 2 for people en masse.”
Silicon Valley apparently prevented him from pursuing more work doing the voices of small faces we use to text instead of writing sentences.
...But he still waxes philosophical on his decision to embrace the mainstream.
“In the American Zeitgeist,” he says, “you have to recognize that there is no Zeitgeist.”
In The American Zeitgeist, you have white men who claim their world dominance goes hand-in-hand with a massive ego and a condescending embrace of the general public's cultural leanings.
He tries to manipulate interviewers.
“Where are you from?” he asks, then makes small talk about my life for a few minutes, only to abruptly conclude by saying, “That was a trick. If you ask somebody about themself in the middle of them asking about you, then they’re flattered and ask you nicer questions during the interview.”
At this point, I'm not even sure if he's still method-acting Erlich or if he's really this insufferable in real life.
He both espouses anti-capitalist rhetoric and enjoys gambling.
“There’s no point in moderation … Every American’s job in this capitalist society is to consume content … If nothing means anything, then anything can mean everything.” Suddenly, Miller produces five dice from his pocket. “Do you like to gamble?”
He proceeds to owe Marchese $40 by the end of their game of Ship, Captain, Crew, which he has yet to pay back. He also brought loaded dice in case they decided to play for much more money.
Stand-up is his main calling.
“I know it’s hard for people to understand, but I don’t really care about movies or TV,” Miller says. “Stand-up is always going to be the foundation of what I do. If Hollywood fired me tomorrow, I would be like, ‘Finally, I can relax.’ ” Then why not quit? Miller rolls his eyes. “Contradiction,” he says, “is something to pursue rather than avoid.”
Seems a little difficult to have this opinion and pursue a world-wide influence, but I guess that's the contradiction he's trying to maintain.