Fans of Silicon Valley had a hard time deciding how to feel last month, as they were given both good and bad news. On one hand, the tech-comedy was renewed for a fifth season at HBO. On the other, star T.J. Miller announced that he wouldn't be returning when that season came around.
Miller has starred on the hit series for all four seasons, playing fan-favorite funny-man Erlich Bachman. After some rumors about his potential departure from the show began to surface online, the official announcement was made.
This comes as a shock to audiences, as Erlich is one of the core characters on the series. However, Miller has now revealed that the character will actually leave the show in a fairly organic fashion.
"I’m so grateful to HBO because they offered several ways that we could make this work. They were open to all sorts of compromise to allow Erlich to continue to be on the show, but ultimately this just felt like an organic ending. And the relationship with HBO — I mean, they did my special. It’s a dream come true, or at least a living, waking nightmare that was actualized. And on top of that, they gave my best friend, Pete Holmes, Crashing — a show that’s autobiographical, and I get to play myself. I’m not a very good actor; that’s a really easy job. I love HBO, but I thought this would be that thing that would change the show in a positive way. I mean, those guys are the funniest guys working."
Miller went on to elaborate on the decision, saying he was involved in so much that something had to go. With Silicon Valley, there was a natural end in sight for Erlich Bachman, so that made the most sense.
"I work so much. I do every single platform. I do every single medium, down to podcasting with Cash Levy, all the way up to being in an underwater thriller with Kristin Stewart and wanting to be the funny part of that. So [I left] for my own sanity, and for the sake of slowing down, and being more present and able to devote more time to this myriad of projects that I have going on. The other thing of it is that I didn’t get into comedy to be a television actor, and the second that I felt that there was a possibility of going on autopilot — of even phoning it in with this particular project — that’s when I say, “Okay, I gotta walk away. I have to do something where this won’t happen. I can’t allow myself to show up and give a B-plus performance on a show that is an A-plus when it comes to television.” That is a huge, huge part of it.
"I think for something to come to an organic end, even if it’s before the public wants it to happen, is so much better. Leave them wanting more. There was one adage that’s never wrong. In comedy, you walk off-stage when the laughs are at their peak, and people go, “Wait, what? The show’s over? It’s just over like that?” You leave them wanting more because you don’t ever want them to wish that there had been less….
"Also, in a weird way, it’s interesting to me to leave a show at its height. It’s interesting to me to see how the show will grow and change with the exit of this character."
The Season 4 finale will air on June 25, marking Miller's final episode on Silicon Valley.
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Photo Credit: HBO