'Silicon Valley' is returning to HBO after too long a break on March 25, and while we are excited to see our Pied Piper boys back in action, one key member will be sorely missed.
T.J. Miller, who played the role of the egotistical incubator owner and businessman Erlich Bachman, has confirmed that he will not reprise his role from season 5.
There have been many a speculation regarding the reasons that resulted in his departure, including his reputation for being unprofessional and "untamable." It did not help that TJ went on to slam his old co-workers and bosses during an interview with The Hollywood Reporter soon after his exit.
Over the course of the last few months we have heard quite a few back and forth, but now the show's creator Mike Judge is addressing those rumors and putting them to rest.
"There are a lot of different ways you can find out somebody doesn't want to do the show anymore," Mike told THR, adding, "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."
TJ is also accused of being uprofessional, showing up at work whenever it pleased him and "you've got however many crewmembers and extras and people who are [not paid as well] and they're all showing up before 7 a.m., and then are just like, 'Oh, OK, we're not shooting today.'"
He also seemed to want to give TJ an out, considering he thought his work in 'Silicon Valley' - the most successful comedy on HBO after 'Veep' - "was like this thing" he "had to do."
"I think if somebody doesn't want to do it, you don't want to force them to. I certainly don't," Mike said, adding, "It also wouldn't make for a very good work environment."
Stories of TJ's habitual intoxications also got listed as the reason for his departure from the show.
Not only was he late, it is claimed that it was clear that he hadn't opened the script at all, because of which shoots would have to be re-scheduled oftentimes.
He would even fall asleep between takes and would have to be woken up ahead of his scenes, claim insiders, many of whom also alleged that TJ's explosive nature also gave him the reputation of being "a danger to have around"
"It just wasn't working," says Mike, who had offered to keep TJ on the show for three more episodes, if only to give some sort of closure to Erlich. However, the comedian, who is already busy with projects such as 'Ready Player One' and the 'Deadpool' sequel, along with his own stand-up special, declined the offer.
Ultimately, it comes down to the fact that TJ, despite being a comedic genius, did not singlehandedly carry 'Silicon Valley' on his shoulders – or in Mike's words he was not the LeBron James of the cast.
"These guys are the Golden State Warriors of comedy. So, it's like, yeah, we've lost Andre Iguodala but we still have Steph Curry and Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson and some other guy on the Warriors whose name I don't know. But I don't feel like we can't win championships anymore because we've lost …T.J. wasn't LeBron."
TJ revealed a shocking response to Mike's allegations.
"Oh, that's great... And it makes me like him more [because] he's so good at being an asshole," he said.
He said that unlike his character, he is never high during work hours and that he is not someone who would get blackout drunk.
"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."
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