T.J. Miller was a fan favorite for years as Erlich Bachman on HBO's Silicon Valley, and it came as a surprise to many when he announced earlier this year that he would be departing the series after the end of Season 4. While he started out singing the praises of the show and stating that he simply wanted to move on, Miller began to drop some very public comments about trouble behind the scenes. Now, Miller has revealed why he made his departure such a public spectacle, and his reason is... a little odd. Here's what he had to say:
People need a villain, and I'm occupying that space. After the election, I realized that there was a gap. 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. It's more important to be polarizing than neutralizing. That's my position.
Apparently, T.J. Miller decided he'd rather go out with a bang than a whimper. Instead of dropping pleasantries and fading out of the limelight after announcing his departure from Silicon Valley, he went a more controversial route. While Miller hasn't exactly come out and outright insulted executive producer Alec Berg or star Thomas Middleditch, he hasn't had many nice things to say about them. His comments in New York Magazine (via Vulture) indicate that he wanted to make as many headlines as possible, and mincing his words wasn't the way to do it.
Interestingly, T.J. Miller went on in his interview to reveal that his publicist had advised against him gaining a reputation as somebody who "trashes producers," but Miller isn't too concerned about it. It's hard to blame him for not worrying about his reputation harming his career, really; he recently starred in a stand-up special for HBO, will star in the upcoming Emoji Movie, and will appear in the upcoming Ready Player One and Deadpool 2. He's currently on a hot streak, and it's possible that playing the villain in his split with Silicon Valley won't backfire on him. Only time will tell.
Unfortunately for fans of Silicon Valley, it doesn't sound very likely that T.J. Miller will reprise his role as Erlich. The Season 4 finale ended with Erlich stuck indefinitely in an opium den, and Miller's comments indicate that Erlich won't be breaking out of his stupor anytime soon. Silicon Valley was renewed for Season 5, however, so we'll see the rest of the crew back in action.