Thomas Middleditch stars on the new breakout HBO hit series SILICON VALLEY. Middleditch plays Richard, the genius behind the product everyone wants their hands on, Pied Piper.
What was your audition like for Richard?
I just went in there and acted weird! (Laughs) At one point I got to go off with some of the other people and try it out like that. Luckily for me I kinda knew Mike (Judge) from prior and I knew John (Altschuler) and Dave (Krinsky) so there were some friendly faces, which is nice for an actor.
Did you spend a lot of time in Silicon Valley to prepare for the role? Are the people that work there as wacky as they seem?
Definitely at times we’re gonna exaggerate and hyperbolize on reality. There are instances on the show where we pluck from real life, later on in the show we go to a real convention called Tech Crunch Disrupt and there’s all these booths with companies trying to pedal their wares. A lot of the time we just had real companies go there and they sound equally as ridiculous as the ones that are made up.
Do you think Richard taking the deal from Peter Gregory was a good idea? How do you think the show would have turned out if he took the other deal instead?
A lot of these guys, I think Richard included have dreams about doing something that’s bigger than just taking that first check. I think that’s built in him, whether or not he realizes it initially to do that thing that’s great. If he took the million dollars I don’t think there would really be much of a show, he would pretty much just be chilling out and riding a segway everywhere.
In the second episode we saw Richard fighting to keep Big Head on the project. Will Richard continue to hold his ground when Pied Piper takes off?
That’s the hope right! He’s already had to become an asshole, or at least his version of an asshole. (Laughs) You hope that he keeps level headed, but that would be a question for the writers. I hope he does, but maybe he’ll become a cocaine-snorting maniac by the end of the end of the show.
Can we trust Jared? (Zach Woods) In the last episode he seemed genuine, but he was still a huge part of the other company.
I think Jared is an ally right now, that character is an idealist. He got on board because of Richard’s dreams and because it’s a good company that’s not like the rest. He drank the Kool-Aid! (Laughs)
Will Amanda Crew’s character be a possible love interest for Richard? Is that something you would like to see?
It’s something that I would like to see happen on the show because Amanda is a very beautiful girl. But I don’t know, it’s hinted but you’ll have to see. I don’t think the show is about finding love in this topsy-turvy world.
Have you gotten feedback from any executives in Silicon Valley?
Not personally, I mean the head of Google just asked me to run the company for a bit. I was like “yeah sure!” Nothing directed at me, no “Hey Middleditch great job” just yet.
Can you tell us anything outrageous that might happen this season?
I think everyone is pretty proud of a joke at the end of the show. I don’t want to give it away but it may just be the most complicated dick joke of all time. You may only get away with it on HBO but we’ll see how it goes.
HBO is really putting out some amazing half hour shows lately with GIRLS, and VEEP. Could you ever imagine a crossover and which show would your character best suit crossing over to?
I’m a big fan of both of those shows; it’d be a dream to be on either one. I think Richard could be brought on VEEP to crunch numbers or maybe when he’s a big billionaire they try to kiss his ass or something like that. And for GIRLS maybe just an awkward date with Lena Dunham, assuming her and Adam’s (Driver) aren’t together anymore, or maybe an awkward date with Marnie (Allison Williams) would be fun.
You can watch Thomas on SILICON VALLEY — which just got picked up for a second season — on Sundays at 10PM on HBO.
Victoria Nelli loves TV so much that she is paying $30,000 a year to learn about it in College. When she’s not learning about TV she enjoys writing about her favorite shows, interviewing anyone in the industry that will let her, and ranting about how underrated Parks and Recreation is. She is very much aware of her Netflix addiction, and no she will not be seeking help anytime soon. You can follow her on Twitter @VictoriaNelli
Photo credit: KOURY ANGELO