Right after HBO renewed Silicon Valley last week it was reported that T.J. Miller would not return for season 5, and while the network only said at the time that they “mutually agreed” on the decision, today Miller opened up to Entertainment Weekly and offered up a some more insight on his decision to walk away from the show:
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.
Miller also said he’d like to focus more on standup:
I didn’t get into this game to become a successful television actor. I didn’t want to be on a sitcom where I made a boatload of money and then could do films but didn’t do a ton, but have a bunch of money and bought a cool house in L.A. and totally rehabbed it so it’s no longer ranch-style. Both of us are already bored with that example. I need to be a stand-up comedian. We’ve got some pretty heavy sh– going on right now, and the best thing I can do is stand-up comedy. I hope Meticulously Ridiculous is both well-received and something that people feel like they can return to for laughs, like Norm Macdonald’s special was for me, and Patton Oswalt’s special was for me. I’m a good stand-up comedian. But I’d like to be a great stand-up comedian, and that takes an immense amount of focus and work ethic. I have both, but I didn’t have the time.
On the table read of his final episode:
I just sat back and in the applause had this… moment. I don’t even think it was an epiphany, I just had this moment where I go, “You know, that could just be the end.” We could finally have something really definitive in the show. We can finally have someone make a left turn or have something happen to them where it really is the end. So the first time I read it and had that idea and that possibility arise was there at that table read. And then we shot it, I think some of the crew kind of had this weird feeling that it was my last day. I could feel that people sort of got the drift that, “I don’t think I’ll be back, guys.” I was almost too familial and chummy with the crew because I sort of deep down was like, “This is it, guys.” It was this weird goodbye. Leaving a show in some ways is as heartbreaking as having a show canceled or having the last season of a show. I’m very excited. I’m happy. I have a renewed vigor.
Read the full interview over at Entertainment Weekly.