Who Is TJ Miller?
Born in Denver, Colorado, in 1981, Todd Joseph “T. J.” Miller is an actor known for his comedic work on TV and in film, and more recently, for his off-screen misbehavior, notably a federal charge for calling in a fake bomb threat. In 2018 he appeared in two major movies: Deadpool 2 and Ready Player One and starred in the acclaimed HBO show Silicon Valley until 2017.
HBO’s Silicon Valley, an Emmy-nominated comedy that launched in 2014, follows the growth of a tech company called Pied Piper. Miller plays Erlich Bachman, a software designer, venture capitalist and brazenly obnoxious character who always finds time to smoke pot no matter what drama unfolds.
Miller left the show in 2017, midway through Season 4, a departure that was heavily covered in industry media after both he and the show’s creators commented on the break.
Miller told The Hollywood Reporter that he was offered a reduced number of episodes, and instead he chose to leave the hit show. He also openly noted his dislike of director Alec Berg.
The show’s co-creator Mike Judge said, also in The Hollywood Reporter, “basically, it kind of became clear that he wasn’t into doing the show anymore and maybe wasn’t going to do the show anymore.”
Miller’s character was written out of the script by him going to an opium den in China, where he smokes so much he is unable to leave; a colleague then pays the den operator enough money to keep him there for five years, opening the possibility of a return.
About the way he left the show, Miller told Vulture: “People need a villain, and I’m occupying that space...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.”
Scandal, Arrest and Misconduct
Miller was arrested in December 2106 for striking an Uber driver after an argument about Donald Trump. Miller and the driver later reached a settlement.
In April 2018, he was arrested for calling 911 and falsely claiming a female passenger had a bomb in her bag aboard an Amtrak train. The official charge, according to the Department of Justice was “intentionally conveying to law enforcement false information about an explosive device on a train traveling to Connecticut.”
Miller, according to a DOJ press release, had said the passenger “kept checking her bag without taking anything out; kept asking the First Class attendant what the next stop was, and seemed to want to get off the train and leave her bag behind.” It further states that Miller was apparently drunk when he boarded and was removed in New York for being intoxicated and having hostile exchanges with a female passenger.
Miller was arrested, taken to court and released on a $100,000 bond. The charge carries a maximum term of five years in prison.
Charges of sexual assault from his student days at George Washington University have also surfaced from an anonymous woman, as reported by the Daily Beast.
In the 2016 film Deadpool and the 2018 sequel Deadpool 2, Miller plays Weasel, a friend of the main character. In Steven Spielberg’s 2018 sci-fi film Ready Player One, based on Ernest Cline’s book of the same name, Miller plays a mercenary i-R0k. Miller also voices the lead character in the 2017 animated film The Emoji Movie.
Wife and Personal Life
Miller is married to the mixed-media artist Kate Gorney.
Born in Denver on June 4, 1981, he is the child of an attorney and a psychologist. After growing up in Colorado, he attended George Washington University and later moved to Chicago to pursue comedy. He was a member of Second City’s touring company and has performed in his own HBO comedy special, Meticulously Ridiculous, in 2017.
Miller has said he does not see himself as an actor but rather a comedian. “Stand-up is always going to be the foundation of what I do. If Hollywood fired me tomorrow, I would be like, ‘Finally, I can relax,’” he told Vulture.
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