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Interview with Steve Dildarian

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Steve Dildarian

is the creator of, inspiration for, and voice of Tim. To hear audio of the voice of Tim, answering if he's ever been recognized as the voice of Tim, click here.

HBO:

This season sees Tim first unemployed, then rising through the corporate-ranks in perhaps the most Tim-way possible. Why did you decide to put Tim in upper management?

Steve Dildarian:

We were trying to find new problems to throw at him. We've seen what happens to him at the bottom of the ladder. We thought it'd be fun to see how he could mess up being a boss. We'd get tired if we always had Tim in the same situation, so this was a fun new way to look at it.

HBO:

Has Tim's newfound success changed his relationship with his buddies Rod and Stu?

Steve Dildarian:

There is some resentment. The fact that he sits on the seventh floor [and not with them on the sixth] really pisses them off. Through no fault of Tim's own, people look at him differently and treat him differently. Rodney in particular has a hard time being Tim's assistant for a brief period of time. Tim certainly gets no support from his friends.

HBO:

Stu's had his moment to shine this season with the "Cool Uncle Stu Balls" episode, and The Boss has also been more of a focus this season. Did you make a conscious effort to flesh out their characters?

Steve Dildarian:

The deeper we get into this world, the more real these characters become, the more we find out about them. They're not one-note characters. It's fun to peel back the other layers. I think we're at the point where these other characters can carry an episode. Tim might be involved, screwing things up in some way, but the core problem isn't necessarily Tim's. Stu gets an episode, the Boss gets one, even the Priest has one coming up. We couldn't have done that in season one.

HBO:

Rodney's spotlight has extended even beyond the show, with his own novelty Twitter account.

Steve Dildarian:

He's doing all right with that. Matt Johnson does the voice and the Twitter account. It's frightening how naturally some of that stuff flows from him. Even though I write Rodney's dialogue in the script, I don't think I could write it like he does. Matt just takes it and runs with it, on Twitter or in the booth, pushing it much further over the edge than I'd ever go.

HBO:

Do you get recognized as the voice of Tim?

Steve Dildarian:

Honestly, it's only happened once. Where it was literally unprompted based on my voice. That's a pretty random thing to latch onto unless you're talking about it. Once I was at a Whole Foods, and the only words out of my mouth were, "No, I don't need a bag." And the guy looked at me and said, "Oh my God, you sound like that dude from 'The Life and Times of Tim.'" It was the craziest thing. He was a really outgoing guy and made a big scene, screaming "Oh my God, it's Tim." And everybody else in the store was wondering, "Who?" "What's that?" "I don't know what 'The Life and Times of Tim' is." It was a very awkward moment.

HBO:

Does the show draw from your real life experiences?

Steve Dildarian:

In general, the dynamic at the core of each episode is very much from real life. It's just taking that and making a silly version of it. I've worked at plenty of jobs in New York like Tim does, I've caddied in New Jersey like Tim-I'm drawing on my own life for the episode. It's just the way the stories play out that didn't happen to me. But I very much know the dynamic of being put in my place by someone who, in theory, is ten rungs below me on the social ladder. Almost any episode, I can point to a person or an event in my life that's real, but it's just the blow-by-blow that didn't happen.

HBO:

Did you know someone who worked as an assistant to a woman's basketball player in Newark?

Steve Dildarian:

That one was very much fictionalized. It didn't draw on anything.

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HBO:

There are some very specific New Jersey and East Village references on the show. Do you have an exact setting in mind for where Tim is from and where he lives?

Steve Dildarian:

Tim's apartment is very much based on my place on 7th Street in the East Village. It even had a superintendent named Bashko. I used to work at a midtown ad agency that was very much like Omnicorp. Unlike most animation, I want the show to be completely grounded in reality, relevant modern-day New York City.

HBO:

While we're exploring the show's mythology, what are the responsibilities of the Junior Vice President at Omnicorp?

Steve Dildarian:

I don't think he ever has to too much of anything. The job is really just a phony title as a result of him fixing the lawsuit. It's pretty much a completely bogus promotion.

HBO:

All of Amy's friends hate Tim, what does she see in him?

Steve Dildarian:

Since season one, people have been saying to me that Amy is the most tolerant girlfriend, and why would she be with him. I never questioned it. I just assumed it was a strong relationship, and that no matter what you do, if you're a likable guy with a good personality and you're a decent person at heart, people will always forgive you. I don't what it says about me, but it never fazed me that they're still together, even as everyone else is shocked by it. I just think Tim is a decent, straight-up guy. Most of what happens isn't really is fault. The world makes him look worse than he is. Maybe Amy sees that when other people don't.

HBO:

What are Tim's goals in life?

Steve Dildarian:

The way we always looked at it, Tim doesn't have any goals, other than to get through the day. He's a normal guy, doing normal things. We've never given him a whole lot of ambition. We once dabbled with it, when he says that he's always wanted to be a writer. But even then he says, "I've always wanted to write a novel, I just never did anything about it." Beyond that, he's just so besieged by everyday problems. Usually things just happen to him.

Tim

voiced by Steve Dildarian

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