Silicon Valley Does PaleyFest and Talk Turns to Romance
BY ELEANOR LAURENCE
Silicon Valley showed up in force to PaleyFest 2018 in Los Angeles. Stars Thomas Middleditch, Zach Woods, Amanda Crew, Martin Starr and Kumail Nanjiani joined creator Mike Judge and showrunner Alec Berg for a panel — covering off on everything from big career breaks to the love story that is Dinesh and Gilfoyle.
Here are the major takeaways from the night.
Success has unlikely origins.
While showrunner Alec Berg got his start at age 23 as a writer on Seinfeld — Berg described it as akin to “being made in the mafia at a very young age” — Zach Woods claimed his big break came when he was the victim of a widely covered “hit and run,” after which he was scouted to model “medical equipment.” (For the record, Woods was joking; Berg was not.)
Jared’s loyalty to Richard is… skin deep.
What inspired the dogged loyalty between Jared and Richard? According to Thomas Middleditch: “I’m the perfect combination of bird and human.”
Woods added, “If I ever get lost in a scene, I look at Thomas and go ‘I love him, I love him, I love him, I love him, I love him.’”
Women don’t need to be the “romantic love interest” in an ensemble cast.
Amanda Crew observed, “Most female roles are written out of a romantic storyline.” She made clear, “One of the things I love about Monica is that she’s a character who’s not serving as the love interest or eye candy. It may be the first part I’ve ever done that hasn’t had that element of it.”
Middleditch had his own explanation as to why the Richard-Monica relationship hasn’t bloomed on screen: “I scream when I kiss.”
The true love story of Silicon Valley is Dinesh and Gilfoyle.
Martin Starr summed up the Dinesh-Gilfoyle dynamic: “We are a very angry, old, married couple.” Kumail Nanjiani agreed, saying, “There’s a lot of passion. We’ve been married for so long, we’ve forgotten the difference between love and hate — and that’s exciting.”
For Mike Judge, there’s inherent comedy in the tech world.
The show creator explained, “The absurdity of Silicon Valley and the tech world is these engineer types and programmer types who are really introverted, suddenly have zillions of dollars but they’re still socially awkward.”
Zach Woods chimed in with an insight about social media and communicating in the digital age: “A lot of tech is adaptive measures of socially inept people. Basically, we’re living in their coping mechanism.”
The stakes of tech are changing — and it’s ripe for satire.
Showrunner Alec Berg noted the changes around tech in the years since Silicon Valley first premiered: “When we started the show, tech was strutting, acting like they cracked the code. I think they’ve started to realize they may have done overwhelming damage to the moral and essential fabric of life.”
That said, acknowledged Berg, “It’s terrible for everyone else, but for us, being in the middle of it, it’s just fodder. ”
Silicon Valley returns for Season 5 on March 25 at 10 pm.