During our recent webcam chat (watch below), “Silicon Valley” supporting player Zach Woods reveals that a real-life incident was the inspiration for his character, Jared Dunn, to speak in his sleep in an episode (“Server Space”). He recalls telling executive producer Alec Berg of a time when his college roommate saw him sit up in bed and say, “I hate the Jews!” and then go back to sleep. Woods, who is Jewish, readily admits, “This is probably the dumbest thing to say in an Emmy-oriented interview.”
His HBO series just won Best Comedy at this year’s Critics’ Choice TV Awards and earned five Emmy nominations last year, including one for the top prize. While Woods has appeared on several Emmy winners (“Veep” and “The Good Wife”), he admits to being more connected to the accolades that “Silicon Valley” is receiving “since I’ve been there from the beginning and all of us are on this ride together.”
His character is a downtrodden corporate assistant who leaves his job at a giant tech company to help launch a new one called Pied Piper. Despite Dunn always getting stepped on, Woods loves playing him. “He’s truly a better man than I,” says the actor. “I’ve been cast to play a lot of edgy or creepy guys and I love playing Jared because he’s sweeter and has more faith and I love getting to play him.” One of his favorite aspects: “He is someone who takes genuine pleasure in the banality of business stuff.”
If he is nominated for an Emmy, he may submit “Server Space.” Besides finding out that he talks in his sleep, we also learn that Jared has been living in the garage. Woods is also partial to “Runaway Devaluation” because he liked how Jared “felt very briefly that he had a ‘bro’ and even though he was sending it through an app, how he viewed it as an ironclad bond of loyalty and trust.”
Watch our full conversation and then use the easy drag-and-drop menu to tell us if you think he will be nominated for Comedy Supporting Actor.
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