“I think of him like Pinocchio,” admits Zach Woods as we chat via webcam (watch above) about Jared Dunn, his character on “Silicon Valley.” As he explains, “Then he see’s Richard Hendricks (Thomas Middleditch) and he becomes a real boy. Then season to season he gets more and more comfortable being a real human being with the guys and the guys sort of accept him more and more.”
Though none of the cast has reaped an Emmy bid for the first two seasons of this HBO laffer, it has contended for Best Comedy Series both years. And it won the top prize at last year’s Critics Choice TV Awards and consecutive Comedy Series nominations from both the Golden Globes and Emmys.
With all this critical praise and awards attention you’d think there’d be pressure to keep living up to the hype. However, Woods says it’s quite the opposite. “I actually think it feels like less pressure in a way because when you’re a freshman show that feels like enormous pressure because you’re sort of dancing for your life a little bit. By the second season you’re trying to establish that this wasn’t just a fluke and you actually know what you’re doing, and by the third season the sort of imminent threat of cancellation or abject failure isn’t looming quite as inconspicuously. So I actually think you relax just a little bit.”
That allows for a lot of fun on set. “Often it’s because something is so stupid. Something will strike us as funny and then we can’t stop laughing even though it’s not like it’s a great comedic moment. It happens all the time and god bless the crew because they’re so patient with us when we get into one of these awful spirals.”
“Silicon Valley” is in the middle of its third season run, with the finale set for Sunday June 26. Woods couldn’t pinpoint an episode he’d submit to Emmy judges just yet for fear of spoilers — which we are happy to avoid.
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