Zach Woods Interview: ‘Silicon Valley’
“I loved it.” This is how Zach Woods describes his reaction to finding out that his character, Jared Dunn on “Silicon Valley,” would become COO of Pied Piper in our recent chat (watch the video above). The lead up to Jared being offered the job in the episode was something he found particularly rewarding. “I love in that episode that Jared just solves all these problems and, because he’s egoless, it doesn’t occur to him that would be a contender. So, to be surprised in the way that he gets is kind of touching to be honest.”
Since the show premiered on HBO in the spring of 2014, Woods’s portrayal of Jared has become a regular scene-stealer. The character abandons a job as assistant to the CEO of a billion dollar tech company to work for a coder, Richard (Thomas Middleditch), trying to build his own company. We’ve also seen him get trapped in a driverless car, become obsessed with an app about the word “bro,” speak German in his sleep and once, even lash out at Richard all while being relentlessly mocked and put down by those around him. This helped make his promotion that much more rewarding for Woods and fans of the show.
Woods also talks about how he believes the writers have based certain storylines off of his real life experiences. Several years ago, the writers used a story about Woods sleep talking in college to create Jared speaking German while sleeping. This year he has a strong suspicion that the writers took note of how Woods does not watch episodes of the show. “I don’t watch it because I find it excruciating to see myself on television. I think the storyline where Jared is on television and ends up seeing himself and is so horrified by the appearance of his own face that he gets saline injections is based on that,” he says. Woods doesn’t count out that he might have the same reaction should he watch a whole season of “Silicon Valley.” “Who knows? Maybe I would end up getting a lot of plastic surgery.”
Woods got further exposure last year with his role as a lawyer for The Washington Post in Steven Spielberg’s film, “The Post.” On working with Spielberg he says, “It was exciting! He told me he watched ‘Silicon Valley’ and he said that he related to it because when he was coming up he felt like an underdog and he responded to that.” The film was also special for him since Jesse Plemmons, who Woods had co-starred with in the film, “Other People,” played the other lawyer he works with. In “Other People,” the two played ex-lovers who have a reasonably graphic but awkward sex scene. Woods mused that he wants the internet to come up with a universe where their two characters are connected. “I hope someone online cuts the clips together so it becomes just the story of these lawyers who then eventually have a romance and breakup and then have post breakup sex.”