If you've been anticipating the new Deadpool movie, you probably recognize T.J. Miller as Weasel, Wade Wilson's (Ryan Reynolds) trusted confidant. Even if you're not familiar with the comedian/actor/rapper, he still delivers the best line in the trailer. Seriously, who knew Ryan Reynolds' face could resemble so many unwholesome things?
Aside from flaunting his brand of over-the-top improvisational comedy for the upcoming superhero film, Miller has plenty of other projects to keep comic book nerds going. He recently charmed Hollywood as the host of the 2016 Critics' Choice Awards, and will soon reprise his role as Erlich, the arrogant founder of an innovation incubator, in Season 3 of HBO's Silicon Valley.
This Sunday, millions of guacamole-stuffed NFL football fans will get to see the actor throw disses at a mohawked citrus mascot in a hilarious and shocking new Super Bowl commercial for Shock Top beer (hah, you see what we did there?). The delightfully eccentric funnyman chatted with Zimbio about his refreshing new gig and, of course, fill us in on all the irreverent (and NSFW) Deadpool outtakes that unfortunately didn't make it into the film.
Zimbio: So you're in a big Super Bowl ad for Shock Top this year. How did that come about?
T.J. Miller: Well, I drink beer.
That's the one. I think they were really into this idea of "unfiltered" and they were thinking about who's the most unfiltered comedian. And none of them were available, so they came to me.
Because you are the ultimate master of "unfiltered-ness," of course.
Right, and everybody was unavailable.
What I love about your humor is that all your jokes seem so off-the-cuff. What's a joke or a line you've said in a TV show or movie that you couldn't believe made the cut?
I'll never believe that in She's Out of My League, which is this R-rated movie I did with Jay Baruchel, that at one point my character runs and hits his leg on the counter and goes to talk to his ex-girlfriend. I hit my leg and say an expletive, and instead of saying, like, "fuck!" "ow!" "shit!" or something like that, I said "Mary J. Blige!" And they kept it in the movie. It's so insane. That really, really makes me laugh.
Have you ever been banned anywhere because of a joke?
I don't think Kate [his wife] and I are really allowed back in Dubai.
Let me just put it this way: We're not allowed to really say why. It's art-related. And we did some things that could have turned into indentured servitude.
What joke in your TV or movie career have you told that made your co-star say, "Dude, you went a bit too far."
I did this thing where I called Dane Cook out on Twitter. I was too young to understand that people were paying attention to my Twitter feed. So that blew up in my face. People get upset. I really offended a former employer who was involved in Transformers 4 by an off-handed joke that I made. So, there's been a couple things. Usually it's social media. Somebody, you know these terrible fucking writers, these dot-com wannabe journalist pieces of shit that need click bait to try to fucking get people to click on their link so they outsell Viagra or whatever. Anything that gets out of hand is usually not by my hand, but by the hand of the horrible, horrible bloggers and writers that are out there.
In each trailer for Deadpool, you describe in wonderful detail Ryan Reynolds' face. What were other ways you described his face in the outtakes?
Well, we didn't get one in that I really loved which was, "You look like a trucker took a shit on your shoulder and shaved the ears off either side." That did not make the cut. "You look like you pulled the inside of your asshole out of your back and reached into your neck and pulled your anus all the way through and wrapped it over your head." We also have some other ones that are pretty complicated: "You look like if all the veins of all the men's penises in this room jumped onto your head." Here's another one: "You look like Nancy Grace. You are just as detrimental to the culture of fear that you're engendering in America as she is."
For the record, what does Ryan Reynolds' face look like to you?
You mean in real life?
It looks like a less attractive Nancy Grace, if that's possible.
Your comedy can get very physical. You recently hosted the Critics' Choice Awards and it looked like a physically demanding opening monologue. You were panting in between sentences. Were you nervous?
I was nervous that the puppets were going to fall off. There is no way to recover from that. But, no, not really. I was anxious to see if Hollywood was going to get behind how strange I was going to be. That award show is about as customary, run-of-the-mill award show [as you can host]. I was really pleased that people seemed to like [what we did] and find it as refreshing as we set out to make it.
By the same token, Deadpool, I hope, is a really refreshing palate cleanser — a reinvigoration or opening up of the superhero genre. And [SHAMELESS PLUG ALERT] Shock Top is one of those mainstream beers that is hopefully, you know, a little bit different than the other stuff that people are drinking. Shock Top is a wheat beer. So it's a little bit off — everything I do is a little bit off.
I recently watched a segment from the web series Set List LIVE and was cracking up over the non-sexual pulling out story. Where does your mind go when you have to improvise something like that?
It's all about the real story there. You don't overthink it and you look for the material that is already present and you just re-contextualize it. When it's scripted, you're improvising as the character. That to me is much easier than improvising standup because I know this character. I know Erlich well enough to know the kinds of stuff he's saying. Then when I'm given a situation like Deadpool, I create the character and have a conduit for my improvisation in their voice. Then when you improvise a voice over, it's quantity over quality. I just give them fifty different options and they choose one — or none [laughs].
Random side note because I'm a huge Silicon Valley fan. I'm wondering did you have any other name suggestions for Erlich's company, Aviato?
Well, the truth is, you know, I took psilocybin mushrooms at a volume that I should not have. I was tripping balls — as they say in the industry — for over five days straight. I could barely breathe at times, I wasn't able to recognize people's faces. I began bathing in chunky peanut butter, like not natural, like Jif — bad peanut butter. You know what I mean? That was the name that just kept coming up over and over: Aviato, Aviato, Aviato. Later I would find out that somebody was saying they had to get me to the hospital. I couldn't hear what they were saying but it sounded like "Aviato." "We gotta get you to the hospital — Aviato." Aviatooooo, Aviattttoooo. So that is kind of the origin of that name.
[Editors note: Okay, T.J., we know what you did there.]
FYI, Zimbio is based in Silicon Valley.
Oh, so close to home for the Zimbio crew.
But we're not as insane as say the companies on the show.
But that's what everybody thinks. That's our joke on you guys. Even Google is like, "Luckily, we're not like that." But you are. It's a magnification. That's okay though. The great thing about Silicon Valley is we can do the show for as long as we want because you guys will never get it. You aren't self-aware enough to understand what we're saying. So it'll be a long, hard road. That's the purpose of satire. The only people who are more self-inflated, pompous, and completely un-self aware is Hollywood. That's it.
For more laughs, check out T.J. Miller's Super Bowl commercial. His jokes should tide you over while you wait for the release of 'Deadpool.'