9:00am PT by Chris Gardner
'Silicon Valley' Star Says He's Mostly Recognized as Verizon Pitchman: It's "a Little Weird"
Fans of Silicon Valley know him for his Emmy-nominated turn as Richard Hendricks, the adorably nerdy computer wiz whose Pied Piper startup may or may not reinvent the internet in the HBO comedy's upcoming sixth and final season (debuting in October). But to the vast majority of the country Thomas Middleditch is that nerdy guy in the Verizon ads.
"Not everybody has HBO," Middleditch tells The Hollywood Reporter. "But everybody watches [sports] and sees me during the commercials." The 37-year-old actor-comic admits it's "a little weird" being famous for peddling "America's largest and most reliable 4G LTE network" but says he's learned to accept it. "As long as it's not, 'Hey, it's the Verizon guy, now hold still while I punch you in the face,' I'm OK with it," he says.
As for the gut punch of saying goodbye to Richard Hendricks, the cast and crew, Middleditch says it’s bittersweet. "It’s nice that it’s not a situation where the show is being canceled. The story is coming to an end. That’s a very fortunate thing in the land of television. The story is finite and it always has been," he explains, adding that he’s already snagged a coveted item from set — a Piper vs. Hooli foosball table. "We’re sad to see it go but everybody feels good about where it’s at."
A version of this story first appeared in the Aug. 21 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.