When HBO's popular show Silicon Valley kicks off its third season this April, try to see if you can spot the Canadian content. Hint: It's not hard.
Not only does series lead Thomas Middleditch come from Nelson, B.C., but co-star Amanda Crew hails from the Vancouver suburb of Langley.
I sat down with Crew, who plays a sympathetic venture capitalist at Middleditch's tech startup, to find out what viewers of the cult series can expect this season.
CT: The third season debuts April 24 -- what will people be seeing on Silicon Valley this year?
AC: One hint is that a new guy is coming in to direct the business. It's picking up from where we left off last year, following the ups and downs of navigating through the crazy tech industry. There's endless material to work with. It's such a daunting industry to be a part of: One minute you're on top, the next minute you're on the bottom, and everything can change so quickly. That's what I like about the show.
CT: How does your character change this year?
AC: What I love about Monica is that when she believes in something, she will fight for it. She kind of leads with her heart. This year she gets more ballsy in competitive situations, and just goes for it. I almost feel like a fraud when I'm playing her, because she's so put together and I'm absolutely not. She works hard, she's intelligent, she's well-spoken -- and she looks great doing it.
CT: The series has developed a cult following over the last couple of years -- what's it like to have such devoted fans?
AC: When we were shooting the pilot, I don't think anyone knew what would happen. There's never a guarantee that a show is going to work. But viewers have really responded to it, especially those in the tech industry.
Before the show I really knew nothing about the tech world. So it's been interesting to pull back the curtain, because the culture has never been shown in this way before. At the same time, you don't need to be a part of Silicon Valley to get the joke.
I've had people come up to me and say "I work in Silicon Valley, I do what Monica does, and you nailed it." They say it's actually uncomfortable to watch because it's so realistic.
CT: What's it like working with that ensemble cast?
A few of those guys had known each other for years from the comedy world, doing stand-up and improv together. But by now, I feel like I'm one of the bros. We've all become close, and I hang out with their wives and girlfriends, so it feels like one big family.
CT: Since you have moved to L.A., what do you miss most about Canada?
AC: Ketchup chips and fresh air, in that order. My Canadian fans can feel free to send me ketchup chips, all the time.
I also miss Canadian television, maybe because it reminds me of my childhood. Especially Canadian news -- there's something really comforting about it. It's like, "Coming up at 6, here's a little kid with a lemonade stand raising money for the kidney foundation!" Trust me, the news in L.A. is very different.
CT: What's next for you?
AC: I wrapped a movie last spring called Table 19, which is an ensemble comedy with amazing people like Anna Kendrick, Stephen Merchant, and Craig Robinson. It's about the last table at a wedding -- the misfits who probably shouldn't have been invited, and get stuck with the last few seats. Those are all actors I admire, and I was lucky to get to work with them.
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