Could 'Silicon Valley' Star Zach Woods Earn Emmy Nod? Actor Talks Nomination Chances, Jared's Growth

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Actor Zach Woods is pictured as Jared Dunn in Season 5 Episode 1 of 'Silicon Valley' on March 25, 2018. Woods spoke with Newsweek about the HBO show and his Emmys chances. Ali Paige Goldstein/HBO

Actor Zach Woods' was at his best in Season 5 of HBO's Silicon Valley thanks to the development his character, Jared Dunn, went through.

Woods, 33, was once best recognized for his role on NBC's The Office. He starred in multiple small parts before landing Silicon Valley. Woods, who additionally starred in Steven Spielberg's Oscar-nominated flick The Post, came into his own during the show's latest run as he proves to be a standout with his comedic abilities.

Throughout the HBO comedy's run, Woods' Jared has essentially served as the glue to the fictionalized Pied Piper company. He's upfront about his "ghostlike" features and has a peculiar backstory. As the character developed further, he became a beloved fan favorite. Jared's growth can be partially credited to Woods' strength in improvisation, which he suggests is something that doesn't have "a clear narrative." Woods, however, claims the show's writers are the primary masterminds.

"They keep giving Jared more and more dimensions, which is really thrilling. The pleasure of doing a television show for five years is you get to really know the character—almost like a person," Woods told Newsweek. "It's sort of gratifying to get to have that experience with a TV character, too, where you're playing them for years. You get to discover new little wrinkles all the time….Silicon Valley tries to do is expand the characters without stretching them so far that they're no longer recognizable to the original character that people were fond of."

Silicon Valley has won Primetime Emmy Awards before, but not for its actors. Wood's co-star Thomas Middleditch is the only cast member to receive such recognition, earning his first nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series in 2016. Considering Woods was a standout in Season 5, his efforts may be enough to score him a nod.

"It'd be very exciting," Woods said of earning an Emmy nomination. "Mike Judge, Alec Berg, Kumail [Nanjiani], Martin [Starr], Thomas and Amanda Crew...everyone has each other's backs. If any of us ever gotten nominated for an Emmy, it would sort of be everyone. Whatever success any one of us had is a direct result of things the other people—including the writers, obviously—have done….I wish there was an Emmy for Best Ensemble, but it'd be fun if one of us got nominated at some point."

Silicon Valley underwent a change in casting when T.J. Miller's character Erlich Bachman was written off during the Season 4 finale in June 2017. Miller's sexual misconduct allegations surfaced after his departure in December.

While Woods said his former co-star "had such a specific energy," he's suggested the program's overall "dynamic hasn't changed that much." The show, nonetheless, has managed to maintain a freshness despite Miller's departure as he said the Pied Piper crew succeeded in getting off their "punishing cycle"—a pattern that was common in previous seasons.

"The fact that they're [the characters] are having more success, more exposure [and] they're expanding creates new problems, new storylines and new dynamics that allows for a more surprising show," Woods said. "I think this is the advantage of having a show that doesn't reset with every episode. You get to develop with the characters."

Silicon Valley was renewed for Season 6, but there is no release date as of yet.

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Actors Zach Woods (L), Kumail Nanjiani, Martin Starr and Thomas Middleditch are pictured in a still from Season 5 of 'Silicon Valley.' Ali Paige Goldstein/HBO