Martin Starr is an American actor and comedian, known for his television roles as Bill Haverchuck on the short-lived comedy-drama Freaks and Geeks, Roman DeBeers on the comedy series Party Down, and Bertram Gilfoyle in the HBO series Silicon Valley, as well as for his film roles in Knocked Up, Adventureland and Dead Snow: Red vs.
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Hello Reddit, I'm Martin Starr -- aka Gilfoyle from SILICON VALLEY and Bill from FREAKS AND GEEKS. I'm currently the star of the new film OPERATOR. Ask me anything.
Download on iTunes: http://radi.al/Operator
Is there any talk of ever doing more Party Down or is it officially dead? It is one of my favorite shows to go back and watch and Roman was one of my favorite characters.
Thanks. I hope so badly that we find ourselves trying to schedule a new season or movie version in the midst of everybody's busy lives. It all starts with the creators. Nudge them. I will too. I'm still holding out hope for this to happen.
Freaks and Geeks was probably my absolute favorite show for a few years and I thought your character was pretty awesome. Especially that moment where you were testing the chair to see if that girl farted.
What was your favorite moment from working on that show and do you keep in touch with a lot of the cast and crew?
It's neat seeing everyone from that show move on to other projects and collaborating as adults.
We were all so lucky to be a part of that show and I was especially lucky to have such an amazing first experience really getting to be creative and explore with such an immensely talented and driven group of people. I'm still connected to most of the people from F&G.
What was your favorite beard-related insult from Knocked Up?
A 70's vagina
I noticed Reddit AMAs got brought up in Silicon Valley. I'm a mod here and that's my favorite show right now so that pretty much made my day.
How often do you guys talk about Internet culture and how to weave it into the show? Does Reddit or IAmA come up much?
Well, tech culture is a huge part of the show. And internet culture plays a huge role in that. It's all intertwined.
How exactly were you hired for Silicon Valley? Were they like, "oh we need a nerd, lets screen for some nerds around here" and you were like "wuddup" or was it something you worked really hard to get on?
We all auditioned. Most of us auditioned for Erlich because some characters were added during the audition process. Kumail and I were added into the cast and they added characters for us to fill out.
What can you tell us about the new Spiderman movie?
Can you at least tell us if Spiderman is in it?
How much freedom does Mike Judge give you with your character and what is it like working with him?
The character was definitely Mike's brainchild but I've brought my own flavor to it. In regard to working with Mike, he is a joy to be around and hilarious. Also, off the charts genius. And just hearing him say "uhhh..." in a random conversation and being reminded that I'm working with the man behind Beavis and Butthead brings a smile to my face.
How often do you think Gilfoyle frequents Reddit?
How do you like playing a Canadian character?
Wish I was Canadian or a dual citizen right about now
What about illegally?
Yup. Could tell you everything in that case.
How many times have you improvised to make more fun of dinesh in silicon valley?
Probably somewhere in every scene. Not all of our improvisations make it into the show due to time constraints.
What is the very best cheese?
This may be a question you get a lot this week, but what are your feelings on the result of this week's election?
Disheartened but optimistic that this is going to prove to be valuable in motivating the people who didn't take action to now be a part of creating a future fueled by compassion and empathy rather than fear and hate. We need to be the change we want to see in the world. Also, I'm hoping to wake up tomorrow to find out the last 3 days were just a dream
What percentage equity do you feel your services are actually worth at a company like Pied Piper?
where do you find hope in today's world?
Change. Never give up. There is always hope. Always
Who makes you break character most on the set while filming?
Zach Woods. By far
Huge Silicon Valley fan! What has been your favorite scene or episode from the show that you were a part of?
Can't tell you because it's in the new season. For me it's so enjoyable to be a part of something that continues to get better. I love watching our already very talented creators and writers grow each year.
How did you end up in a Nathan Barnatt video?
I mean, beyond "He asked me, and I said 'sure'".
We're friends and he asked me and I said YES
Gilfoyle and Dinesh have a wonderful relationship on screen- do you two also get along together as actors?
I'm so fortunate to be able to play with Kumail inside that dynamic. We have so much fun exploring the depths of that strange relationship.
Do you, in fact, fuck?
Maybe I do. And maybe I do. But Jared definitely does.
What is the most you've laughed on the set of Silicon Valley?
Everyday our cup runneth over with laughter
Chilled or room temperature?
Depends. With crackers and nice summer sausage? On it's own? On a sandwich or hotdog?
What's it like working with Zach Woods? What's he like in real life? Does he fuck?
He's a king. The king of all things funny and generous and sweet.
What was the most difficult aspect in filming Operator?
Creating the panic attacks. Inducing them inside my own psyche. And finding a way to still be available for direction from Logan.
No way dude.
We need you here. Now more than ever.
I'll stick around. For the greater good.
What aspects of Buddhism do you embrace the most?
The overall philosophy has been so incredibly valuable in my developement. I'm lucky to have had it growing up. It feels like a safety net for me now as an adult.
Hey Martin, you typically do comedies - how was your experience playing Perry in INTRUDERS?
That was so much FUN! I loved getting to play in that movie. It's therapeutic to experiment with a charachter so different from myself. Plus, being a villain was just thrilling.
How was your experience with a beard whilst filming knocked up?
Glueing hair to your face sucks
What motivated you to become an actor?
Simply put... love
Fuck, Marry, Kill: TJ Miller, Kumail Nanjiani, Thomas Middleditch?
Make sweet love to them all, extra sweet. Marry them all in a polyamorous relationship. Kill myself if jealousy becomes an issue.
Do you still play D&D? Do you prefer DMing or playing a PC? Tell us about your favorite PC.
I want to play again. It's been a long time. Too long!
Do you have any funny stories that you can share about things that happened on set while filming something?
We all pee in each other water bottles when nobody's looking. And we don't tell each other about it. Orrrrr, maybe that's just my little joke. Cat's out of the bag now. Whoops
I went to the same high school as Judd Apatow and he has stated that the school is Freaks and Geeks is loosely based on ours. Furthermore, he has said that your character in particular is based on his high school experience. Can you provide any info on any of this? I find it really interesting. Thanks Martin!!
Well, hello. I cannot, unfortunately. I don't remember him talking about that offhand.
What's the word on maybe doing some more Party Down stuff?
I hope it happens
I fell in love with exploring charters in a class I took as a kid. It was improv and scene study and character development. I just enjoyed making people feel something from what was created on stage. As well, I enjoyed watching people who moved me to feel. Still do.
How did in the world did you make this transformation? Are you some sort of mutant butterfly pretending to be a human? Gotta be one of the greatest success stories in the history of mankind.
I just grew up. Things are going well for me, no doubt.
Will the gang fuck up less in season 4?
I can only say that the scripts this season are the funniest I've read yet.
but how sharp?
Loved your performance in Operator. After filming the panic scenes, did you quickly go back to being your calm self or was it hard to shake off?
It left an impact. More than I was aware of at the time.
What was your favorite scene to film on Silicon Valley from your perspective? Like was there a scene that was particularly fun for you?
Big fan of your work, keep being awesome man.
It's all pretty much fun. I'm very lucky to be a part of it
When you taught the other geeks how to dance sexy, did you improv the moves or were they choreographed?
I believe that was a base of choreographed dance and I added to it.
Aside from Mae Whitman, whose voice would you pick to guide you through life like in Operator?
She's the one and only. Look no further.
Hey Martin, thanks for doing the AMA! In Freaks and Geeks you were such an archetypal nerd it seems like it would be easy to get stuck being type cast but it's never happened thankfully, did you have to actively avoid the type casting?
I've been picky about the work I put myself in, not specifically for that reason. Mostly because I don't want to commit to something that I'm not 100% invested in.
Big fan of yours since Party Down!
Are you anything similar to Gilfoyle? I ask because you manage to play the character so well.
Thanks for doing this AMA!
My sense of humor at times. Otherwise, not really. My pleasure.
I love Silicon Valley but another great show you were on
I'm hoping we do more. There were talks of a holiday special. Maybe one day that'll happen. Fingers crossed. Working on that was like summer camp.
This explains a lot. I genuinely thought you were just really high this whole time.
Seriously though, you seem like such a canny dude and underrated at that. Also Amira & Sam was a great film. Great to see you take the lead with ease.
what kind of music are you into? favorite bands at the moment?
Currently I'm revisiting my love of Dan Reeder. I like pretty much all kinds of music.
Can you tell me anything/everything about your time on the movie Cheats?? My friends and I have always loved it as a cult classic, and you as NNNNNNapplebee!
PS: congrats on being able the write CRAZY small
It's a skill I still possess.
Elden and I have maintained a great friendship. That movie was so much fun to be a part of. I miss that experience. That was the first time I left the country for work, or maybe for any reason. First movie that I did. Those were the days.
What was it like working on the set of knocked up? And how much knowledge do you now have of naked celebrities?
It's a growing knowledge. Always fun times working with your friends
Was that a real beard in knocked up? Also, was the guy who played the guidance counselor in freaks and geeks a real life nice guy? He seems like a nice guy, and I'm hoping he is in real life.
Thank you for your contributions to my life, it means a lot.
Beard was real sometimes and fake other times in the movie.
Dave Gruber Allen is the sweetest man. He's a real treat to be around. If you ever get the opportunity, take it!
Martin! Thanks for doing this AMA.
The after school scene in Freaks and Geeks when Bill is eating a snack and watching Garry Shandling is the best. Such a memory flood every time I watch it.
How close is that scene to your own upbringing -- and who were your early influences?
I guess there are similarities. I would walk home after school and watch tv for a couple hours before my mom came home.
Jim Carey and Adam Sandler were early influences.
Do you like green peppers?
You have the same last name as the pornstar Rachel Starr. Are you related? Do you want be related?
We are not. I would have no problem with that as long as she's a sweet person
Martin, huge fan! One of my favorite characters you played was Roman on party down...many of your characters seem to have a healthy dose of speaking uncomfortable truths, is that something you do in real life as well? You are hilarious and I want to buy you a beer
I like free beer. Hefeweizen? I like to think I'm honest and transparent as a person. I try to be, as much as I can.f
Do you game or use computers in real life (besides web browsing and email)?
Also, not a question: BRING BACK PARTY DOWN!
I used to play PC as a kid and now I mostly hop on xbox every once in a while. Been too busy to play lately.
I once read an article about your love for food. Do you have a favorite restaurant in Dallas by chance?
I haven't spent enough time there. I love exploring the food scene in new cities. That's one of my favorite things about travel.
What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
Hi Martin, do you now have the burden of real people trying to pitch you apps?
P.S. I was gutted when Freaks and Geeks was cancelled!
Not very often. No. Perhaps if I lived in SF.
How does it feel acting as Bill in freaks and geeks, everyone's favourite nerd and then being cast as everyone's favourite satanist Gilfoyle in Silicon Valley? Must be quite the contrast in preparing for the roles and getting into character. Anyways love your work man you're hilarious! Can't wait for the next season of Silicon Valley .
Feels great! Thank you. Enjoy the new season
Do you still know the sexy dance moves from Episode 15 of Freaks and Geeks?
Till i die
How do you not crack up when delivering your lines? Does it take multiple takes to get your deadpan delivery so spot on?
We have a lot of fun but somehow find a way not to break too often while shooting.
Has playing a software engineer done anything for your own technical literacy?
Actually, no. It's made an impact. Certainly.
Hey Martin love all of your work. I'm curious to know what is your favorite scene that you did in Freaks and Geeks? I think two of the best moments of the entire series are Bill. 1. When Bill is put into the closet to play 7 minutes in heaven and 2. When Bill is watching Larry Sanders stand-up.
Just wanted to know if there is a standout to you? Thanks for doing an AMA!
It was so long ago. I mostly remember enjoying working on it, laughing a lot on set and running away from the set teacher when I was supposed to do schoolwork.
On Silicon Valley, who really fucks?
Technically, we all do.