Zach Woods reveals his 'Silicon Valley' character's tragic backstory

Zach Woods stopped by BUILD Series to dish on the HBO comedy series "Silicon Valley" and how his character overcame his deeply disturbing past.

"Silcion Valley," a parody of high-tech culture in the 1980s, stars Thomas Middleditch, T.J. Miller, Kumail Nanjiani, and Martin Starr alongside Woods as struggling computer programmers in the Bay Area. Woods plays Donald "Jared" Dunn, an extremely awkward, soft-spoken tech executive.

The comedian chatted about topics including Jared's healthy sexuality, how he grew to love performing improv, and his role on "The Office." Woods then delved into his analysis of the dynamics between the characters on "Silicon Valley."

"Each character has a familial role: Richard is the favorite son, Erlich's kind of the belligerent father, Dinesh is the baby, Guilfoyle's the cat, and Jared is the self-abnegating mom," Woods said. "When I think of things Jared likes, I think of what my mom and her friends might like...I imagine he's had an enormously traumatizing life that he's been endlessly resilient from."

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NEW YORK, NY - MAY 10: Zach Woods attends AOL Build Series at Build Studio on May 10, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Jenny Anderson/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 10: Actor Zach Woods attends Build Series to discuss his 'Silicon Valley' show at Build Studio on May 10, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Steve Zak Photography/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 10: Actor Zach Woods discusses the show 'Silicon Valley' at Build Studio on May 10, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Matthew Eisman/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 10: Actor Zach Woods attends Build Series to discuss his 'Silicon Valley' show at Build Studio on May 10, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Steve Zak Photography/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 10: Actor Zach Woods attends Build Series to discuss his 'Silicon Valley' show at Build Studio on May 10, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Steve Zak Photography/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 10: Actor Zach Woods attends Build Series to discuss his 'Silicon Valley' show at Build Studio on May 10, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Steve Zak Photography/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 10: Zach Woods attends AOL Build Series at Build Studio on May 10, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Jenny Anderson/WireImage)
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Woods went on to detail the contents of the elaborate journals he has filled with Jared's past:

"His parents died in a seaplane accident, he bounced around from all these awful foster homes, and he used to have to fight his stepdad's dogs to earn the respect of his family."

He also discussed the real-life Silicon Valley's response to the show:

"I thought Google would be glossy and fancy, but it's more casual...It's almost always lightly uncomfortable when we go there," Woods said. "People don't mind being made fun of as long as you get it right."

Catch the latest season four episodes of "Silicon Valley" on HBO or HBO Go.

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