Over the last decade, T.J. Miller has developed one of the most eclectic CVs in Hollywood. He’s gone from Cloverfield to Deadpool to Yogi Bear to Transformers: Age Of Extinction, while over the next 12 months he’ll appear in The Emoji Movie and then Ready Player One. T.J Miller has allowed himself to develop such a varied portfolio of work because he is always intrigued to see why someone actually wants him for their film. That’s exactly how he signed up for The Emoji Movie, as he recently admitted that he originally went to the pitch meeting just to see how they were going to make a film about emojis. T.J. Miller explained:
When they said they’re making an Emoji Movie I was like, ‘What?’ So I almost went to the pitch in a way to hear just how the fuck they were going to make an Emoji Movie. And then whenever people ask for me specifically, it is kind of a slightly left of center choice comedically … At least I know the director is making interesting choices. And then they really just felt that, Tony [Leondis] was like, ‘I’m familiar with your work, and I just think,’ it was really important to him that this was a heart-warming story. It had to be really funny. He just said, ‘I am familiar with all of your work, and I just feel like you are the one guy that can really, really pull this off.’ And once I’d seen how kind he was, and Kate [Miller] really got along with Michelle, we both just got such a good vibe from them.
T.J. Miller admitted this to me when I sat down with the comedian at the end of May to discuss The Emoji Movie and his role within the animated comedy. But while the above quote reveals that he was ultimately convinced to work on The Emoji Movie because of director Tony Leondis, and his interesting take on where to take the film with T.J. Miller in the lead role, the former Silicon Valley actor made it clear to the director that this process would include a hefty amount of improvisation. This was something that Tony Leondis was more than happy to include, though, as T.J. Miller recalled:
I sometimes do this preamble, when I am about to do something: ‘Now you are aware that I improvise, and often I will not say any words in the script.’ And luckily by now people know that that kind of comes with the package. But they were really open to that.
You can check out the trailer for The Emoji Movie and see if T.J. Miller’s comedic sensibilities have nicely mashed with the animated effort, below.
We don’t have long until The Emoji Movie is with us, as it is set to be released into theaters on July 28.