Once upon a time, things were looking good for T.J. Miller. The actor and comedian was building a nice resume as a supporting actor in hit movies, notably playing Weasel in Deadpool and its sequel. Aside from that, he was regularly contributing voice-work to animated features and had a successful stand-up career. It seemed that leading roles may not be far away.
Then, in 2018, he called in a fake bomb threat while aboard an Amtrak train. Miller was reportedly heavily intoxicated and had gotten into an argument with a woman in the first-class car, with his bomb threat apparently implicating her in terrorism. The train was evacuated, searched, and Miller was soon arrested and charged and faces a five-year prison sentence if convicted.
Now, in a new interview on podcast ‘The Tea with Dr. V,” Miller has attempted to explain what was going on. He blames the incident on an ongoing “manic episode” stemming from brain surgery he underwent in 2010 when he discovered he had a congenital brain malformation. He said:
“I started to go insane, not just chemically but physically. Because there was blood going to my right frontal lobe … I started to exhibit characteristics of somebody who is losing their mind, an obsession with … puzzles, narrating my own behavior. I kind of have had this mania for my whole life probably, but certainly since the surgery.”
He went on to claim that he used alcohol to try and temper these feelings, though it caused him to spin out “more and more”, but eventually says he’s found some upside:
“What is great about what happened with that misunderstanding of the federal government is that I connected with and found a neuropsychologist who was able to say, ‘Look, what you needed after surgery didn’t exist then.”
Those with long memories will know that the bomb threat was just the most high-profile of Miller’s controversies, which have included assaulting an Uber driver, sexual assault allegations, and being “inappropriate and unprofessional” on the set of Silicon Valley.
It remains to be seen whether Miller’s movie career will ever recover, though it’s notable that he returned in 2020 for a bit part in The Stand In, his first role since 2018. In addition, he’s currently touring his ‘The Best Medicine’ stand-up tour, and I gotta admit referring to him drunkenly calling in a fake bomb threat as a “misunderstanding of the federal government” proves he’s still got it.
But as Miller awaits a long-delayed trial with a spell behind bars still hanging over him, any talk of a comeback seems premature. More on this story as we hear it.