TJ Miller On Getting Choked By Jennifer Aniston And Why He Loves Jack Whitehall

TJ Miller believes in the power of a good party.

TJ Miller Jennifer Aniston Office Christmas Party
Choked out TJ Miller in the fierce grip of Office Christmas Party co-star Jennifer Aniston. Image eOne

TJ Miller believes in the power of a good party.

The Silicon Valley star is putting his good-time mantra to use in latest comedy Office Christmas Party, about a tech company throwing an epic shindig in order to convince one of its guests to grant them a crucial contract.

Miller plays Clay Vanstone, the branch manager who’ll happily dress up as Santa, fling himself down stairs on a sled and organise flaming Christmas tree jousts in order to lift the workforce’s spirits.

It’s a case of life imitating art, with Miller admitting to loaded that he’s “built his lunatic brand” for himself and it’s something that’s based on reality.

“I really do think things like this are important, that’s why I will throw a party in the middle of a shoot or a second wrap party,” he explains.

“Getting an In-N-Out burger truck, doing things like that for the cast and crew makes everybody chill out and talk to each other. It wasn’t a big stretch for me to keep things buoyant, have some levity and party.”

TJ Miller Office Christmas Party
Slip and slide Courtney B Vance and TJ Miller. Image eOne

Miller credits the film’s directors Will Speck and Josh Gordon with helping cast and crew have a good time on screen and off.

“I don’t like to photocopy my buttocks or genitalia.”

“They encouraged people to go out together,” he says. “I think a big part of the message of this movie is we should just relax a little. Don’t worry about being so politically correct, but still have the values that Donald Trump does not have!”

What about the office party classic of photocopying your arse? Miller approves, but he’d do it with a twist.

“Do photocopy your genitalia, although I don’t like to photocopy my buttocks or genitalia. I photocopy my ankles and elbows,” he quipped. “I have exceptional elbows, I’m not trying to jam that into the article but I keep them moisturised in a certain way.”

Appearing alongside Miller in Office Christmas Party are Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman, two actors he describes as “comedic luminaries”.

TJ Miller Jason Bateman Office Christmas Party
Santa and helper TJ Miller and Jason Bateman. Image eOne

Aniston’s Carol is the uptight sister of Miller’s Clay, desperately trying to keep him in check as the pair battle for the company their late father handed down to them. In one memorable sequence, the duo squabble likes kids and Aniston puts Miller into a fierce choke hold.

“She’s a strong woman,” Miller says. “She nearly choked me out completely. Let me put it this way, her choke holds are precise. Dangerous.”

The comic admitted that the cast of improv masters could spawn “a whole different movie with the number of alternate lines we have”. Miller, incidentally, happens to be a big fan of British stand-up Jack Whitehall and his ability to work off the cuff.

“I’m friends with him, he’s so funny. It’s almost like Chris Rock over here, he’s talking about the class system and making fun of himself. I find him both relatable and self-deprecating,” Miller says.

“He’s quite clever, one of the more clever stand-ups working today. He’s my fave right now, and you should put fave. I want people to think I talk like a 13-year-old girl.”

Deadpool Ryan Reynolds
Deadpool Ryan Reynolds in his comic book mega-hit. Image 20th Century Fox

On the horizon for Miller is Steven Spielberg’s virtual reality epic Ready Player One (“a blockbuster with a really new, different idea”) and a sequel to Deadpool. Miller is hoping the introduction of John Wick director David Leitch will mean his character Weasel gets thrown into some action sequences.

“Hopefully Weasel gets a fucking gun this time!”

“It was a very strong decision to let go of the director (Tim Miller) who made the most successful R-rated movie in the history of film. Sometimes this is how franchises progress, giving a different director a different angle on it,” he notes.

“Obviously John Wick is amazing because it has the perfect wink and a smile to the audience, but then took itself seriously as a revenge story. Any director that Ryan Reynolds and Fox decide on is great. That’s the one we’ll go with and we’ll make the best Deadpool 2 we possibly can.

“Hopefully Weasel gets a fucking gun this time! There is something funny in the fact that he’s happy to bet on Wade Wilson’s death in the dead pool but he won’t go along with him. Weasel’s probably the only person in the world who’s as selfish and self-serving as Deadpool.”

TJ Miller’s Office Christmas Party is released in cinemas on December 7.

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Loaded digital media manager Simon Reynolds has written about film and entertainment for various leading websites since 2008. Follow Simon at @simonreyn