Thomas Middleditch of ‘Silicon Valley’ on Doing Verizon Ads and Flying His Own Plane

Awkwardly funny moments just seem to follow Mr. Middleditch, 35, a wide-eyed actor from the small Canadian city of Nelson, British Columbia, wherever he goes.

.. Richard Hendricks’s defining attribute may be his gracelessness. Do you share any of that with him?

Hey, man, I’m smooth. I’m cool as a cucumber, baby.

.. It’s not as if I’ve never been awkward myself. I’m a big gamer, so I’ve had access to that type of personality. I used to go to these LAN parties, that was before high-speed internet. The only way you could get lag-free gaming was to haul these huge computers to people’s houses. There was always some guy who was potentially on the spectrum, who knew everything about troubleshooting all the network issues and was crucial to the whole thing.

.. Ten, 15 years ago, if you were on a successful TV show or in a movie, and you did a commercial, everyone would go, “Oh, his career’s over.” But now, it’s the opposite. Studios look at it and go, this major corporation put a ton of money behind this person — he must be marketable. You get your sellout money and a nod from studios.

.. Can you text and fly?

You can. Honestly, when everything is on autopilot, there’s nothing else to do. My writing partner and I took our script and got work done while we were flying.