Bill Hader talks new season of ‘Barry’

Barry 3 temporada

By María Estévez, MWN

The Emmy-winning dark comedy series, “Barry,” co-created, written, directed, and executive produced by Alec Berg and Bill Hader returns for its eight-episode third season on Sunday. The show surrounds Barry (played by Hader), who is desperate to leave his violent past behind in favor of a newfound passion, and is attempting to untangle himself from the world of contract killing and fully immerse himself in acting. But the “getting out process” is messy.

Metro had the opportunity to talk with the actor to learn more.

Season 2 really embraced more of the action and violence of Barry’s hitman job, especially with the Daniel Bernhardt episode. Will you be able to push that further and continue that in season 3?

Yeah, yeah.  But I think season 3, more than anything, also shows the ramifications of it… Well, I guess the previous seasons show the ramifications of it, too. Even more bad things happen.

Did that Daniel Bernhardt episode set a bar you want to reach or surpass?

No. I mean, each episode’s its own thing, and you’re always just trying something different. We tried something different on that one, but the show always really works when it’s about the characters and the emotions. We’re learning this in the writing and the editing, and everything. Every time you try to do something that is led by a joke or led by a crazy idea, it doesn’t work as well. But it always does when the story is working and the people are working. So, even though that episode is kind of weird, it still is about essentially Barry and Fuchs’s relationship. And I think that’s one of the reasons it really works.

How does Barry deal on a conscious level with what he did for a living? And how much of that do you think there is left to explore?

I mean, there’s a lot left to explore because he’s still trying to find things. It’s a hard question to answer without spoiling things. I’m trying to bounce around it a bit. But yeah, I mean, there is a lot that he’s trying. His one kind of boneheaded way of trying to get in touch with himself ends up really hurting a lot of people. And I think this season, he’s kind of learning. But there’s much more to discover. 

Did anything change in the plot because of how much time has elapsed within the show?

No. We weren’t expecting it. We were about two weeks away from shooting in March 2020. We had had our first table read, and we were ready to go, and then… yeah, we shut down. Because of how awful the pandemic was, we decided to write season 4, and then while we were doing that, we went back and did a pretty extensive rewrite of season 3. 

This idea of Barry getting a second chance has been around since the first season…

Well, this season, it’s kind of about that.

Have you become Barry?

No. I’m writing and directing stuff on the show, so that’s the world I’m leaving in the fiction. But, I mean, it’s not like I ever brought Barry home with me.

How did you create this character?

t was essentially me playing someone I grew up with in Tulsa, Oklahoma. And then we started seeing these interesting correlations of the conflict within that of a hitman wanting to be in the shadows, but an actor wanting to be in the spotlight. A hitman wants to be anonymous, but actors want to be known. A hitman wants to suppress his emotions, whereas an actor wants to constantly be harnessing his emotions and all these things. So that was the funny seed of the idea.

As a comedian, do you suffer from neurosis?

We all keep falling back into our neurosis, I think it’s part of life. As you get older, you start to get a little bit more worried about it. I tend to exaggerate. But I’m always trying to figure out the problems of the character when I’m writing. I’m not him.  

The third season of “Barry” airs this Sunday, April 24.