HBO’s Barry is one of my favorite new shows this year. It’s dark comedy at its finest, and the entire cast does a fantastic job. One of its most noticeable talents is Anthony Carrigan, who plays scene stealer NoHo Hank. AiPT! and some other members of the press sat down with Carrigan the other day to chat about his role on Barry this season.
AiPT!: When the character (NoHo Hank) was first presented to you, was he that wacky or did you mold that vision yourself? How’d they (HBO) present it to you?
AC: When I first got the script, I knew this whole thing was something incredibly special. All of these characters are so dynamic and have such nuance and such personality. So it was exciting to just to be able to read a script that was fantastic from the start. I initially was like “What am I going to do with this?” There are so many different directions to go in. I wanted to kind of make it my own and really take some risks. And really play against what I felt like lots of people were going to do, which was to really dive into the whole mobster aspect of it. So playing against that, I think, that’s how I started to flesh out the character.
AiPT!: Yeah, I definitely think you accomplished that.
AiPT!: How’s your experience been on set and what’s your experience been this whole season?
AC: Honestly, nothing but positive stuff. Everyone has just been so lovely. I refer to this type of job as a unicorn job. It’s a fantastic script with such lovely, talented, genius creators filled with awesome characters, and it’s on HBO. The stars align to make just a really incredible process. Going to work with everyone every day was such a marvelous gift.
Someone then asked what it was like working with Bill Hader.
AC: Bill’s the man. He’s such a sweet guy, but he’s also just hilarious. Even when the camera is not rolling, he’s just messing around. He’s constantly making you laugh. He’s super open, and it was cool too, because he had a lot of hats to wear for this. Not only did he act in it, but he also wrote, co-wrote, and directed.
AiPT!: Were there any moments while filming one of your scenes, obviously you have a lot of funny moments, where you broke during the scene and started laughing at yourself?
AC: Oh yes. Absolutely. There were quite a few times. And it would be tough too, it’s like dominoes falling. Because once one person breaks, then no one can keep it together. You all have to take a deep breath or walk away for a second just to come back in and get the scene done. It’s not easy. That would happen all the time…I started getting in my head about it and being like “Oh man, oh no, oh no, you’ve gotta push through this” and Bill, his antenna shot up and he was like “Anthony, dude, it’s all good, you got this. We can stay here all day if you want. This is all you, you got this.” And I was like “Wow, that is so nice to be in a supportive environment like that. It was so great.” The funniest stuff was just honestly the dialogue. We were having such fun with the material.
AiPT!: You’re delving into dark comedy here. For you personally, is that a genre that you’ve always been into? What are some of your favorite genres?
AC: I do love to laugh so I’m a big fan of comedy. I like things that are kind of dualistic, or you can’t quite pin them down. I love sci-fi, I love fantasy. I love movies and television in general. There’s so much content coming out right now.
AiPT!: It’s insane.
AC: It’s insane! Whatever you’re into, there’s going to be something that strikes your fancy.
We dove into a conversation about the streaming world and all of the different platforms. Someone eventually asked what it’s like joining HBO and their prestigious platform.
AC: I’m incredibly grateful to be on this team. They’re so cool. I think what makes them so special is they really respect the artist’s license. They’re definitely involved in the making of it, but they respect whatever vision is brought to them. They give a lot of freedom to that and they say, “Look, we trust you and we trust this. We don’t want to intervene or mess with it too much, we want you to do your thing and feel comfortable.” I think that yields great results.
We then all got to chatting about his other show, Gotham. When asked if there were any crazy or hilarious stories from that set, a pretty funny one came to Carrigan’s mind.
AC: There was one scene we were doing. Me and a bunch of the cast assumed we were done so we went and popped open a bottle of champagne, and we were cheers-ing each other, just enjoying it. We downed a bottle of champagne, opened another one, and then someone comes in and is just like “Hey, we need to do this again.” And we were just like “Um, cool! Ok great…” So that was interesting, and that was very fun.
And how’d that go?
AC: It actually went very well. We were all very relaxed and loose. (Laughs)
AiPT!: Working on Barry versus Gotham, would you say it’s a very different experience based on the fact that one’s on a network channel and one’s on HBO and they’re typically known for some more freedom? Or is it a pretty similar on set experience between the two?
AC: Fortunately, the people are lovely on both. I really lucked out there. It’s kind of a different vibe though. Gotham is so big and such a large platform. I feel like Barry is much more a personal story for each of these characters. You follow them on each of their journeys. As the episodes progress, you get to kind of see what makes them tick and how they react in these crazy situations.
He was then asked if there’s anything on Barry that hasn’t aired yet that he’s excited about people seeing.
AC: Yes. Yes, there is. (grins) I’ll say this. The show has done a great job thus far, I think, of building a certain amount of tension of the situation and the circumstances. And things get really ramped up. The tension builds in a crazy way, new elements come into the picture, and I think it’s going to throw everyone for a loop.
New episodes of Barry air Sundays on HBO at 10:30PM ET/PT.
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