Bill Hader and Alec Berg Interview: ‘Barry’

“You are there on set going ‘this is a comedy, but this really is sad or stressful. We check in with ourselves to see that it’s going to work,” admits Bill Hader about making “Barry” with co-creator Alec Berg. Watch our exclusive video interview with the pair above. Berg adds, “I liken it to two knuckleheads sitting at a piano hitting different keys going ‘does this sound right? Does this sound right?’”

The dark HBO comedy about a hit man discovering acting, received an impressive 13 Emmy nominations including Best Comedy Series, Best Comedy Actor (Hader) and Best Comedy Supporting Actor (Henry Winkler). Hader reveals, “We were ecstatic for the first season of our TV show to get recognized for anything. And we can keep making the show. We have this story that we really want to tell.”

Berg says the two creators were meeting at a diner when Bill said, “What if I was a hit man?’ My reaction was ‘I hate that. There are more hit-men on TV than the real world.’ But very quickly we came up with the idea of him wanting to be an actor. A hit man has to be anonymous, live in the shadows and cut off from their emotions. An actor has to live in the light, access their emotions and divulge their inner truth. It started to become really interesting. A guy caught between two worlds. In order to do one thing well; he has to put himself at risk in the other world.”

Hader himself scored four nominations for the series in producing, directing, writing and acting. For Best Comedy Actor he chose to submit the seventh episode “Loud, Fast and Keep Going.” He jokes that he chose it because “that was the one where I cried. But no, I think that was our best episode of the season, It is where all the narratives hit and Barry’s arc concludes.”

On playing a character discovering the theater, Hader says “It was interesting to have to play bad acting. I looked at true crime shows. They do those reenactments. The reenactments are usually some pretty bad acting. I also thought about when I started out. The little things: where you put your hands, you’re nervous, you talk low, you’re reciting stuff.”

Berg also has four nominations for the 2018 Emmy ceremony, competing against himself twice. He’s nominated for producing and writing both “Barry” and “Silicon Vally.” In making the show with Hader, Berg says that one of his favorite moments is when characters in the series are improvising a scene about an ‘ape-pit.’ He says “every time I watch that I start laughing.” Hader recalls, “I thought there was a tonnage of ‘ape-pit’ in the episode. I felt like we say it one too many times. I got outvoted by Alec and both editors.”

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UPLOADED Sep 18, 2018 4:51 pm