“Writing forever, I would write screenplays and realize they were about other movies. I’d get inspired and write these cool sequences, but the emotion wasn’t anything personal that I could latch onto and write from. Barry was the first thing I really started to do that with.

-Bill Hader, episode 272 of Talk Easy with Sam Fragoso

As we approach the series finale of Barry, we return to our talk with actor and director Bill Hader. We discuss the thematic evolution of his hit HBO series (7:02), and how it draws from films like Taxi Driver and Goodfellas (10:36). Then, Bill reflects on growing up in Tulsa, Oklahoma (13:16), the influence of his late grandfather (17:04), his path from community college to his early PA jobs in Hollywood (18:25), landing on Saturday Night Live (21:36), the weekly pressure of the show (26:07), and how he made it through by collaborating with John Mulaney (29:51).

On the back-half, Bill shares a piece of advice from Jeff Bridges (35:14), how Barry came to be (37:27), the personal connection he has with the show (40:07), the enduring power of movies (47:52), and how, after some detours, he’s finally where he’s supposed to be (49:57).


Illustrations by: Krishna Shenoi.

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