[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 3, Episode 4 of Barry, “all the sauces.”]
HBO‘s award-winning dramedy Barry is bleaker than ever in Season 3, but the series is also hitting some of its highest comedy notes yet. A lot of that is thanks to the persistent hopefulness and sweet optimism of Chechen mobster NoHo Hank (Anthony Carrigan). The fan-favorite character — who was too funny to be killed off in the pilot episode as planned — continually charms viewers with his hilarious pop culture references (“Well, you know what Sonny and Cher would say, that’s on you, babe”) and his endearing attitude toward sometimes-pal and assassin Barry (star and creator Bill Hader). “It’s always really refreshing to play a character who’s so excited about life,” Carrigan says. “When I’m playing Hank, I just feel so energized, and I want to continue playing him forever. Especially this season, I really get to explore more of him and I’m just very grateful.”
In the latest episode, “all the sauces,” Barry ignites a bomb under the house of the rival Bolivian gangsters, just narrowly missing Hank’s Mafia boyfriend, Cristobal (Michael Irby), who Barry delivers back to Hank at the very end of the installment. Will Hank and Cristobal be able to continue their West Side Story-esque romance? What else is on Hank’s mind as we reach the final episodes of Season 3? Below, Carrigan tells all.
Was it hard for you to find this character again, and the accent, after such a long hiatus between seasons? Did you practice his voice during the pandemic at all?
Anthony Carrigan: Yeah, there would be times where I think I would just kind of slip into Hank momentarily. Just to keep things fun. Knowing that we were going to do another season of the show really helped me carry on through the pandemic. [But] I think I was a little nervous because I was like, is Hank still there? Will there be cobwebs? Will I be rusty? But no, pretty much as soon as I put on those tight pants, everything just came right back to me.
Seeing Hank in this loving relationship with Cristobal — does it feel good for you to have this other layer to the character fleshed out?
Yeah, you always want to have a multi-dimensional character, a multifaceted character. And anytime you get the chance to kind of explore more of who they are, as opposed to just a character that just shows up and makes people laugh — it’s always such a treat as an actor to be able to stretch yourself in different directions. So yeah, those storylines were such a pleasure.
Hank told Barry at the start of the season that “Forgiveness is something that has to be earned.” Has Barry earned that back now with his rescue of Cristobal?
Well, I think it’s really fascinating to watch Barry continue to try to be a good person, right? Essentially each step that he takes in terms of trying to help someone, as opposed to hurting someone, is a step toward his redemption — if you could imagine that he’s worthy of redemption because he’s honestly, when you look at it, a really horrible, horrible human being. But I think that’s what’s exciting about this show: It really opens the door to anything. Anything can happen. Even I’m floored and surprised when I watched it for the first time.
What about the mob war? What’s next there?
I think that it’s a very serious business. Up until this point, you’ve almost seen these characters playing at being mobsters. Clearly, they’re dealing heroin and doing awful things, but you can always get darker, and it can always be more dangerous. So, I think you can kind of see where it goes based on that.
How do you feel about all the fan love that Hank gets?
One of my favorite things is when fans come up to me. I could care less about the attention that I’m getting, I’m a shy person, really, but just seeing the kind of joy that they get out of the show and out of the character. And if they just start, you know, dancing and singing “50/50 with Cristobal,” like, it genuinely makes me very, very happy. I just feel like, if I made someone laugh, I’m pumped.
That’s awesome. What would you say is your favorite thing that you’ve improvised as Hank?
I think maybe the line about Fleetwood Mac where he talks about Barry and Fuches [Stephen Root] breaking up, but they, you know, they break up, they get back together again and then they go out and make a great album, like “The Best of Fleetwood Mac.” I think it was mostly mine. And then Bill tweaked it, but yeah that was a really fun one.
Costume-wise, do you get any say on picking out Hank’s wardrobe?
Oh, definitely. I’m given a lot of autonomy when it comes to the costumes. And it’s funny because we’ll get to see a whole wide range of clothes, and I’ll pretty much try on everything. But when you put something on, you just know that it’s right. It’s like you feel it and all of a sudden, the hands will go on the hips and I’ll just immediately start mugging for the camera.
Is there anything that you want to take home with you when the series wraps, like you’re grabbing this pair of pants or that shirt?
Well clearly, I’ve never taken home any of my costumes. [Laughs] That’s not protocol. But I will say a certain volleyball scene in which I had some short shorts might have just fallen off the truck and gone to the beach at some point, for sure.
What else can you tease about the end of Season 3?
You can definitely expect the unexpected. And I am so proud of everything that we’ve done this season. And I think it’s just going to completely shake things up in a way that viewers haven’t seen anything like it yet.
Barry, Sundays, 10/9c, HBO and HBO Max