Bill Hader on Turning Point for Barry in the HBO Series: “A Nice Reminder That He’s Not a Good Guy”

Bill Hader is opening up about what he thinks is the turning point in Barry Berkman’s life in his HBO series Barry.

Ahead of its series finale on Sunday, Hader had one specific moment that came to mind when he was asked what Barry’s point of no return was in the Emmy-winning show.

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“I always felt a big turning point was when Barry killed Chris [his war buddy, an amiable family man who knew too much],” Hader told the Los Angeles Times. “That was kind of the moment.”

In a conversation with The Hollywood Reporter tied to that episode in Barry season one, writer Liz Sarnoff broke down the scene and explained that they wanted to ensure audiences felt like Barry didn’t have a choice. He had to kill his friend because he’d lose everything if not.

“At the same time, you see from Chris [Marquette], ‘Oh, this is how you should feel — how a normal person feels — when they kill someone,'” Sarnoff said. “And yet, we’re still on Barry’s side: He has to do it — he had no choice. Chris’ backtracking was so painful! That’s how we knew it was right.”

In the cast interview with the L.A. Times, Anthony Carrigan and Henry Winkler shared that the Barry-Chris scene took them by surprise and was emotionally challenging to watch. And then, quickly, the episode transitions to a scene in which Barry saves Fuches (Stephen Root) from the Chechens and viewers are cheering for him again.

“We did a screening, and when I saved you [Fuches], people clapped,” Hader told the publication. “I was like, ‘Wait, have we done something wrong?'”

The Emmy-winning actor and co-creator said another scene in which he felt Barry crossed the line was when he blew up on Sally while she was at work in season three because it showed how his actions and way of being can affect other people.

“That was very important, that it’s only a matter of time before this starts to spread out to the people he loves,” he said. “It was a nice reminder that he’s not a good guy. And that’s echoed in all the characters. They have those moments [of], ‘Can I come back from this?'”

Hader and co-creator Alec Berg have never shied away from showing Barry in a less-than-positive light. In a March 2022 THR cover story, the former Saturday Night Live castmember explained that he’s willing to risk audiences turning against the killer he plays.

“I remember watching Goodfellas growing up and going like, ‘Wow, look at his life. This is great.’ And then they shoot Spider [Michael Imperioli’s character], and you just knew that this was real,” he said. “With movies where they were trying to make sure that you liked the main character, I would always feel a little cheated. As you get older, you just see that life is more like Goodfellas.”

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