4 May 2023
Anthony Carrigan – aka NoHo Hank – on the explosive final season of Barry
HBO’s dark comedy series Barry picked up 50 awards in its first three seasons, including nine Emmys. Now, the first four episodes of the fourth and final season are streaming on Showmax, with new episodes coming weekly on Mondays, express from the States.
Wrapping up the critically acclaimed story of hitman-turned-actor Barry Berkman (series co-creator Bill Hader, in a performance that’s won him two Emmys), the new season has a 99% score on Rotten Tomatoes – the fifth-highest this year.
Watch the trailer for Barry Season 4
Empire Magazine calls the final season, “nerve-shredding, hilarious and emotionally devastating to the very end,” saying, “Season 4 will be remembered as some of the best TV of 2023.” AwardsWatch calls it “truly spectacular… one of the greatest shows of the last century,” and Radio Times says, “If you’re not watching this show, you’re a fool… There’s simply nothing like it.”
We spoke to Anthony Carrigan about the show’s final season and his Emmy-nominated role as fan-favourite Chechen mobster, NoHo Hank.
Where do we find Hank at the start of the final fourth season?
Well, it’s a very narrow escape from the end of Season 3, right? I think Hank isn’t completely out of the basement dungeon, right? He’s still there a little bit, mentally. That’s something that he brings into Season 4. Obviously [Hank and Cristobal are] in this new setting and wanting to be safe, but I think that everything that has happened over the last few seasons has really had a huge effect on Hank.
Why do they go back? In theory, they’ve escaped and they’re together and then they decide to go back into it?
I think a huge theme for the show is that all these characters are trying to live out their dreams, but they all keep on getting pulled back. That’s quite tragic. I think something that has been quite intoxicating for Hank has been this idea of being an accomplished and successful crime boss. It’s very closely tied to his ego and his self-worth. That really enforces his decisions.
There’s a couple of scenes where you just flip. One moment you are happily in love, completely enjoying yourself, and the next, literally on a dime, you’re hard as nails. And you are scary.
Right? An important thing for me was to always ground whatever edge Hank had in pain. Whether it was on Season 2 where he confronts Barry outside of the acting class, and it’s based on him feeling embarrassed and being told that he was an idiot… that menacing moment came from his feelings being hurt. I don’t want to chalk every gangster’s motives up to their feelings, but maybe that’s ultimately what it is. Fragile egos and people who can’t quite deal with their feelings, so they turn immediately to anger.
Why is Barry so important to Hank?
It’s almost what Barry represents to Hank. Barry, at first, represents this Jason Bourne, cool American guy who’s just like the coolest hitman in the world. Hank idolises him. As they get to know each other, their relationship deepens, and it even becomes almost like a love affair in a certain way. There are certain scenes that reflect that, where Barry shows up in Season 3 saying, “Hey, Hank, I need your help.” Hank’s like, “I’m with Cristobal now. You got to leave me alone. Okay?” It’s like what you would hear from an ex-lover. It began to take on this new dynamic, and it was really interesting to have that all play out.
You got to act opposite Oscar-winning director Guillermo del Toro (who makes a guest appearance in episode 3 of the season), and we see a pure Hank scene there – from murder to podcast. What was it like filming with him?
Filming with Guillermo was such a joy. I’ve been a fan of his for such a long time, so to get to work opposite him… I was ecstatic. But I love how there are these gangsters having this really hardened conversation about something very serious, and then it veers into podcast territory, which is just so banal and so ridiculous. That’s what makes Barry so wonderful. It has these really heightened stakes, but then it also mixes in a little bit of every day and does so in a way that I think is just hilarious.
Hank was originally supposed to die at the end of episode one, but your performance made him a key character. How have people reacted to him and to you?
Well, obviously, Barry has some dark moments to it. It gets a little intense at times, which is all the more reason to have this levity, right? You have to balance it out. I think Hank operates as this character who’s so deeply invested in what he’s doing that he can’t see outside of everything else. The excitement that he has with whatever he is dealing with lends itself to upbeat energy and optimism that keeps things out of a really depressing headspace. The fan response to that has just been remarkable. It’s such a gift because what I see on fans’ faces is just joy and this effervescence when they talk about the character. It makes me feel like I had an effect on them and I moved them in some way. That will never get old to me, ever.
Has Barry been a career-changing show for you, just slightly?
Oh, I would say more than slightly. I owe so much to Barry. Jobs like this really don’t come along often. The stars aligned in terms of just a genius creative team, a wonderful crew, the best actors you could really find to play these roles. There was not a weak link among them. Also, I got just a unicorn of a character to boot. Everything about it is so special and really, you don’t get that often. It’s very bittersweet to be saying goodbye to it.
What was it like as you reached the final scenes?
Off-camera there was this sense of gratitude, appreciation and love. As a cast we all banded together – even those people who weren’t in too many scenes together. It was good to reach the end because you look at the story arc and you’re proud to have been part of it, but I’m going to miss it. It was really a special show.
Watch Barry on Showmax.
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