Bill Hader on ‘Barry’ Season 3 and Considering the Show’s Endgame

     August 27, 2019

Bill Hader is already drawing considerable acclaim for his performance in the horror sequel It: Chapter Two, opening in theaters next week, but as audiences prepare to witness what horrors are in store for Richie Tozier 27 years after his first confrontation with Pennywise, Hader is busy preparing the third season of his phenomenal HBO series Barry.

Hader is up for a number of Emmys for Barry Season 2—including Best Actor, Writing, and Directing in a Comedy Series—as the show grew both deeper and more ambitious in its second season. Which is saying something because the inaugural season of Barry is a stellar piece of storytelling in and of itself. Not easily definable as a comedy, drama, or even “hit man story,” Barry is simply one of the best shows currently airing on TV, showcasing impeccable writing, acting, and directing every week.

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Image via HBO

Hader serves as co-showrunner, executive producer, star, and sometimes director of the series, so when Collider’s own Steve Weintraub spoke with him at the press day for It: Chapter Two, he asked Hader about the show’s immense success and getting ready to go back to work on Barry Season 3. Hader revealed that the writers room for the show’s next season opens in October:

“For us, it feels like you’re telling a story chapter by chapter and then you have like a year off between chapters, and people are responding to where it is at this moment. In [co-showrunner] Alec [Berg] and I’s mind it’s like we see this kind of bigger story that we’re trying to write, and it’s constantly shifting too. In two weeks I go into an office with Liz Sarnoff, one of our writers, and we just are gonna start working on Season 3 just the two of us while Alec is wrapping up Silicon Valley, then the writers room starts in earnest in October. That’s where my head’s at.”

The show’s ratings exploded in Season 2 thanks to Game of Thrones, as the final season of the most popular show in HBO history served as the lead-in to Barry for the majority its season, which resulted in a significant ratings increase. Hader admits the lead-in was “pretty awesome.”

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Image via HBO

But as preparations for Season 3 get underway, do Hader and Berg see an end in sight for the series? Hader said the show isn’t planned that far in advance yet and mapping out each season has been an organic process, but he did reveal that there’s a significant plot point that may or may not arise in Season 3, which will mark a significant turning point:

“Each year [we] see where the writing takes us. There’s a big thing in the show that is part of our initial idea when we first sat down and talked about it that we’ve never gotten to. Every season I’ve written it up on the board and we put enough story in front of it that it just gets knocked off the board and we’re like, ‘Oh I guess we’re gonna have to put that in the next season,’ and then Season 2 I put it up there and it just keeps getting knocked off the board. In two weeks I’m gonna [put it back up on the board] and we’re gonna see if we get to that, and I think that’ll be an important thing to know where you take off from there or if you just kinda wrap it up.”

Whatever this big development is, it sounds like it sets Barry on a course towards some kind of endgame. Whether it finally occurs in Season 3 or not, I think we’ve seen enough of the show to implicitly trust that the story Hader and the show’s writers come up with—and the directorial prowess with which he and his collaborators execute it—will be well worth our while.

Look for our full interview with Hader on It: Chapter Two on Collider soon, and click here to see what he said about the feature film script he’s currently writing and hoping to direct.

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