Barry, one of the best shows on television, is gearing up to begin production on its second season later this year, and we now know the directors who will be at the helm of Season 2. The half-hour HBO series created by Bill Hader and Alec Berg burst onto the scene earlier this year as a hilarious, wildly engrossing, and surprisingly emotional affair, telling the story of a hitman (Hader) who decides he wants to give up his life of crime and become an actor.
While the premise could have been played straight, Hader and Berg approached Barry with loftier ambitions, toeing the line between comedy and drama to craft a thematically engaging and complex story of a sad man trying to find some semblance of happiness. And yes, there’s murder and Henry Winkler too.
One of Barry’s strengths, aside from the writing and acting, was the direction. Directing, especially in half-hour shows, can easily be taken for granted by viewers, but the work in Barry is a shining example of how a great director can elevate any given scene. Indeed, Hader made his directorial debut in Season 1 to phenomenal results, and is nominated for a Best Directing for a Comedy Series Emmy. While speaking with Indiewire during press rounds in anticipation of the upcoming Emmys (Barry has nine nominations total), Hader revealed the directors who will be at the helm of Season 2.
There are quite a few familiar faces, including both Hader and Berg who directed three and two episodes of Season 1, respectively. For Season 2, Hader and Berg will each direct two episodes, while acclaimed Atlanta director Hiro Murai—who directed two Season 1 episodes—is also returning to helm two episodes of Season 2. Rounding out the list are two Barry newcomers each helming one episode: Liza Johnson (Elvis & Nixon) and Minkie Spiro (Downton Abbey, Call the Midwife).
Speaking with Indiewire, Hader explained their surprise at landing the incredibly in-demand Hiro Murai, who helmed the now-iconic “This Is America” music video in addition to much of the first two seasons of Atlanta:
“Hiro Murai is directing the first two, which is cool, then I’m directing two, Alec is directing two, Liza Johnson is directing one, and a woman named Minkie [Spiro], who just directed ‘Kidding,’ [is directing one],” Hader said. “We’ve got a really fucking cool group of people this season, but also it was like, ‘How the hell did we get Hiro to do this? This is so cool.’ Everybody wants him right now, so when he said yes, I was like, ‘He said yes?!’” [laughs]
Murai directed the stash house raid episode of Barry Season 1, but I’m also really excited to see Hader and Berg back at the helm. Hader showed a terrific understanding of visual storytelling with his debut episodes, and Berg directed the hell out of the season’s most emotionally complex episodes by helming the final two installments of the season.
HBO has not revealed when Barry will return, but it’ll likely be next spring at the earliest. Hader is currently shooting IT Chapter Two and will then move right into filming Barry Season 2 this fall and winter. If you missed my series of interviews with Hader about each episode, including an insightful breakdown of the finale, I highly suggest checking them out.