(Editor’s Note: The following story contains spoilers for the series finale “Barry”)
The final season of “Barry” has garnered rave reviews, with critics praising Bill Hader — who directed all eight episodes — for deftly steering his dark comedy to a suitably bleak conclusion. But apparently, Hader was concerned that things were getting too bleak.
Appearing in an episode of Of variety “Making a Scene,” Hader explained that he had to re-shoot part of the series finale to remove what he’s come to see as an inappropriate moment of positivity. When NoHo Hank (Anthony Carrigan) kidnaps Sally (Sarah Goldberg) and her son, Barry’s personal life finally collides with his crime network in an irreversible way. While Hank is ultimately murdered by Fuches (Stephen Root), Hader says she originally wanted him to spend some of his last moments bonding with Sally over their shared experiences with Barry.
“I initially made a big mistake in her death…I thought Sally and NoHo Hank meeting was a really big moment on the show,” Hader said. “It’s embarrassing to even talk about it. You see that they kind of have this common bond, which is that they both love Barry and they’ve both been wronged by Barry. I thought, ‘Oh, they’d connect.’”
Hader recalled that Goldberg questioned the rationale behind her character’s connection to a man who kidnapped her and her child, prompting Hader to reevaluate her creative choices.
“I got no response,” he said. “I realized later that the answers were fan service. I got insecure and thought, ‘Oh, the fans are going to love this.’ Two, I was insecure and enough people had said to me, “The show has gotten so bleak” that I thought, “Oh, it should have a nice hopeful moment.”
They finally re-shot NoHo Hank’s death scene, resulting in the character dying alone under a gold statue of his former love Cristobal. While Hader was embarrassed by his blunder, Carrigan said he was thrilled to have another opportunity to get the scene right.
“One of the biggest things for actors is that once you do something, especially on your way home, you’re like, ‘Oh, I should have done it that way. Oh my gosh. Yes. I should have,” Carrigan said. “I really felt this relief that I would be able to do it again and focus on different things.”