Bill Hader Plays an Assassin-Turned-Actor in HBO’s New Show ‘Barry’

The dude you know as ‘Stefan’ on Saturday Night Live and as Amy Schumer’s boyf in Trainwreck is off on his own on HBO playing an assassin who wants to give up the killing and instead pursue community theatre in North Hollywood. 

Photo Credit: HBO

The premise of his new black comedy Barry is that Hader plays the eponymous role, a depressed hitman from the midwest who one day follows a would-be victim into a North Hollywood acting class. Here, he discovers a love for acting and decides to give up his murderous mid-western life to pursue it.

But it doesn’t seem like that decision is entirely up to him, as Barry has a handler ‘Fuches’ (Stephen Root) who’s pretty intent on keeping him in the killing game. When Barry pleads to him about his new-found love for acting, he is told:

“You’re a killer Barry. Acting, it’s a direct conflict, being someone who anonymously kills people”.

The series is co-created with Silicon Valley’s Alec Berg, who also serves as co-executive producer with Hader. The show also marks Hader’s first time sitting in the director’s chair.

During the show’s premiere at SXSW, Hader discussed that the concept behind the show was largely inspired by his extreme anxiety while working at Saturday Night Live. He told the panel, any time you saw me on ‘Saturday Night Live,’ I was basically having a panic attack.”

Hader and Berg then put their noggins together and conceptualised a character who is greatly talented, but who derives no pleasure from that talent. As such, Hader’s hitman is no James Bond – he lives in a crappy apartment, has no friends or women lusting after him, and he’s clinically depressed. Think Louie meets Breaking Bad and you’ll get an idea of where this is going.

The show is set to premiere on March 25th, and you can check the trailer out yourself below: