Anthony Carrigan Talks ‘Barry’ Season 3 and Creating His Beloved Character NoHo Hank

Complex chatted with Anthony Carrigan about ‘Barry’ Season 3, dealing with alopecia, and what makes his fan-favorite character, NoHo Hank, so special.

Anthony Carrigan Noho Hank interview

Image via HBO

Anthony Carrigan Noho Hank interview

There is no Barry without NoHo Hank. Season 3 of the HBO series premiered on Apr. 24, and no one is surprised that Anthony Carrigan’s performance continues to elevate the show. Bill Hader, who plays Barry and co-created the show, also delivers one of his best performances to date in the intense comedy-drama, but it is Carrigan’s character who has gained a devoted following. Barry is about a former Marine-turned-hitman who wants to leave his life of crime behind when he falls in love with acting. Before Barry found his new calling, he was hired by Hank, the leader of the Chechen mafia, to kill a man—and that’s how their friendship began. 

Barry’s creators Hader and Alec Berg didn’t plan for Hank to make it through the show’s first episode, but they recognized the actor and the role was too good to kill off because he was so damn funny. And they were right. Hank is the most entertaining character on the show and is easily one of the best supporting TV characters of the last five years. “It’s the most fun I’ve ever had in terms of my career and roles like this don’t come along very often. Jobs like this never happen. I call this a unicorn job,” Carrigan tells Complex. “To be able to play this character who is so unique and so weird and so fun and upbeat, but also can be very dark and serious, it’s the biggest gift possible. I’m just really trying to not just soak it in, but trying to not take any of it for granted.” 

Sometimes you're NoHo Hank. Sometimes you're Barry.

— HBO (@HBO) April 24, 2022

Season 3 promises a lot of changes for NoHo Hank, including a new forbidden love affair with Bolivian mafia leader Cristobal Sifuentes (Michael Irby)—and Carrigan continues to deliver an outstanding performance throughout. Complex caught up with the Emmy nominated actor ahead of the Season 3 premiere and he opened up about the doors Barry has opened for him, embracing his alopecia, and all the magic and work that went into creating NoHo Hank.  

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With Barry, each episode has three different storylines happening at once. What is that like for you as an actor?

Anthony Carrigan: It’s wonderful. There’s such intricacy and such nuance in the storytelling and in all of these different character arcs. All you have to do is focus on your character’s journey and try to do what’s being written justice. One of the most exciting things is seeing, finally, what your castmates have been up to as well. A lot of the time you don’t even really run into them if it’s not overlapping scenes. It’s amazing to finally be able to watch all of my friends’ work on this and they never, ever let me down. They’re so, so good. It’s kind of a joy to be in your own little bubble, in a vacuum almost, and then get to see how it all gets tied together.

Right. Each character is so defined and in their own world. Then Hank is obviously his own universe of a person. How do you think that they all blend together so well?

AC: It’s funny, I was thinking about this the other night. These characters are so radically different and if you almost watch them on their own, there’s no way that you would look at one and then the other and assume that they’re on the same show. But somehow it works. It just melds together to make this really unique and tonally different show. That’s what makes it distinct from most other television. It can go in each of these different directions and shift on a dime in terms of being a comedy one second and then really dark the next. It’s a testament to the creators in terms of how well they’re able to sew it all together.

The scripts are so good that when you’re improvising, you feel like it’s sacrilege. What you have already is so wonderful and then you have brilliant creators who have a phenomenal vision that you really want to do justice. You have a cast of people that are not just holding their own, they’re elevating every single aspect, every line that they say. 

Anthony Carrigan Barry Season 3 Interview
Anthony Carrington NoHo Hank Barry Interview

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Do you think that this role has helped open doors for you and for other actors who are also dealing with alopecia and maybe they have had a hard time in their careers?

AC: It’s been really wonderful just to be an actor with alopecia and represent all my other alopecians and it’s just a totally normal thing. Granted, this character is far from normal, but no one comments on his alopecia, it’s not a thing. To all the actors out there who may have alopecia, or essentially something that they may feel shame about or they may feel that it is something that counts them out, just continue to practice as much as you can self-acceptance, self-love. 

Everyone is struggling with some aspect of their identity that they wish was not there, and life is just too short to be holding yourself back. Do your best to accept yourself fully. It’s a universal thing that true attractiveness is seeing someone completely embrace who they are and, as much as they can, be unapologetic with what makes them different. Being different is fascinating and interesting, and the people who just rock it are the most attractive people truly. My metric for what is really attractive has totally shifted because of that.

What has your experience working with Bill been like so far? 

AC: Working with Bill, working with Alec, they’re just such incredible minds. They’ve got such a vision in terms of what this show is and the tone of it. What I respect the most about Bill, aside from how incredibly talented he is as an actor, is just how well he’s able to wear each of those hats as a writer, executive producer, creator, and director. He’s just always just such a chill guy on set. He’s always cracking jokes. He’s always there for you.

If you need something or if you want to bounce an idea off of him, he’s always available and you forget how much he’s doing, because he’s doing all of it. That’s a pretty wonderful thing just to see and see how well someone can navigate those waters.

What do you think fans are going to love about this season and what do you hope they get out of it?

AC: I’m personally so excited to be able to share this new season with everyone. It’s been years in the making and the time that we had off somehow was utilized to make it even more detailed, even more nuanced. There’s things the writers discovered in that downtime that are going to make this just pop even more. 

Fans are going to be very surprised in terms of the plot and where this story goes and just how many curveballs are going to be thrown. You don’t know where it’s going and it’s so exciting to give an audience a story they’re not going to be able to guess what happens. There’s something so magical and crackling about that. Everyone’s at the top of their game. You’re going to see performances that you saw in Seasons 1 and 2 that were just brilliant and they’re even more elevated this go around. I hope the audience buckles in and goes along for the ride.

Barry airs on Sundays at 10 p.m. ET on HBO and HBO Max.

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