HBO’s Barry has seen an unprecedented spike in viewership in its final season. Most of the praise has been directed towards Bill Hader who is the protagonist as well as the showrunner of the dark comedy.
As the show comes to a close, creator Bill Hader talks about his directing experience, including working with actors.
Refining his approach has aided Bill Hader in enabling his actors to deliver their best performances, he revealed to IndieWire.
“Having a clear vision of what I want is incredibly beneficial,” he explained.
“It’s challenging for actors when directors are unsure of their vision and reject their ideas. In my opinion, that’s not true directing. As an actor, I find it frustrating when directors behave that way. So I strive to be precise about my expectations. Together, we work towards achieving those goals, and I’m there to support and appreciate their work. If something is funny, I genuinely laugh. If it’s emotional, I express my admiration. The key for actors is to feel comfortable and not look foolish.”
“Sometimes an actor enters the set feeling anxious and caught up in their own thoughts, and I can relate to that. In those moments, I reassure them by saying, ‘You can’t mess this up.’ The most important thing I can do for actors is to provide encouragement and allow them to express themselves, while offering guidance.”
On occasion, Hader may assure an actor that he has what he needs even if he doesn’t, simply to help them relax.
“The best thing to say to them is, ‘We’ve got it. Now let’s explore some other options.’ That instantly puts them at ease, and they always deliver exceptional performances after that.”
Hader also strives to minimize the number of takes to prevent exhausting his actors.
Barry season finale is set to air on May 21.