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‘Barry’ Almost Killed NoHo Hank in the Pilot, According to Bill Hader

"We'de be insane to kill that guy. He's so funny," said Hader of the Chechen mobster character played by Anthony Carrigan.

Barry Season 2 Bill Hader Anthony Carrigan

Bill Hader and Anthony Carrigan in “Barry”

Isabella Vosmikova/HBO

[Editor’s Note: The following article contains spoilers for Season 1 of “Barry.”]

“Barry” fans can breathe a sigh of relief — even if they didn’t even know they needed to until now. Bill Hader has revealed that the now-beloved character of NoHo Hank nearly didn’t make it past the pilot. Anthony Carrigan, the actor behind the fast-talking Chechen mobster, saved himself by being too darn hilarious. Hader, who stars in the show he created with Alec Berg, recently revealed Noho Hank’s near-fatal fate in an interview with Uproxx.

“Initially, in the pilot, he died,” said Hader. “When I shoot up the car, he was dead. And then Alec [Berg] and I said, ‘We’d be insane to kill that guy. He’s so funny.’ That’s why in Episode 2, his arm’s in a sling and everything.”

When asked how the character went from being the quirky comic relief to a more integral part of the show, Hader said Carrigan “just played his way into it.” That’s a pretty ringing endorsement of Carrigan’s acting — especially amongst a crowded field of standouts. Both Hader and Henry Winkler earned Emmys last year for their performances — for Outstanding Lead Actor and Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series, respectively.

HBO’s eight-episode dark comedy stars Hader as the titular lead character, a Midwestern assassin who travels to Los Angeles on a job and finds himself in an acting class taught by Henry Winkler’s character, Gene Cousineau.

Hader also teased a possible return for Detective Janice Moss, the character played by Paula Newsome who is assumed to be dead at the end of Season 1. “Who said she’s not coming back?,” said Hader, when asked about the character.

“We don’t know if he killed Moss, and I am being coy,” he said, “It’s pretty inferred what happened, but we don’t know what happened. And so, for all intents and purposes, the beginning of the season, she’s missing, and no one knows where she is.”

“Barry” returns for Season 2 on March 31.

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