In all the commotion of last week’s giant “Game of Thrones” battle, some viewers may have missed some exciting theatrics on another HBO episode that aired last Sunday night. “Barry” broke away from the show’s familiar rhythms and delivered one of the wildest half hours of TV of the year so far.
At an Emmys event this weekend in Los Angeles, Bill Hader talked about one of the centerpiece moments of the episode. In pursuit of one last job that will clear him of his past misdeeds, Hader’s hitman character stumbles across a young girl with otherworldly martial arts skills. When Barry’s handler Fuches (Stephen Root) tries to coax the girl into their car, the audience sees her run over to a tree, climb it, and hop onto the roof of quiet neighborhood house in broad daylight.
According to Hader, not only did actress Jessie Giacomazzi do the stunt herself, but she did so on an impressive custom effects rig.
“When the little girl crawls up the tree, there’s no tree there. It’s like a little green rock-climbing wall with a little arm on it. She’s harnessed,” Hader told the audience at the Saban Media Center in North Hollywood. “We got it great. Jessie said, ‘I’ll do it all day. I’m having a blast!’ That’s really her on the house.”
While the final shot unfolds in a straightforward fashion, the process was more stressful for Hader, who directed the episode.
“I wanted it all in one shot, and I’m in the car and I was about to die. This 11-year-old girl is crawling on top of the roof of this house. I have three daughters, so I was like, ‘Can we please just nail this?'” Hader said.
The episode was enough of a departure for “Barry” that even the equipment for the episode surprised writer and co-creator Alec Berg.
“Bill and I were walking toward the set and it was a couple blocks away,” Berg said. “There were two giant cranes with these big cables on them. We were walking up and went, ‘Oh, it looks like they’re doing some construction or something. I wonder what they’re building.’ And as we get closer, we were like, ‘Oh shit, that’s us!'”
According to Hader, Berg was the spontaneous source of one of the episode’s funniest moments, when Barry encounters the girl’s father at a pharmacy. “Initially, as scripted, I go, ‘Hey, your daughter’s OK.’ Alec goes, ‘You should say “Hey! It’s me! I’m the guy who was in your house!”
Hader also made sure to give significant credit for the episode’s success to Gavin Kleintop, the first assistant director on “Barry.”
“He’s amazing, and he helped so much in that episode, because I was acting in it too,” Hader said. “He’s just so good at keeping everything straight.”
“Barry” airs Sunday nights on HBO.