“I like the idea of finding the humanity in my characters—I think it gives a character dimension.” – Anthony Carrigan
It’s been quite a journey for Anthony Carrigan‘s Barry character, NoHo Hank. The Chechen mobster wasn’t supposed to make it out alive after his first appearance on the series, and after becoming a regular on the series has not only become a fan-favorite character but has also made Carrigan an Emmy nominee for Supporting Actor. Speaking about his role on the series with the AV Club, Carrigan goes into detail about finding the right way to portray NoHo Hank and how his hair loss allows him to find different dimensions of his characters.
When the interviewer points out that Carrigan didn’t have much experience in comedy before Barry and asked if it was a challenge for him to adapt to comedic acting, he answers, “It was business as usual in the sense that you want to just be authentic. That’s all it really is, is about authenticity and honesty. A lot of people play into the comedy of it, like trying to make people laugh. And, you know, that’s hollow. That’s kind a hollow way of doing it. In fact, you kind of have to play it as dramatic as possible. That’s what is so funny about it, is Hank’s so absorbed in his own world and he can’t kind of see outside of it. And it’s what allows other people to kind of laugh at it, you know?”
Once Carrigan had the script, he delved into what he thought made NoHo Hank tick — including trying to understand the character’s unique worldview when it comes to crime. Carrigan says:
“The script was the blueprint that gave me everything that I needed, essentially. But then I got to do the fun stuff, which is kind of coming up with who this person was: his mannerisms and his opinions about things. And that’s just fun imagination stuff. Yeah, I watched a ton of ’80s action movies, because I feel like Hank sees the world of crime as this kind of spectacle, which is embodied in those movies, you know? What he sees is just really cool and explosions and spy gadgets—I don’t know, I feel like that’s what he’s plastered on top of that world.”
Of course, one thing that is familiar about Carrigan is that he has alopecia. Nonetheless, Carrigan explains how that has worked to his advantage in some ways as an actor, pointing out, “I like to think of myself as able to shape-shift in certain ways, and I like to surprise people, too, no matter what I’m playing. If I’m playing a villain, I want to do something interesting with it and not just play a kind of mustache-twirling bad guy. I mean, I don’t have the mustache to do it, so it’s kind of impossible. But I like the idea of finding the humanity in my characters—I think it gives a character dimension.”