“When I looked at the page, I was like, ‘Oh, I know who this guy is'” – Anthony Carrigan on Playing NoHo Hank
Actor Anthony Carrigan has found success on several television series, with multi-episode stints on shows like The Forgotten, Parenthood, Gotham, and now HBO’s Barry, in which he plays hilarious Chechen gangster NoHo Hank. In an interview with Gothamist, Carrigan talked about playing NoHo Hank, including how the character wasn’t intended to live past the pilot episode and what action movie star informs his performance.
Carrigan confirms the rumor that in the original pilot his character was killed off, but that was changed once the series got picked up. He says, “We shot the pilot, and then we shot the series about a year later, so there’s a lot of time, but how it was pitched to me was that there was this role, which ‘don’t be scared’ because it may end up being different. So I thought it was shot and I was like, ‘Oh okay, well let’s make him not die.'”
Interestingly enough, Carrigan has met other people who had gone out for the role that didn’t get it and has since found out that his approach to the character was unique. He explains, “Well, it’s an interesting thing, because when I looked at the page, I was like, ‘oh, I know who this guy is.’ Although he was just described as a very polite gangster, I kind of saw many more aspects of Hank that I immediately picked up on. I actually met other people who had gone in for that role, and they were like, ‘whoa, you did it completely differently from what I did,’ and I was like, ‘oh, wow, that’s interesting,’ cause I always saw it as this specifically. It was a good amount was on the page, but I had a good time bringing what I could to it.”
So what has Carrigan brought to the role that others didn’t? Carrigan says he drew inspiration from a surprising source. He says, “A lot of Jean-Claude Van Damm in his action movies. Just trying to be a really cool guy. And yeah, I would say probably Jean-Claude at the height of his career in the ’80s, probably.”