You’d think writing, producing, directing and starring on a television would give anyone frayed nerves. But Bill Hader says it’s nowhere near as exasperating as working on Saturday Night Live.
“It’s way less stressful than being on Saturday Night Live, because it’s not live and you’re not in front of the nation,” Hader said Sunday during the PGA’s Produced By conference. “I just went back to host and I was a nervous wreck.”
Tulsa, Oklahoma native Hader appeared on SNL from 2005-2014. He said returning to the sketch comedy series for just one week earlier this year, made him want to “start smoking again.”
Hader and Silicon Valley producer, Alec Berg
, co-created Barry
, a hit HBO
dark comedy about a hit man questioning his career choice and trying to discover the actor inside of him.
During Sunday’s conversation with Hader and Berg, moderated by Dana Harris, editor-in-chief and general manager of IndieWire, the Barry team described their comedy as a “high concept idea.”
“We initially had him [Barry] as kind of a movie hit man,” the pair said, before admitting HBO had concerns. When we pitched the show to HBO, we referenced Unforgiven and Taxi Driver,” Berg explained.
Then the two did research on people who work as hired killers in real life. “We found most of the guys who end up getting arrested for this type of thing have military backgrounds,” Berg said.
Barry’s eight-episode first season premiered in March, and HBO quickly renewed the series for a second season the following month. Hader said they’re already bouncing around ideas and writing season 2.
“Writing is really hard and it’s problem-solving,” Hader explained. “But I feel like it’s this nice diagram of logic, emotion and your gut.”