We’ve always known that when it comes to impressions, Bill Hader can do anyone.
But for those who don’t know, what he wonderfully flaunts in season 2 of HBO’s Barry is his riveting finesse for directing action scenes across two episodes, “ronny/lily” and the finale “berkman>block”, literally reminiscent of James Mangold’s work on Logan and Michael Mann’s cinematic crime oeuvre.
It’s a wonderful evolution for Hader who started off as a PA on such action pics as Dwayne Johnson’s Scorpion King and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Collateral Damage, and is now the guy who gets to call “action”.
Hader’s Emmy-nominated directed and written episode “ronny/lily” follows the actor’s hitman Barry, who after being blackmailed by Detective John Loach (John Pirruccello), is forced to take Ronny Proxin (Daniel Bernhardt), the guy who is having an affair with Loach’s wife. Barry breaks into Ronny’s house, and asks him kindly to leave town. But it turns out that Ronny is an award-winning martial arts master. Ronny and Barry brawl, and just when it looks like the latter has the upper hand, he’s ambushed by the guy’s daughter Lily (Jessie Giacomazzi), an 11-year old karate dynamo who makes Dafne Keen’s girl wolverine stunts as Laura in Mangold’s Logan look like child’s play (Lily literally bites off the face of Barry’s partner in crime, Fuches). It’s a hysterical chase sequence, beginning in a smoky, blasé suburban home, continuing into the streets and ending with a crash at a grocery store. Clouseau and Cato could not have done more damage in the Pink Panther movies.
For season 2, Barry is nominated for 17 Emmys, Hader owning four of those in the categories of Best Comedy Series, Best Lead Comedy Actor, Directing, and Writing.