Yes, the show is called Barry — but the way Season 2 of HBO’s pitch-black comedy has been going, we wouldn’t mind if they renamed it Hank.
Anthony Carrigan has been a certified scene-stealer this season as Barry’s Chechen partner in crime Noho Hank, the most upbeat gangster you’re ever likely to meet. His goofy one-liners and general zest for life have made him a fan favorite, and Carrigan tells TVLine he’s been feeling the love… even if he’s a little surprised by it. “Who knew that the evil Chechen mobster would be stealing everyone’s hearts?” he says with a laugh.
Hank is an unlikely crime boss: He always seems like he’d rather be chilling with his bros than killing people. In fact, it’s hard to imagine how he got into a life of crime in the first place. “We don’t really know a lot about his past,” Carrigan notes, but he thinks the criminal lifestyle “is something that Hank was born into, and it was a lifestyle that he had to fit into in order to survive.” Hank also takes a lot of inspiration from ’80s action movies, Carrigan theorizes: “He has an idea of it being a lot cooler of a world than it really is, because the reality is, it’s gruesome and clumsy and violent.”
Hank’s best friend in the world is Bill Hader’s reluctant hitman Barry — even if Barry doesn’t exactly feel the same way about Hank. Barry might openly insult Hank from time to time, but the eternally sunny Hank just lets it roll off his back, Carrigan says: “He still considers Barry as his best bro who can do no wrong, and he considers all the insults as just bro-y back and forth.” In fact, the actor wouldn’t mind seeing Hank join Barry at Gene Cousineau’s acting class one day: “He certainly has a flair for theatrics. A natural ham.”
Last week’s episode saw Hank’s luck run out, though, when he was cornered by Esther — the Burmese crime boss he’s been trying to murder all season — and fellow crime lord Cristobal. “Hank is certainly in hot water,” Carrigan admits, “and I think the reality of double-crossing someone is catching up to him.” He won’t reveal if Hank survives Season 2’s final two episodes, but he teases that the episodes are “going to push the envelope when it comes to getting really dark” and “really intense.” (Barry did get renewed for a third season last month.)
Plus, Carrigan hints that eagle-eyed viewers might be rewarded soon enough: “If you went back to the first season and you looked, you’d see that there were seeds being planted all along the way that were opening up into the world of the second season. And I think if you pay very close attention, you’ll see that certain seeds are being planted as we speak.”
Barry fans, let’s hear from you: Are you enjoying Noho Hank’s increased presence in Season 2? Got finale predictions? Join us in the comments.