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Barry: Anthony Carrigan's NoHo Hank Was Originally Supposed To Die In Episode 1

Few shows have managed to walk the fine line between darkness and comedy as well as "Barry." Throughout the show's four seasons, there have been plenty of funny bits, but the show also knows when to take a step back and revel in tragedy. Viewers have witnessed numerous characters meet their demises over the course of the series, and it's always in service of the grander machinations. Still, it'd be hard to imagine what the show would be like had it gone through with one character's death. 

The cast of "Barry" sat down for an interview with The Los Angeles Times ahead of the series finale, offering tidbits about the show's production. Sarah Goldberg, who plays Sally, discussed how "Barry" is willing to "go there" when it killed off Janice (Paula Newsome). At this point, Anthony Carrigan, who plays the ever-popular and instantly memeable NoHo Hank, then chimed in, "I was almost killed in the first episode." NoHo Hank was an integral part of the show through all four seasons, so it's hard to imagine its success without him, but Bill Hader confirmed that the plan was for him to die early on, well before he ever developed feelings for Cristobal (Michael Irby). 

Not killing off NoHo Hank was a last-minute decision on Bill Hader's part

Much of the hilarity of "Barry" stems from NoHo Hank. The character's often juxtaposed by leading the Chechen mafia even though he's not really a violent person. It's easy to see how his easygoing attitude, combined with the difficult choices he has to make, has led to him becoming a fan-favorite character. It also probably helped that Anthony Carrigan watched a copious amount of Russian YouTubers to get into character. 

Later in the interview, Sarah Goldberg likely summed up a lot of people's feelings on the revelation, stating, "Can you even imagine the show without NoHo Hank in it?" But it was the series co-creator and titular star Bill Hader who revealed that he had second guesses about offing NoHo Hank in the pilot. Hader explained, "We were lining up the shot where you were supposed to get shot, and I went over to our [director of photography] and [co-creator Alec Berg] and I was like, [whispers] 'Should we kill him? I don't think we can kill him.'"

As a result, NoHo Hank joined the ranks of Jesse Pinkman from "Breaking Bad" of all-time great TV characters who were supposed to die but were saved. There's no doubt "Barry" is all the better with NoHo Hank's continued inclusion. No one else could've delivered a great line like "Like a good leader, I'm gonna get us some Ubers," quite like Anthony Carrigan.