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How Inside Out Affected Bill Hader's Approach To Barry

Bill Hader is seemingly everywhere these days. After making it big on "Saturday Night Live," he continued appearing in a number of comedic projects, including "The To Do List," "They Came Together," and "Trainwreck." On top of his usual film duties, he also does a ton of voiceover work in TV shows and video games, but those aren't his only behind-the-scenes duties. He was a producer and creative consultant on "South Park" for many years (via Vulture).

These days, Hader is best known for his work acting, directing, and writing on the HBO series "Barry." As a dark comedy, it has a decidedly different tone than some of the actor's other projects, even if he still makes audiences laugh from time to time doing it. And as surprising as it may sound, Hader drew some of the inspiration for "Barry" from a highly unusual source. As it turns out, working on Pixar's "Inside Out" helped inform the direction of "Barry."

Inside Out changed how Bill Hader looked at Barry

Ultimately, it doesn't matter if you're working on a kids' movie or a dark comedy aimed at adults. You still need a solid story to get the audience invested, and "Inside Out" helped Hader realize what approach he needed to take to make "Barry" as good as it could be. 

In an interview with Collider, Hader spoke about how he wasn't only a voice actor for "Inside Out." He also spent some time in the writers' room, which came in handy for recognizing what needed to be done for longer-form storytelling. He explained that with sketches, you need jokes for six minutes, but for something longer, you need to start with emotion and work your way down. Hader recalled, "I remember [director] Pete Docter pitched ['Inside Out'] to me and he said, 'My daughter showed me a slideshow,' and he's like, 'Here's my daughter when she was a little kid, look how happy she is and excited about life and everything. And here she is now,' and she's a preteen and her hair's in front of her face, and she's awkward and everything like that, and he goes, 'What happened? How did she go from that to that? I want to explore that.'"

The pitch struck a chord with Hader, who went on to say, "So you hear that and you go, 'Oh, that's really interesting.' That affected the way I went into 'Barry,' which was like what if the thing you were good at was destroying you, but the thing you wanted to do you were bad at." It all worked out in the end. "Barry" is now one of the best shows on television, and we have Pixar to thank in part for its exceptional quality.