The world can sometimes be a cruel place, and that has a lot to do with beauty standards that have long plagued society. Sometimes because someone looks different they are deemed as “unattractive.” That was certainly the case for arguably the best character on Barry. Well, apart from Bill Hader playing Barry, that is. Anthony Carrigan portrays the hugely fan-favorite character of NoHo Hank, the soft-spoken and hilarious Chechen gangster who has won everyone over since season one of the series. Carrigan was recently interviewed about his lifelong battle with alopecia areata. According to Carrigan, “I was told by a number of people, you’re not going to be able to do this. You’re not attractive anymore. You will fail if you try to do this,” he says. “And I’m one of those people that if you told me that I can’t do something, I will. Period.”
Those are some harrowing words to throw at someone, especially if what they suffer from happens to be a medical disease. He added, “There was a moment where my alopecia had progressed so much so that I had lost pretty much half [of] my scalp, both my eyebrows [and] all my eyelashes. It really threw everyone that I was working with, and no one knew what to do with me.” The sad fact is that people who were cast in film and television had to look a certain way, which is likely still true. However, things have changed rapidly in this more inclusionary world that we are currently living in. Despite the societal changes that have been ongoing, Carrigan didn’t let his alopecia ruin his career early on and his eventual rise in Barry.
A fun fact about Anthony Carrigan and his performance in Barry was that the character of NoHo Hank was meant to die in the first episode, but he was so beloved by the creators, that he became a series regular just from the pilot. Most of the focus is on Barry and his acting teacher, Gene Cousineau (Henry Winkler), but NoHo Hank is truly one of the best side characters that have ever been devised. He is a walking contradiction. As previously mentioned, he is a Chechen gangster who is essentially in charge of a mob outfit, but he is not violent at all. He is arguably the most innocent character on the show, even though he is in the mafia.
Anthony Carrigan spoke greatly about his own self-acceptance, and how it led to him becoming a better actor. He was no longer hiding under wigs, makeup, or a false sense of self-confidence. He accepted the fact that his alopecia was going to be life-altering, but he was determined to make it as an actor anyway. His own character is going through something similar in the series, as NoHo Hank is not trying to please anyone but himself in the show. Well, that was until the leader of the Chechen gang came to visit. Without ruining anything, go watch Barry, and see for yourself why Carrigan’s character has become the most fan-favorite in the series.
Barry is currently in its third season on HBO and HBO Max. The first two seasons are available to stream and contain eight episodes each. The third season began on April 24th and will be ending soon in June. The good news is that HBO has already approved the series for a fourth season. We are all hoping that Hank continues to make it past this season, as he is the best character in the series.