The Barry Cast on Their Side-Hustle Stress Levels
By Eleanor Laurence
A hitman blinded by stage lights, Bill Hader’s “Barry” may have one of the more taxing day jobs an aspiring actor can hold. While the actors in the Barry cast were not targeting kills before they made it big, they had their fair share of side hustles.
From Henry Winkler to Sarah Goldberg to Anthony Carrigan, find out how the cast made their living when they were just starting out, and what levels of stress they brought on.
"I was a production assistant, a PA."
"I’d say it was pretty much like being a hitman."
"The Mary Tyler Moore Show. I got it in five days after landing in L.A. Two weeks later, I got Happy Days. Four weeks later, I got The Bob Newhart Show. I did not have to do anything but be an actor."
"Stressful, because I had no sense of confidence. I was confident when I got the job, but I was not confident in my life. I was well fed. I lived right around the corner from Greenblatt's Delicatessen. So I had a tuna sandwich in my icebox at all times."
"Waiter during the day and then off-off-off-off-off-Broadway actor at night."
"It was stressful, because I worked at midtown restaurants that were owned by the mob, possibly. It was a lot of stress to serve people correctly, because if you dropped the ice tea you were gone."
"When I was first getting started, I worked in a pub in Notting Hill called the Mall Taven. I was sort of a waitress, sort of a bartender, but I was really crap at both. So I did not last that long."
"I’m going to give it full hitman. Honestly, carrying plates is so much more difficult than I ever understood, and I spilled a lot of pasta on people, which Brits don’t like."
"I avoided all day jobs, but I did one time answer phones for a credit card approval company. I’d do it in all sorts of funny voices to keep myself and my friends amused through the day."
"It wasn’t stressful. It was just mind-numbingly boring."
"It’s going to sound kind of lame, because my first day job when I got out to Los Angeles was an acting job. But a funny job I had a little after that was I made snow cones. I had a snow cone cart."
"I was making people snow cones, it was the greatest thing ever being of great service. Everyone was so happy to be eating a snow cone."
[Bill Hader interjects] "Oh, you know what her first day job was? She was my nanny. And still very close to my kids."
"It was great. We all got along great."
[Bill Hader interjects again] "You better f**king say that."
"If I’m being honest, my parents bankrolled me here."
"Stress level at a 1. But I pretended it was an 8, because everyone else was having an 8."
"My first day job out in LA, I worked as a barista."
"On a scale of 1 to hitman, it was a 7. It was considering-becoming-a-hitman. We were understaffed, crazy busy, and the owners were terrible to us."
"I was stuffing envelopes for a temp job, but I was also serving a lot of coffee. I was an award-winning barista."
"It was nowhere near hitman level."
"I’m not going to say I struggled in the salt mines, but working as a writer on Seinfeld took a couple of years. I moved to LA with enough money for about four months. I managed to stretch it to six months, because I lived in a flea-ridden apartment that was six doors from the 99-cent store. So I spent about $2 a day on food. I ate a lot of mac n’ cheese, and if I was feeling celebratory, I got a can of peas. I don’t know how I didn’t get scurvy and gout."
"It was stressful, but I was 22 and I had enough money for a few months, and I was in LA. I had no idea what the hell my life was going to be, but it was also kind of awesome."
A Midwestern contract killer gets bit by the acting bug while on a job in LA, and the rest is history. Check out the first episode of Barry, no HBO subscription required.