Actor Bill Hader told reporters backstage at the Microsoft Theater Monday evening that he was so shocked by his win for comedy lead in “Barry” that he had no idea what he said during his acceptance speech.
“I planned nothing. I was literally waiting for Ted Danson or Donald Glover (to win),” said the actor/comedian, who also directs, produces and co-created the HBO comedy. “I legit don’t know what I said up there.”
Hader said he learned a lot from Henry Winkler, who plays Barry’s acting teacher in the series and also took home his first Emmy Monday night for that portrayal.
“You’re only really as good as the company you’re in. And Henry would push me in a way to give that performance,” Hader said. “You’re reacting to great actors.”
Hader said he also learned that he can “play quiet” rather than the broader comedy that won him recognition while working as part of the ensemble on “Saturday Night Live.”
“There’s a lot of face acting in `Barry,”’ the actor said.
As a writer, Hader said he was thrilled that HBO was interested in an edgier version of the story about an assassin as aspiring actor.
“There’s a version of this show that’s kind of jokey,” Hader said, recalling when he and co-creator Alec Berg pitched the cable network and found they were willing to go with a darker comedy.
Asked if Monday evening fulfilled a dream, Hader said the Emmy win was “very surreal” but said one of the things that meant the most to him was when his dad hugged him at the premiere of “Barry” and recognized that the comic was doing exactly what he wanted to do.
“That meant a lot,” Hader said.