Bill Hader has something to say about dark comedy

For one of the funniest men in America, Bill Hader is definitely drawn to darkness. Critics agree that the Saturday Night Live alumnus steals the show in horror blockbuster It: Chapter 2, while his acclaimed HBO hit man comedy Barry is tipped to win multiple Emmys once again next month. In both, the in-demand star steers the mood rapidly from terrifying brutality to hilarity and back again, often several times within a single scene. “I’ve always been weirdly interested in violence ... people’s inherent violence, which is kind of what Barry is about,” says Hader, who created and co-wrote the show, as well as directing several episodes. “It’s about a guy saying, ‘Well I can quit this’ and realising ‘Oh, no, this is in me, and maybe it’s in most people.’” The acclaimed series sees Hader’s former U.S. Marine-turned-hit man pursue his target into a Hollywood acting class, where he quickly enrolls. Its second season – which earned a whopping 17 Emmy nominations – follows Barry’s bid to swap contract killings for casting calls, an ambition which is constantly thwarted by his own inner turmoil and an assortment of larger-than-life mobsters.