Should you pull up next to Anthony Carrigan at a Los Angeles stoplight and hear the poppin' sounds of Huey Lewis and the News or maybe some deep cuts from Christina Aguilera or Britney Spears, know that the actor is probably getting into the head space of NoHo Hank, the joyful Chechen mob boss on HBO's "Barry."
To play one of TV's best-loved breakout characters, Carrigan imagined him having a very specific idea of America that was ingrained in him at a young age.
"I envisioned it as little NoNo Hank with 15 VHS tapes just watching them over and over again and they're all '80s action movies and buddy rom-coms," Carrigan said during a recent video interview at The Times. "I like the idea that he bases all his perceptions of Los Angeles on that. Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Jean-Claude Van Damme — and maybe a little 'Troop Beverly Hills' too."
The best NoHo Hank-related news might be that the character (probably) survives the season, despite being put in some dicey situations. "Barry" co-creator Bill Hader said people approach him all the time telling him not to kill off the fan favorite. And Carrigan seemed giddy when news broke that there'd be a third season. He wouldn't feel that way if he wasn't returning … right? (But Carrigan does have a generous spirit, so who knows.)
"The stakes are much higher this season and everyone seems to be in this kind of predicament in which they are getting closer and closer to just completely being killed off," Carrigan said, laughing nervously. "It makes for great television, but it's certainly very stressful."
That's because Hader kept a tight lid on plot details — or, as Carrigan jokes: "He would toy with us in a really cruel and evil way."
But when you have HBO's official "Barry" account tweeting you live during an interview, asking for a NoHo Hank origin story, you have to feel pretty secure about the future.
"That's great. That's fantastic," Carrigan said. "They might be able to pull some strings. I hope that HBO might be able to talk to Bill and get the origin story. Hank's first 24 hours in Los Angeles."
You can watch the full interview below.