Column: Goldberg, Carrigan the true stars of HBO’s ‘Barry’

Adam Tumino

It has been over two years since season two of the stellar HBO series “Barry” premiered, and we still have another year until we get season three.

These past two years have been bad enough on their own, and the lack of new ‘Barry’ episodes has made things even worse.

Until season three begins, I am left only with my fond memories of the first two, and of course re-watching the first two seasons is something I have done more than once.

The show is about a hitman named Barry (Bill Hader) who goes out to Los Angeles to track a target, follows him to an acting class and falls in love with.

He tries to continue taking the class as a normal civilian while simultaneously trying to escape his life as a killer, which get more complicated once he gets mixed up with Chechen gangsters.

Hader is great in the title role, as is the legendary Henry Winkler as Barry’s acting teacher and the terrific character actor Stephen Root as Barry’s criminal handler, but none of these three great talents are the true standout stars of the show.

The relatively unknown actors Sarah Goldberg and Anthony Carrigan absolutely steal the show, starting with their first scenes in the first episode and through each of the next 15 episodes.

Goldberg plays Sally Reed, one of Barry’s acting classmates and eventual love interest, and Carrigan plays NOHO Hank, a Chechen criminal who is hands down the funniest character on the show.

Both Goldberg and Carrigan had a number of acting credits prior to “Barry,” but their careers were nothing like those of Hader, Winkler and Root.

It is safe to say that they are now on their way to having highly successful careers as well.

They were each nominated for an Emmy for their work in season two, and although neither won, they cemented their place among the best actors in television today.

Goldberg in particular is excellent in dramatic scenes as well as comedic ones.

She has a monologue in the seventh episode of season two that lasts nearly two minutes in a single take that I thought would clinch her an award, and probably should have.

Carrigan has fewer dramatic scenes, but absolutely nails some of the funniest lines in the show.

They may have started “Barry” as relatively unknown talents, but now they are two actors that everyone should take note of.


Adam Tumino is a senior journalism major. He can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]