Anthony Carrigan on channeling Jean-Claude Van Damme as flamboyant NoHo Hank in ‘Barry’ [EXCLUSIVE VIDEO INTERVIEW]

“For Hank, what the crime world is about is exemplified in an eighties action movie,” reveals Anthony Carrigan. In HBO’s Emmy-winning comedy “Barry,” Carrigan  stars alongside Bill Hader as NoHo Hank, a strangely upbeat and flamboyant but naive Chechen mobster with a heart of gold. Watch our exclusive video interview with Carrigan above.

SEE Bill Hader and Michael Douglas may be in a tight Emmy fight in comedy actor until the bitter end

“Funnily enough, I watched a lot of Jean-Claude Van Damme movies,” Carrigan admits to channeling the star when explaining his influences for this atypically stylish and expressive henchman. “There’s this element to it, this cool action star guy that I think Hank so desperately wants to be,” he explains. “The spectacle, the coolness of it, the spy gadgets. It’s all very blown out of proportion in Hank’s mind. That’s kind of a joy to bring to the table.”

Carrigan agrees that this season the characters were given a bit more air to breathe, allowing the writers and actors more opportunities to flesh them out. “When you go into a second season, you feel more comfortable in a character’s skin, so I certainly felt like I could take some liberties. Hank is envisaging the role of a leader as exactly as Hank could, which is flamboyant and over the top and a very stylized idea of what it means to be a crime boss,” he says. “Who would’ve thought that you’d leave some of the comedy stuff to the Chechen mobster!”

“That’s what is so fun about this show. They take these characters and put them into these situations that really test who they are,” Carrigan explains. “All these characters are deeply human. Sure they’re loud and over the top, but at the end of the day, they’re just people who are struggling. They’re clumsy and they get their feelings hurt and they say the wrong things sometimes and that’s a really beautiful thing to play. No matter what the story line is, as long as you’re anchored into the humanity of it, it’s the most fun.”

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