Stephen Root interview: ‘Barry’
The third season of HBO’s dark comedy “Barry” is garnering the best reviews in show’s history. As of this writing, the third season of the Emmy-winning series has an impressive 94 score on Metacritic. For actor Stephen Root, who was Emmy-nominated in 2019 for his work as beleaguered hitman Monroe Fuchs, there’s a very simple explanation for the success of the current season. “The writing has always been amazing on this show… but I think the writing has gone to a different level this year,” argues Root. Check out more of our exclusive video interview with the actor above.
The third season of “Barry” finds Fuchs hiding out in a remote cabin in Chechnya on the orders of NoHo Hank (Anthony Carrigan). Surrounded by pretty women and goats, Fuchs is living the good life until his animosity towards Barry (Bill Hader) leads him on a path of vengeance. Root describes Fuchs’s complex feelings for Barry, his onetime protege. “He’s 98 percent for himself,” he explains. “One percent loves Barry, and the other percent wants to kill Barry. That’s this guy– he cannot break out of the revenge cycle no matter what idyllic situation he’s in.”
Root believes that Fuchs’s ability to use others to achieve his goals is an indicator of his character’s nature. “He’s a scavenger guy, and he’s always been that. He found a way to scavenge Barry as soon as he got out of the Marines,” he argues. “He’s not a complete a-hole; he’s just a scavenger.” The actor is also clear that Fuchs will never change. “He’s not going to evolve,” he says emphatically. “He’ll either get what he wants or he won’t get it. But he’s not going to evolve to the point of being a better person.
Root praises the writing for consistently balancing moments of violence and comedy, arguing that both require the same ingredients in order to be successful. “That’s the brilliance of the writing,” he says. “You have to do comedy and serious acting, but they’re both predicated on the truth of the scene, and the writing is what makes it either funny or dramatic.”