'Barry' Writer Reveals Secrets Behind a Pivotal Killer Scene

Barry S01E07 Still - Publicity - H 2018
Courtesy of HBO

"We needed the audience to go through the same process we did," says Liz Sarnoff of making Bill Hader's hitman character relatable to the viewers.

1. "This scene is acted so brilliantly by Bill [Hader] and Chris [Marquette] — it is a testament to their incredible talent that the scene works," says Sarnoff. 

2. "Pretty early on when we broke the episode it became obvious that, knowing these characters, Barry was going to have to kill Chris. And it was scary for us as writers because Chris is this great guy who tries to be a friend to Barry. Right then we knew we were going to be writing and rewriting that scene in the car forever — that it was going to be the scene." 

3. "We needed the audience to go through the same process we did and know in their bones that Barry doesn't have a choice." 

4. "He's going to lose everything if he doesn't kill this guy." 

5. "And at the same time you see from Chris, 'Oh, this is how you should feel — how a normal person feels — when they kill someone." 

6. "And yet, we're still on Barry's side: He has to do it — he had no choice." 

7. "Chris' backtracking was so painful! That's how we knew it was right." 

* "It was Alec's [Berg] idea to have another car pull up and stop — to mine the tension but to also test what Chris is thinking about Barry here." 

This story first appeared in the Aug. 15 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.