During a recent interview with Hollywood Reporter, Bill Hader talked about the huge impact Flannery O’Connor’s work had on Barry Season 3 and specifically mentioned Gene Cousino’s (Henry Winkler) line, which was directly inspired by O’Conner. “A good man is hard to find” Flannery O’Connor – people quote this line all the time: “She would be a great moment if someone put a gun to her head every day.” That’s something we can all say,” Hader explained. “We used that in a scene in episode five where Cousinea says, ‘I’ve changed a lot… To understand what’s important in life, you have to have someone put a gun to your head.’
Hader went on to emphasize the importance of O’Connor’s influence on the series, explaining why he finds her distinct style incredibly touching and honest despite its humor, and comparing her to other writers such as Anton Chekov, Tobias Wolff, and George Saunders. “They can be so incredibly funny, even though they have so much humanity,” Hader said. “That’s where I would like to live as an artist.”
Indeed, it seems like the show has already managed to capture the mix of humor and humanity that Hader so admires, especially with Barry’s captivating mix of comedy, drama and violence. Bill Hader’s comments make it clear that Flannery O’Conner’s writing has had a huge impact on the show and influenced Barry Season 3 in several important ways.