It’s been a harrowing third season for bitter theater coach Gene Cousineau (Henry Winkler). The knowledge that his student, assassin Barry (cocreator Bill Hader), killed Gene’s LAPD detective lover Janice Moss (Paula Newsome) nearly got him offed.
Then Barry decided he could earn Gene’s trust back if he booked the long-shunned actor a gig on the TV series Laws of Humanity. Is the plan working? “He is constantly looking over his shoulder,” Winkler says. “He is so befuddled. If I take this job, is my family still safe? Does it maybe mean I’m back in business?” The Emmy winner teases the dark days ahead.
Gene is on his own redemption arc, isn’t he?
Henry Winkler: That’s the question of the season: No matter what you’ve done, can you come back?
And how would you answer it?
I’m not sure everyone in this show can come back.
Bill and cocreator Alec Berg have a “no a–holes” rule for the Barry set. Would they ever hire Gene?
Never. I’ve worked with actors just like him. I worked with an actor who threw [a crew member] onto the ground and then held him down until he promised not to sue him, before they called “Lunch!”
It was a wow.
You shot some of Barry at the same stages where you filmed Happy Days.
At the end of Season 2 when I sit up in bed, that was on Stage 19, where I shot Happy Days for 10 years. I took Bill and Stephen Root [who plays Monroe Fuches] down Memory Lane: “This is where Arnold’s was. This is where the phone booth was.”
How crazy will next week’s finale be?
[Reading the script], I did not know where I was going to end up emotionally, where Henry was going to travel. It is so intense.
Barry, Sundays, 10/9c, HBO