Tuesday April 02, 2019
The Man Who Fell to Earth
The New Yorker has an article up on Bill Hader, comic genius and acting savant, which you can see here. It ends with this thought, which I find lovely and wish I could hold on to longer:
“The Russian writers were fascinated by people who kept moving toward being unhappy, despite their intentions. And I do feel like there's a huge balance thing going on in the universe. My happiness level has gone up, ‘Barry’ is a giant success, and I finally get to direct. But I get divorced.” He began to laugh. “I try to remember that all this ends, so just be happy. Del Close”—the father of modern improv—“would tell the story of the skydiver whose parachute didn't open after he jumped out of the plane, and he just kept dancing and doing flips and acrobatics and entertaining people as he fell to the earth. I was incredibly moved by that.” His eyes shone. “Because we‘re all falling to the earth, so what else are you going to do?”
He’s such a good actor it would be a shame if he did less of it, but that's the feeling you get from the piece. He wants to direct. After I read it, with all these actors praising his acting, I went back to my reviews. For “The Skeleton Twins” I wrote, “Hader's a revelation here. He's the real deal.”
With “Trainwreck” I asked “What works?” and answered this way:
Bill Hader, who might be the best actor to ever come off of “Saturday Night Live.” Yes. He was completely believable as the younger, gay brother in “The Skeleton Twins,” and he's completely believable here as a staid, well-meaning celebrity surgeon. He feels like a doctor. I would go to him if I had pain in my knee. I don't know how Hader does that.
May he keep doing it.