Fuches Talks To Cristobal | Barry 2x08

AVC: Do any moments stand out to you as particularly special that you were able to improvise?

SR: I remember an improvisational scene—I think it was season three—after we’d had this whole thing where I was in the car with a little girl [laughs]. We had to do a scene that came right after that, and Bill didn’t like what was written, so we scrapped that that day and came back the next day in a completely different context. [It was,] You’re coming out of a K Mart, you got new clothes, okay, let’s go. [We had] the arc of the scene but we didn’t necessarily have it written. So I think that was really fun for me, and it made me feel 1,000 times better to be able to do that with Bill.

Pushing Daisies (2008)—“Dwight Dixon”

SR: [Laughs] Wow. Yeah, yeah. Another not nice person.

AVC: Not nice, and kind of a Fuches-adjacent “bad uncle” situation.

SR: Exactly. And Swoozie Kurtz’s character as well. We were kind of yin-yang in that show. Not a good person to play. That was a very specific show in terms of shooting it. The DP really wanted to get as close as he could to your face, so that you really weren’t working with the actor. Behind the camera, you were working with a tiny little X spot on the side of the camera. So that was a different learning curve, learning to work with a camera this close but still having to relate to the actor behind the camera. That helped me later on with Fuches, because I could go right into it without thinking about whether he was evil or not.

Get Out (2017)—“Jim Hudson”

SR: I loved working with Jordan [Peele]. Such a blessing. We shot that so quickly. That’s what was great about it. There wasn’t necessarily a degree of improv in it, because Jordan had such a specific idea of what he wanted to do. He did let me play around with how blind the guy was and how we convey that. And [he] was just as evil as Fuches—just as evil as you can get, I think. It was a very strange thing to see the top of your head being cut off. [Laughs] So, I guess he got what he deserved. But yeah, all those little things that you do inform you for the next performance. And all of that obviously did.


AVC: You’ve play a blind character at least twice. 

SR: In O Brother, Where Art Thou? Sure, yeah.

The Tragedy Of Macbeth (2021)—“Porter”

AVC: Speaking of Joel Coen... You brought up your Shakespearean training before. How long had it been since you’d last done Shakespeare before this film came around? 

SR: You know, I had done Much Ado About Nothing with Helen Hunt here in L.A. at the Kirk Douglas [Theatre]. So it hadn’t been forever, but it had been five or six years since we did that show. And that was a comedy. [Laughs] “The Scottish Play” is not a comedy. At some point, things get so dramatic that you have to have a release. That was Porter that I played in this thing. He is not evil in any sense, but he is a conniver. And that addressed the Fuches part, he is a complete conniver. Hi, buddy. How are you? Hey, if we go over here, what if I did this, you give me money … ? [Laughs] That’s basically what Fuches does. Like, You go do this, you shoot him, and you’ll give me the money, and everything will be great! So, that conniver informed that part of Fuches, I think.

No Country For Old Men (2007)—“Man Who Hires Wells”

AVC: The Coens again. This time you’re a businessman who’s trying to just get rid of a threat. 

SR: That character I enjoyed just because it was so still. I was completely still. “There’s no 13th floor.” “We’ll look into it.” [Laughs] Very, very understated stuff like Fuches does later on in this season, because he’s comfortable. He has decided he’s comfortable with himself. So I would say that part of that character in No Country definitely informed the—how shall we say—new Fuches.

There’s one missing | No Country for Old Men

Succession (2021-2023)—“Ron Petkus”

SR: That was interesting. I mean, that’s my favorite show. I love it, so I wanted to go work with those people. I was thrilled that they wanted me for this guy. I came in with a different interpretation of the guy. I had him as a billionaire kind of a blowhard. And we got to the set to film it, and they said, “What if he’s not a very good speaker?” [Laughs] I went, “That’s completely not what I was thinking, but because I’ve had some improv stuff on this other show, yeah, let’s go in that direction.” So actually, Barry helped me with that show, to completely go 180 from what you were going to do. It’s a great show. I was able to work with them this season as well.

The Book Of Boba Fett (2022)—“Lortha Peel”

SR: Again, not a nice person who plays with a nice face. He’s not as much a conniver as the others but he’s a two-face. The water monger is a two-face. He wants. He has avarice; he wants money—in that way, like Fuches. And he’ll smile at you until he shoots you. That smiling facade informed Fuches as well.

Office Space (1999)—“Milton Waddams”

AVC: You know who else is a bit of a conniver? Milton from Office Space.

SR: [Laughs] Poor Milton. I don’t know if he’s as much a conniver as a clueless soul, because Milton really didn’t even know he wasn’t working there anymore. He thought he was. This was a great thing for me to be able to do, because it was playing kind of a big character very small. But he talked in a very low voice, which kind of informs what we did with the later Fuches in season four. But yeah, I’d say that informed that because he was not underneath he was a conniver but he comes off as just a clueless guy. I think other than [Fuches from] Barry, that is the person people come up to me to talk about most. I’m happy that Barry is taking over for Milton.

Office Space Milton stapler original

King Of The Hill (1997-2010)—“Bill Dauterive” 

AVC: Do you think that Bill Dauterive will start to get a little more love with the King Of The Hill reboot coming up?

SR: I certainly hope so. We’re so excited to do it. Because we were a family for 13 years doing that show. Births and deaths and children and divorces and marriages—we saw everything life delivers. So I think this will be a joyous occasion to be able to see all these people again. We’ve kept in touch, but it’s hard when a show’s been off the air for 10 years to stay very close. I’ve stayed close with a couple of people from the show.

AVC: Bill is kind of the anti-Fuches.

SR: [Laughs] Yeah. But like Fuches, Bill loves the people that he’s around—loves Hank, he loves Dale, he loves Boomhauer, and he wouldn’t want to be anyplace else. He’s been with them all his life, kind of like Fuches has been with Barry all his life. There’s that unconditional love that he has for all of them that Fuches has for Barry. No matter what happens, even if he’s ready to kill him, the next moment he’s ready to embrace him.

The Legend Of Korra (2012)— “White Lotus Leader,” Hobo,” Phonograph Vendor”...  

AVC: You’ve actually done a lot of animated voiceover, a lot of kids’ shows, and one that comes to mind, because they’re expanding that universe is The Legend of Korra. That first episode: You are all over that thing!

SR: [Laughs] Doing animation projects has kind of replaced theater for me, just because you can do so many things with your voice that you can’t do onstage. Being able to play different characters, especially for children’s stuff, is fantastically fun. I think at the moment, I’m doing at least three different shows, and feel very, very lucky to be able to do any of it.

Star Trek: The Next Generation (1991)—“Capt. K’Vada”

AVC: Before you were ever involved in Star Wars, you got to be Captain K’Vada in Star Trek: the Next Generation.

SR: Yeah, that was a big job for me when I was a younger actor. I started out onstage and had done so much stage—Broadway and Off Broadway—but I hadn’t done a lot of television, and specifically hadn’t done a lot of hour television. I’d done some half-hour and was comfortable with that. I’m a big sci-fi fan anyway, so to do that show was a very big deal for me early in my career, and to learn the ins and outs of a long makeup process, because becoming a Klingon on back in the early ’90s was at least a three-and-a-half-hour process to put on and an hour process to take off. So having done a lot of makeup things since then, that was a good training ground for that. I feel very fortunate to be in the Trek and the Wars universes at the same time.

AVC: You get to hop over from one convention to the next!

SR: One convention to the next, let’s go to Comic-Con.

AVC: You’ve mentioned how writing is so key for you when getting involved in a project.

SR: Very much so.

AVC: And you’ve also said that you’re ready to take on a leading role. I think we’re all ready for that.

SR: Thanks.

AVC: Are there any writers whose work you would love to take to the screen?

SR: That’s a good question. The quality of writers who I’m getting to work with now, on film and/or TV, is so much higher than when I started my career. When I started my career, I felt like I was trying to turn straw into gold, and now that I’ve had some sort of career, I’m turning gold into platinum, I hope, because the writing is so good on the projects that I want to do. It’s always a matter of not just the writing. It’s people who you want to work with, people who you admire, who you think you can learn from. And a director that you want to work with. I’m hoping Bill [Hader] will do more features that I could be involved with at some point. I think, as a huge cinephile, he will transition ultimately to films, and I would love to work with him. But, like I say, it’s not so much a singular director or writer. It’s the quality of the writers that I’m getting to work with now that makes me feel very, very fortunate.

AVC: Absolutely. Let’s give Bill a nudge, huh?

SR: When is the movie coming out?

AVC: When’s the movie coming out? Who am I playing? It is the lead, right?

SR: And am I Fuches in the Noho Hank feature? [Laughs]

AVC: So, then that just becomes a universe: the Barryverse.

SR: Oh, my goodness. Yeah. It’s a great universe to be in. Again, just very, very lucky to be at this stage of my career working with such amazing people.