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Watch Bill Hader pull off one of the worst auditions imaginable

In his upcoming HBO series Barry, Bill Hader plays a hit man who gets bitten by the acting bug and decides he wants to break into the movie business despite never having acted before. Undoubtedly, the show will feature a number of awkward audition scenes, so, to give us a preview of what to expect, Bill Hader stopped by the Vanity Fair offices and performed one of the worst auditions in human history.

In the video, Hader plays a far less talented and far more misanthropic version of himself auditioning for the part of a hardboiled detective. Before he even reads his first line, however, Hader manages to commit a number of industry no-no’s, including telling the director he doesn’t like the way they want the character read, asking who else has read for it, and then declaring that those other actors are assholes. Things don’t get better once he gets into the read-through, as he mutters each line under his breath before delivering it loudly and awkwardly.


Of course, it wouldn’t be a Bill Hader audition parody if he didn’t do at least a few wacky voices and characters, which is exactly what happens a little over halfway through. The fact that he’s such a chameleon of a performer kind of undercuts the conceit that he’s supposed to be bad at acting, but that doesn’t make it any less fun to watch. This clip definitely whets our appetite for the purposeful bad acting to come in Barry, which premieres this Sunday.

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Dan Neilan

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Have Fun — Will Travel.