Bill Hader Cries in an Interview: I Saw My Kids 5 Times Last Summer

"It's really, really difficult," the Barry actor admits

By Zach Johnson Jan 03, 2019 1:15 PMTags
Bill Hader, VarietyPeter Yang/Variety

Like most single parents, Bill Hader feels he could be doing more.

The 40-year-old Barry actor, who graces the cover of Variety's annual Golden Globes issue, admits the demands of his career often put a strain on his 12-year marriage to filmmaker Maggie Carey. "When I was on SNL, I was a bit of a basket case," Hader tells the magazine. "It could not have been easy on my wife at the time. I was so consumed with work and anxiety."

At the time, he suffered panic attacks and migraines. "Sometimes I felt like people thought, 'Oh, he's just wanting attention or something.' It was like, 'No, man, I'm legit. I'm freaking out right now,'" Hader says. After the birth of their second child in 2012, he decided to leave the sketch series. "It was hard with one kid, let alone two," Hader says. "Because I was just never around."

Hader, who had another daughter with Carey in 2014, filed for divorce in December 2017. It was amicably settled three months later—and he's proud to say, "I'm friends with my ex-wife."

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Still, he struggles to find balance in his personal and professional lives.

Last year, Hader finished filming the first season of Barry, then shot It: Chapter Two, and finally began writing Barry's second season. "I think I saw my kids a total of five days all summer," he says. "It was terrible. So, I'm going, 'Next summer I'm taking off. And I'm going to spend every day with them.' It's this weird thing where when you're in this industry, you don't have time to be with them, and it's really, really difficult. I'm getting emotional right now talking about it."

"Congrats," Hader says later. "It's the first interview I've ever cried in."

After Season 2 of Barry wraps production, Hader plans to spend the summer writing a screenplay for a film he plans to direct. Writing, he reasons, will allow him to work from home and see his girls. "They can see me all day if they want," he says. "They can really get sick of me."