Bill Hader broke down during interview: ‘I saw my kids a total of five days all summer’


I love Bill Hader’s work. I’d probably adore him as a person too, I just don’t know enough about him to say that definitively. I also adore Henry Winkler, both professionally and personally (in case you didn’t get my blatant bragging there, I’ve met him – neener neener) However, I don’t watch their award-winning show Barry. I tried it but quit it after the first episode – should I give it a second chance? I want to like it, especially because it is so critically acclaimed. Unfortunately, that praise won’t make up for the personal toll the show has taken on Hader. In his interview with Variety, Hader broke down while admitting that he spent so much time working, he only got to see his three daughters, aged nine, six and four, a total of five days last summer.

Hader and filmmaker Maggie Carey have three children. The couple divorced last year. Their relationship, he says, remains positive: “I’m friends with my ex-wife.”

As his career has leveled up, his schedule has again become demanding. Last year, Hader finished the first season of “Barry,” then shot a role in the feature “It: Chapter Two,” then went into the writers’ room on “Barry,” Season 2. He felt the strain at home.

“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.” Later in the conversation, he laughs. “Congrats, it’s the first interview I’ve ever cried in.”

He’s serious about time off. After Season 2 wraps, Hader plans to spend the summer writing a screenplay for a film that he would direct. Writing will keep him home and with his kids. “They can see me all day if they want,” he says. “They can really get sick of me.”


[From Variety]

Hader filed for divorce in December of 2017. Married friends I know in the film business say they see their kids every night, but I’ve witnessed it, it is literally “seeing” them as they walk in from work and the kids are going to bed. I think once your children don’t live with you, the amount you don’t see them becomes truly apparent. I’m glad Hader took that to heart and realized it wasn’t going to get better on its own. However, I can also say from personal experience that writing a screenplay at home does not equate to quality time with the kids. Being physically there and available while there are worlds apart. I’m not trying to bag on Hader, he seems aware of how much his kids’ childhood is slipping away and sounds committed to changing that – good for him.

Hader also discussed his mental state while appearing on SNL. Although he has nice things to say about Lorne Michaels and his fellow SNLers, he said he was ”a bit of a basket case” and ”consumed with work and anxiety.” which led to ”panic attacks and migraines”. The more I hear about working on SNL, the more I wonder about how it’s stayed on the air for 43 years. Fortunately, Hader is in a better place now, working for himself and getting his priorities straight when it comes to watching his kids grow up. I really do think Hader is one of the good guys. Please, please let him prove me right.




Photo credit: WENN Photos

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15 Responses to “Bill Hader broke down during interview: ‘I saw my kids a total of five days all summer’”

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  1. Caroline says:

    SNL seems like an all-consuming gig that ppl do for a short period to get to the next level. For most it’s worth it but in the short term I’m sure it sooooks. And it’s been on 43 years bc there’s a never ending supply of young comics coming up that are willing to do it for that reason.

    • molly says:

      The formula for SNL seems to be hungry, young comics with no strings at home and a pile of coke.

    • MoxyLady says:

      Hader has talked about this in so many interviews. He loved to perform but has a panic disorder. He would have panic attacks between every skit. He would ask his friends to literally push him out. That’s why in the beginning of a lot of his skits he’s running. He loved working there. He loved performing. But …. I don’t know …. as someone with panic attacks I can’t imagine a life like that but …

  2. Lady Keller says:

    I agree with Hecate. I love his work. There is something about him that I find endearing. I know nothing about him personally yet I feel that if I did know more about his life I would love him even more. I hope he is able to find some balance. And for the sake of his kids I hope he can find some more time.

    • Amy says:


    • JanetDR says:

      Loved him (and Andy Samburg) since their Lazar Cats bit! I watch all the interview clips that pop up on You Tube. Unfortunately we can’t get CBS anymore with our antenna * so I haven’t seen Barry.
      *I know we could pay to watch online but we already pay for Netflix and I decided to draw the line there.

  3. K-Peace says:

    I’ve loved him since i saw him Superbad. I think he’s one of the funniest actors out there. I really hope he’s able to find more balance between his professional & personal life. Nothing is worth having his kids’ childhoods pass him by.

  4. meh says:

    Hecate, I really appreciate the view that you bring to your posts based on your involvement (whatever it may be) in the entertainment industry!!

  5. FuefinaWG says:

    @Hecate: Give this show another chance. If not, you are really missing out. It does start out slow and then it builds.

  6. lucy2 says:

    I like Bill, and Henry Winkler seems like the most lovely man, but I haven’t tried the show yet either. I guess I will at some point.

    I had no idea Bill had gotten divorced, I just listened to a podcast interview with him and he talked about his wife and family, but now I’m thinking maybe it was from last year or so. That has to be hard, the split and his career becoming so much more demanding. He’s fortunate he can afford to take a lot of time off in the future though, most people with regular jobs can’t do that.

  7. Tiffany :) says:

    I loved Barry. I think I am going to watch it a second time before the next season comes out. It’s a quick watch. I really loved the dark humor.

  8. sequinedheart says:

    I’d happily date this kook. He’s so charming and clearly talented & I agree with Hecate, please let him be one of the good guys….

  9. Lucy says:

    He seems great!! So talented, too. Can’t wait to see him in It 2. I really like that he’s shifting from comedy to horror, Peele and Krasinski style (even though the character he will be playing is “the funny one”). There’s this great picture of him on set, having a laugh with Bill Skarsgard, who’s in his full Pennywise attire.

  10. AnotherDirtyMartini says:

    Gasp! Had no idea they got divorced. I’m sad.

    Yes! Watch Barry. It has all the emotions. And the cliffhanger? Oh crap! Henry Winkler deserved his Emmy win. I’m thinking Hader deserved it too although I had picked another winner myself.

  11. launicaangelina says:

    I work from home, and Hecate, I agree with your take – being home with your kid(s) doesn’t mean being available. I had some unexpected work pop up over the holidays while my son was home during the day because of the break. I felt so much guilt because I couldn’t engage with him and deal with the complex assignment at the same time. It was frustrating and increased my anxiety and irritability. I can’t imagine if this was the norm.