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Barry's NoHo Hank Actor Was Told To Quit Acting Because Of Alopecia


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Anthony Carrigan, who plays NoHo Hank on HBO's Barry, was repeatedly told to quit acting because of his alopecia. The hit dark comedy about a hitman's attempt to find redemption and leave his violent past behind by pursuing an acting career is in its third season and has just been officially renewed for a season 4. In a show where character likeability shifts often and the line between hero and villain is a blurry one, NoHo Hank is the closest the series has to a moral constant.

Despite being a murderer involved with the Chechen mafia, NoHo Hank is fiercely loyal and protective of his men. Although his plans are often poorly thought through and his poker face is horrible, even the silliest plans, like taking his men on an impromptu sightseeing tour of Hollywood to save them from a hit, tend to work out for him. Now he's even involved in a sweet, star-crossed romance with former foe and high-ranking member of the Bolivian mafia, Cristobal. NoHo Hank has tried to kill Barry twice before, and despite even this, he tends to be a more emotionally empathetic and thoughtful person than his hitman friend. It's a role Carrigan tackles with aplomb.

But Carrigan could be leading an entirely different life if he had given in to the naysayers in his life. In an interview with People, he opens up about how he was told to quit acting because of his alopecia, a disease that causes severe hair loss. Diagnosed at age 3, by his early 20s he'd lost most of the hair on his scalp, both eyebrows, and all of his eyelashes, which led to agents and casting directors saying they didn't know what to do with him, and questioning whether he could have a career in acting at all. Carrigan says, "I was told by a number of people, you're not going to be able to do this. You're not attractive anymore. You will fail if you try to do this. And I'm one of those people that if you told me that I can't do something, I will. Period."

Carrigan is not the only celebrity to suffer from the disease. A joke about Jada Pinkett-Smith, who also suffers from the disease, led to Slapgate at the Oscars this year. But luckily the actor hasn't let alopecia deter him, or define him. The process of self-acceptance was a long one for the now 39-year-old actor, but eventually, he realized the same passion that drove him to join theater as a child was still inside him, and he wanted to make his dreams happen regardless. He speaks about what a therapeutic experience this has ultimately been for him, and the true confidence it's instilled in him. "We're told, you know, accept yourself, be who you are, but we're also in a society that's constantly telling us to change. And my take on it is: you want to feel good about yourself, and that has very little to do with what you look like. It has everything to do with expressing who you are."

Originally, NoHo Hank was supposed to die in Barry's pilot. However, luckily for viewers, the creative team realized what an indispensable part of the show Carrigan was and kept him around. Now, the cheery Chechen mobster is a fan favorite. Also lucky for viewers is that Carrigan was able to brave adversity and follow his dreams in a truly inspiring fashion, also gracing screens with roles in the likes of Gotham and Bill & Ted Face the Music.

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