Former Happy Days star Henry Winkler joked on Good Morning America about where he keeps his Emmy for HBO’s Barry. Barry follows a depressed hitman Barry Burkman (Bill Hader), who reluctantly goes to Los Angeles for a job but instead finds a passion for acting. Winkler plays Barry’s acting coach.
“I’m making a chain right now so I can wear it around my neck,” he joked about his Emmy before revealing where it actually is. “You know a lot of people say they use it as a doorstop or it’s in the bathroom. Mine is on the dining room table.”
‘Happy Days’ To ‘Barry’
In Happy Days, Henry Winkler played Fonzie, the “cool guy.” In ‘Barry,’ Winkler plays the very much not “cool” guy. His role as California coach Gene Couiseneau is what won him the Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor back in 2018.
Gene Cousineau can’t get an IMDB page, but he does try to sell a book on acting. He drives an uncool car and takes himself far too seriously. His role is all parts tragic as it is hilarious. But for Couiseneau’s students? He’s a legend. For them, they are so focused on getting into Hollywood that they don’t even realize Gene Cuiseneau is kind of… a dork. Obviously, the role is very different than his time on Happy Days.
“Gene walks into his classroom, and they stand up and applaud for him. . . . They treat him like an emperor,” Winkler told Vanity Fair in 2018.
To get the inspiration for the role, Winkler didn’t have to go far. “I have had Gene [as a teacher],” Winkler said, “I have witnessed Gene. I’ve heard about Gene. To tell you the truth, I heard about a teacher who literally made it a requirement for his students, who were not making a lot of money, to buy his paintings.”
Much like the show itself, Gene’s Character on Barry has just as many heavy and heartfelt ones as he does serious ones. The role showcases his range in a very refreshing way and finally puts Winkler back in the spotlight he deserves.
Barry, starring and produced by Bill Hader, already has its next two seasons written. For the show, it’s a matter of filming. Season 3 got delayed due to the pandemic, and there’s not much word on when the hit show will return. If you missed Henry Winkler on Happy Days his role on Barry will show you more of his range.