Bill Hader in HBO's Barry.

Now That You’re in Love With Bill Hader, Here’s a Look at Why His Discussion of Anxiety Has Been Amazing

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Bill Hader may slowly be turning into the internet’s new boyfriend, but he has always been an amazing person. He’s never been shy about talking about his anxiety and coping with it, and now, as we’re all gearing up to see Bill Hader take on Pennywise in IT Chapter 2, we should be reminded of what makes him so special outside of his roles, as well.

A celebrity who is open about mental health is normally one that fans flock to, and now, with the movie coming out, NowThis has posted a video of Hader talking about how he manages his anxiety.

The thing is: This isn’t a new thing. Hader has been very open about his struggle with anxiety and even talked with The Purist last year about how he learned to cope through it.

Fans of Saturday Night Live probably want to know how Hader managed his anxiety with being on a live show week after week, but he was very candid about everything he tried during his time on SNL.

“I was terrified. I had massive panic attacks on every show and I wouldn’t sleep the night before, because I knew I was going to be live on national television and I felt so much pressure. In fact, when I did the Stefon character, I would put my hands in front of my face because I was so nervous.”

Hader went on to talk about learning about Transcendental Meditation and learning about it through his love of David Lynch.

“I’m a big David Lynch fan and I happened to be listening to his audiobook of Catching the Big Fishwhen he talked about Transcendental Meditation. I thought to myself, “I should try that.” I went to the TM center in Manhattan and met my teacher, Josh Pittman, who is one of the nicest guys in the world. He taught me TM, which essentially is as simple as someone teaching you how to brush your teeth. I took to it really quickly. I immediately felt a clarity and a calmness. The fear kind of ebbed out of me. I still knew all the stakes—that I could still mess up on national television—but I also had the feeling of, “So what if that happens? I’ll be OK, I’ll be alright.””

Hearing a celebrity openly talk about how they cope with fame, anxiety, and everything going on in the world is wonderful because it humanizes them in a way that many of us don’t get to really see in movies, television shows, or in interviews.

Bill Hader is wonderful, talented, and you should all be watching Barry on HBO because it is definitely Hader’s best work. Maybe I just want people to watch Barry so I have someone to talk to about it but also, listen to Bill Hader. He’s great.

(via The Purist, image: HBO)

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.