We don’t need a real panther!
A PSA for the future barry crew members: if Bill Hader tells you he doesn’t need a real panther, then he doesn’t need a real panther.
In the penultimate episode of Season 3, “Candy Asses”, NoHo Hank (Anthony Carrigan) travels to Bolivia in hopes of reuniting with his beloved Cristobal (Michael Irby), only to be captured by Cristobal’s queen consort, Elena (Krizia Bajos). To Hank’s surprise, his Akhmal men (Caylak Troy) and Yandar (Nick Grace) were also taken away and are locked in the room next to him. In “Starting Now”, a defeated Hank is handcuffed to a radiator when he hears Akhmal and Yandar’s escape attempt end with a panther tearing them apart horribly and loudly. We never see the Panther, Akhmal, or Yandar, but we know it couldn’t have been pretty because of the vomit seeping under the door.
“For the first pass of the special effects, they had a giant bucket, and the amount of vomit coming out from under the door, it looked like five guys had exploded on the other side, it was so much,” Hader recalls. “We were like, ‘Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, that must be a hundredth of that. He’s a puking guy.
Maybe they should have had a vomit reunion, but it seems like Hader probably would have vomited at the thought of another reunion. “I remember the number of meetings on the walls,” he says, seemingly exhausted even from the mere memory. “The annoying logistical things, like, ‘Okay, so the first wall is this, and then the second wall you have to bring in is a breakaway, and that pattern has to be very specific of the panther breaking away, and then the third the wall is a wall you can break down. And you had to have multiples of all those walls. It became where I was, I can’t talk about those walls anymore!”
Perhaps lost in translation due to time on the walls was that the panther on the other side of Hank’s wall would never be visible. “I don’t think anyone in the production believed you wouldn’t see a panther,” Hader shares. “So they brought out a guy with a panther, like a stuffed panther. I was just like, ‘We’re never going to see the panther!’ And that meant Carrigan – an Emmy nominee for back-to-back seasons – was left to his imagination as he navigated the extreme range of emotions that overwhelmed Hank.