BEST OF NYC
Bill Hader Did Not Write Carrie

The Voice's Eric Sundermann chats with Saturday Night Live's Bill Hader—our 2012 BEST OF NYC cover guy—about the actor's life here in the big city

People always talk about the charming aspect of being "broke in New York." Did you ever feel that?

No. No. I was on SNL. That's the thing, I've always been on SNL, so not only was I OK money-wise, but I was also on television. I wasn't getting recognized a ton or anything. It was just a different experience, though. Every once and a while, somebody would say, "Hey, aren't you the guy from The Office?" And I said: "No, but I'm on television." And they say, "Well, what are you on?" And I say, "I'm not Rainn Wilson." And they say, "Oh, OK." My favorite was a woman who stopped me on the street and said, "I love your books." And I went, "Oh, uh, well, I don't write." And she thought I was Stephen King.

You should have went with it.

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Yeah, I know. I was like: "Well, he's at least 30 years older than me. Maybe you only know him from the Carrie dust jacket? I don't know."

What's an ideal date night for you in New York?

My wife and I are pretty chill. I don't go out that much. That's the other thing: By the time I moved to the city, I was married. I was never even single in the city. And I was working constantly. So we really enjoy just laid-back nights, going to Momofuku or Piadina.

What do you like about those places?

Well, Momofuku is packed all the time. [Laughs.] I just like the food there. It's just really good food. And Piadina is just super laid-back and fantastic food, and the waitstaff is great, and I like everyone there. And then going to see a movie at Angelika or Film Forum. Or just walking around. Sometimes we'll go eat someplace and then walk to the other side of town, you know what I mean?

What do you enjoy about those walks?

I just like it. You just can't do that anyplace else. Why would you walk in that way? There's just no point, you know? In New York, everyone is walking. I remember when we first moved from L.A., we lived on the Upper West Side, and my wife and I walked down Riverside, and it had just got done raining. It was in the fall, and it just looked gorgeous, just seeing some old battlement thing, you know what I mean? Just the history of the place, coming up on some building and the plaque, reading "Henry James wrote whatever," and you're like, "Wow." I still feel like a tourist here. I get so freaked out and really enjoy those moments. I just like going on a walk. It's romantic. As long as you're not walking through the meatpacking district or something where it's really loud and crazy.

Techno music leaking out from bars.

Techno music playing. Guys get in a fight in front of Pop Burger or something. We just tend to avoid that.

esundermann@villagevoice.com

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19 comments
abelalan2000
abelalan2000

For LOL check out the classic cult comedy featuring Buck Henry ("The Graduate" and SNL) in "Is There Sex After Death?" (Netflix). It's a real hoot!

Rach1003
Rach1003

@ericsundy You've come a long way since writing about fossils.

BrianYarvual
BrianYarvual

@ericsundy @villagevoice Just saw Tropic Thunder again last wknd. Love Hader's role in it. Good job!

edieharris
edieharris

@ericsundy You truly are, officially, the coolest person I know. Ben Folds, Bill Hader... It's like you peeked into my nerdy crush diary.

RobertDeSaro
RobertDeSaro

@Forefront_Media @villagevoice @rainnwilson

ericsundy
ericsundy

@Rach1003 If you can write about fossils, you can write about anything. (But seriously thank you so much. So many <3s.)

edieharris
edieharris

@Rach1003 Though it should be noted that the fossil piece was excellent. The quality hasn't changed. @ericsundy

ericsundy
ericsundy

@BrianYarvual @villagevoice LOVE that movie, and thank you so much! Must rewatch soon.

ericsundy
ericsundy

@edieharris lol, thank you! <3. Don't think I'm too cool, though. My socks don't match today.

ericsundy
ericsundy

@edieharris @Rach1003 lol, thank you. YOU GUYS ARE AWESOME AT EVERYTHING TOO PLEASE KNOW THIS.

edieharris
edieharris

@ericsundy Pfft, whatever. Beat of your own drum, yadda yadda. :P

edieharris
edieharris

@Rach1003 I go to bed at 9pm sometimes. And I don't even have your excuse. Just that I'm older than you, and maybe going senile. @ericsundy

edieharris
edieharris

@ericsundy ...I had a donut this morning. I've vowed to give up donuts...starting next week. @Rach1003

Rach1003
Rach1003

@ericsundy @edieharris Running a marathon just means I've prematurely aged. Nothin' like a 9 p.m. bedtime.

ericsundy
ericsundy

@edieharris @Rach1003 Yeah I'm so unhealthy. On that note, I'm going to commute to work and eat a donut.

edieharris
edieharris

@Rach1003 Also, you run marathons. So shush. [wheezes from walking to parking lot] @ericsundy

edieharris
edieharris

@Rach1003 @ericsundy I still think it's kind of mindblowing that we all, in one way or another, get to write stuff for a living.

Rach1003
Rach1003

@ericsundy @edieharris As far as legitimate writers go, you two are rockstars.

Rach1003
Rach1003

@ericsundy @edieharris Look, if we have a competition about who can write the best copy for a stuffed animal I'd win.

 
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