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.


Audio/Video Feature With Bill Hader

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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.

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