How Comedy And Horror Are One And The Same, According To Bill Hader

"The Addams Family 2" star Bill Hader knows a thing or two about comedy and horror. He's a beloved film and sketch comic, with credits ranging from "Saturday Night Live" to some of the biggest mainstream comedies in movie history. More recently he has branched out into the horror genre as well, with "It Chapter Two" now under his belt.

In /Film's interview with Hader, writer Danielle Ryan made the connection between the "Barry" star's comedic and horror work, asking if he felt there was a "sinew between those two genres." His response was pretty luminary:

"Yeah, there is. I think you're both trying to get a big reaction out of the audience. So much of horror and comedy is also about pacing and timing and how you play it, how you lay the story out, surprise. So much of it is about surprise. The really good ones, too, they're very structured and loose at the same time. It's a weird combination where you have to be kind of intuitive, but then also have deep precision. Whereas like with a drama or something like that, you're just playing the emotions of those scenes, and it doesn't have to end. It has a rhythm, but it's just different. 

"But I mean, the biggest thing I think about in comedy and horror is at least for me, you're thinking of the audience. You're trying to elicit something out of the audience, a scream or a laugh or both."

"The Addams Family 2" is in theatres now, and it's definitely great to see Hader step back into a spookier role than his usual straight comedy fare.

Jack of Two Trades, Master of Both

Bill Hader is known for his extremes, and he's done more than his fair share of going the extra mile in both comedic and horror performances over the years. From a comedy perspective, his character Stefon from his "Saturday Night Live" days is certainly an example of how exaggerated and big his comedy can be. In fact, a lot of the time, that is when Hader is at his funniest.

As for his horror capabilities, the actor really proved himself in "It Chapter Two." He was incredibly effective as the adult Richie Tozer, originally played by Finn Wolfhard in the first installment. Wolfhard's characterization was very sarcastic and witty with a secret soft edge, and Hader followed suit with a similar performance in the second part, letting his comedic edge show. His performance, especially during the film's scariest moments, was incredibly raw and real.

It's no surprise that the "Documentary Now!" star is able to move through both comedy and horror so seamlessly in his work. His influences include some really fun pre-Hayes code horror films, which undoubtedly pile on the camp as well as the scares. He told /Film:

"A movie I recently watched that they came out with a new restoration of was 'Doctor X.' 'Doctor X' and the 'Mystery of the Wax Museum,' these Michael Curtiz horror films from the '30s and they're beautiful. They look amazing. Those are great, just weird. It's really gruesome, it's pre-Code so there's a lot of cannibalism and stuff, but then there's also these really weird comic relief characters in it. I mean, they're one, gorgeous, those early color, but they're also just incredibly strange."

Sounds exactly like Hader, don't you think?