Larry Hankin has left an indelible mark on television history. After all, his crotchety Mr. Heckles was the reason Joey moved in with Chandler on Friends. And, on Breaking Bad, his character Old Joe proved a useful ally to Walt and Jesse, loaning them his magnet in a pivotal moment. But that’s just the tip of the Heisein-berg: Hankin has earned nearly 200 acting credits since 1966, tallying up numerous TV guest appearances, and making memorable supporting turns in films like Escape From Alcatraz and Billy Madison. All of that is to say, Larry Hankin is the ideal candidate for a Random Roles interview, and the actor did not disappoint. Over the course of our delightfully lengthy chat, he detailed his experiences filming El Camino in secret, explained why he jumped at the opportunity to work with Bill Hader on Barry, told us why he didn’t mesh well with Adam Sandler, shared the “best piece of directing” he’s ever gotten from Larry David, and revealed the real reason Mr. Heckles was killed off of Friends. He even opened up about the year he spent homeless, how it informs his work, and the satirical comedy inherent in having nowhere to punch but up.
Larry Hankin’s new book—The Loopholes Dossier - A Satire—was inspired by his year of homelessness, and is available now on Amazon.