‘Better Call Saul’ Star Bob Odenkirk Says He Was Bankrupt Before ‘Breaking Bad’

by Thad Mitchell
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“Breaking Bad” proved to be the saving grace for Bob Odenkirk‘s bank account and he now stars in its prequel “Better Call Saul”

A heavily popular AMC series, “Better Call Sauls” follows small-time con artist Jimmy McGill and his struggles with morality. Jimmy desires to do what’s right in most cases, but he’s much better at doing what’s wrong. He will eventually give in to his evil impulses and become shady attorney Saul Goodman. The “criminal” lawyer was once of the most beloved character during the five-season “Breaking Bad” run. Odenkirk provided a bit of comic relief on the melodrama as the way over-the-top, flashy suit-wearing Saul Goodman. He would become a key player in the meth trade once joining forces with Walter White and Jesse Pinkman.

“Breaking Bad” sent Odenkirk’s career trajectory skyward as he became a bonafide Hollywood superstar. “Better Call Saul” would keep that momentum moving forward, making the actor a household name. But before his run as Saul Goodman, Odenkirk had fallen on hard times. Speaking to Radio host Howard Stern, Odenkirk details his financial situation before landing his signature role. The star was bankrupt and looking for a break.

“I get a phone call, ‘They’re gonna offer you a role on Breaking Bad,'” he recalls. “And I was like, ‘Dude, I haven’t said ‘no’ in a year and a half — but maybe you didn’t notice that.”

Still, the “Better Call Saul” had reservations about taking on the “Breaking Bad” role.

“I still checked it out, I still wanted to know what the hell the show was,” he said. “I called a friend, somebody I’d been writing with, Reid Harrison, and he goes, ‘Oh, that’s the best show on TV. You gotta do that. That’s the best thing there is.’”

‘Better Call Saul’ Bob Odenkirk Opens Up Heart Attack Recovery

The actor suffered a small heart attack while working on the “Better Calls Saul” set. CPR and a defibrillator were needed as a result of the medical situation. He tells Stern he is on the mend and feeling much better. The defibrillator was used three times in order to revive Odenkirk.

“When the defibrillator doesn’t work once, that’s not good,” he says. “When it doesn’t work the second time, that is kind of like — forget it. But then they jacked it up a third time, and it got me back to a rhythm.”

Odenkirk also credits his physical condition for saving his life. He says he had gotten into peak condition for his 2021 film “Nobody.”

“Because I was in good shape, you kind of enlarge other veins around your heart, if you work out a lot,” he said. “And I was told that more blood was able to go to my heart during CPR because these veins were just a little bit bigger from a lot of working out.”

“Better Call Saul” will return next month.

Outsider.com