breaking bad lawyer office

And it was this wonderful moment where he was so honest. Fair enough. So Im kind of giving him a lowdown on what it is. You want a criminal lawyer. And its, Ah, yes, I get that. "I really love the portholes behind him, because that gave us shafts of light coming over him, through him," King notes. Gould: We would get kind of stop-and-go signals. All of us in the writers room loved the character. I said, Hey, did your shoes come without the laces? When Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan called to offer it to him back in 2009, he almost said no. "Go with the winner." And this is going to be the worst chemistry read of my whole life. But another part of me was like, Or the only fact present right now is that Bob is looking at his shoe. After fully falling into a life of crime, can Saul Goodman be redeemed? To revisit this article, select My Account, thenView saved stories.

During the frisk, Saul has Huell lift Jesses ricin cigarette for Walt. He co-created and starred in Mr. Show with Bob and David, which ran on HBO for four years and has been called the American Monty Python. Hed had a heart attack. Hank is Walter's macho brother-in-law. We get very exhausted together. All rights reserved. We were in the middle of the night. Such is Saul, who operates out of a strip mall office and runs late night TV ads advising potential clients they'd "Better Call Saul" when in trouble with the law. And that his wife, Naomi, whos amazing and lovely, had helped him. Saul becomes exasperated when he learns that Mike has been funneling money to his granddaughter using another lawyer, who is subsequently arrested. "This guy's under the radar, you know what I mean?" It doesnt take long for the tension between them to rise. I got time to read. And I hear in the background Naomi, his wife saying, No, they told you not to read. Hes never looking to one-up somebody. He is also a DEA agent. So how did he end up with his own show, Better Call Saul? Originally, Saul Goodman was only guaranteed to stick around Breaking Bad long enough to get wannabe meth kingpin Walter White and his partner Jesse Pinkman out of a legal jam. This is how Bob Odenkirk turned Albuquerques favorite criminal lawyer into one of the most iconic characters on TV. He laid out a day in your life and a weekend in your life, and how you hit the script, and you work. And I was concerned that if we went for the half hour, wed be compared to the really funny half hours. It may not work, but youd have to give it some credit, I thought. I mean he was just nervous as a cat. Were done when I say were done, Walt threatens. I had also been in this characters skin enough at that point in the season that I felt for him, just for his own real experience of making a genuine effort to win his brother over and discovering that his brother was the one who doomed him. The kind of guy who "knows a guy who knows a guy," Saul finds Walt and Jesse a drug distributor, arranges for Walt to launder drug money through Walter, Jr.'s website (, and dispatches a Cleaner to Jesse's apartment to attend to Jesse and dispose of any incriminating evidence after his girlfriend Jane overdoses. And, we always say that its a little bit like peanut butter and chocolate.

", 2022 Cond Nast. Theres something going on there. Peter Gould (Breaking Bad executive producer/Better Call Saul cocreator): Pretty early in Season 2, the idea came up that Walt and Jesse would have to sell drugs themselves. If all goes well, the shady lawyer played by Bob Odenkirk will soon have his own AMC spin-off, Better Call Saul. We would meet him and feel that we were going to do it and then hear through the grapevine that maybe he wasnt. Well, if he's down there tucked in the corner, how do people find him? And I just needed to hear from Bryan something that sounded like work that I could do. Allow Bob Odenkirk and the team who brought Saul to life explain in this oral history. Whatever happens, one thing is certain: The experiment that Odenkirk was unsure about worked. And so I sat with him. Well do that on the Saul Goodman spinoff. And I didnt take it seriously at all because Breaking Bad already seemed like a gift from the gods. As Huell frisks Jesse, Saul hands over a duffel of cash. I said it sounded very interesting, I did a little research on it and learned it was a real thing, and that I had to treat it like a real thing, no matter what happened down the line. He is a gift in my life anyway. Much to Saul's chagrin, Walt's wife Skyler soon becomes more involved in Walt's business and spars with Saul over strategy. Odenkirk told The New York Times that it took three defibrillator shocks to bring his heart back into rhythm. In fact, the first time we talked to AMC and Sony about it, we did say, Its a half hour. I never felt completely comfortable making it a half hour for one simple reason, which is that true comedy writing is an art and a craft of its own. Ed Begley Jr. (Clifford Main): He was a good captain whenever we needed him to be, or he needed to be, but he was very much an ensemble player, too. I didnt know how heavy it was. Interviews have been edited and condensed. In July, on the set of Better Call Saul, he collapsed. What does he offer up?" So that was fun. Thats been a bigger effect than the actual heart attack. But I had read his book twice. After that, it was unclear where hed end upmaybe in a shallow grave somewhere in the New Mexico desert. All right. Gould: It was sort of a joke in the room. McKean: The soul of the player, who is essentially what Jimmy is, and the achiever are just two different lives. You are left in the dust more than you can imagine. And again, thats my perspective. We could have made it very big, but I liked the crampedness of it. Odenkirk: I think he thought I was having second thoughts or needing a spiritual boost. Read an interview with Bob Odenkirk for Season 5 He had never been the person that people have to do a chemistry read against, where their job and their hopes and dreams are pinned on reading with him and hes precast. "That's the way of the world, kid," Saul tells Jesse. And Rhea and I are on that same level of, we just fit together. Odenkirk: Theres a few scenes in Mr. Show I could point to and say I show some chops as an actor, some ability to lose myself and with a degree of modulation and sensitivity, but not much. Odenkirk: Here I was going in to being the lead. They were having this conversation that was comparing like eight books of complete different genres from different time periods. After Gus death, Saul helps Walt, Mike, and Jesse find a venue for a new meth lab, hooking them up with Vamonos Pest so that Walt and Jesse can cook inside the tented houses that Vamonos fumigates. And I can do that. That's Ron Bell!" To me that was the Seinfeld diner. The show's original production designer and a veteran of films like _Rush Hour _and Rudy, King worked with creator Vince Gilligan to establish Saul's world. King recalls with a laugh. His costars, Patrick Fabian and Rhea Seehorn, watched him fall and called for a medic. So I saw there was a void and I thought, Well, someone has to do this. So I stepped in and kind of led the cast on cast meetings and issues that we dealt with. I just remember thinking that it was such a good thing to be exposed to, the bar being that high. But to fully get into character, Odenkirk needed a bit of inspiration. ", "So then there was the matter of, what does Saul do? I like the scene because its just before were gonna snipe the bad guys and the truck does all the turns and the rolls and that kind of stuff. We celebrate each other. I think what Vince and Peter felt is that, I think we have an iceberg situation and weve just tipped it. He also cares for his brother, who believes himself to have electromagnetic sensitivity. Odenkirk: Ive had some pretty amazing relationships in my life, my wife number one, Naomi. Skinny Pete is one of Jesse's stoner friends and a street dealer. The dog was pregnant and out pops eight puppies. I knew it was a drama. Id say that hes always been a generous, kind person and a great collaborator, but I think theres an extra measure of generosity and helpfulness and openness to him now. And I dont know how much it informed my own performance in the end, because I didnt try to do a Robert Evans impersonation. Theres a pathos. When he was added to the Breaking Bad ensemble, Saul Goodman wasnt intended to be a spinoff character. Hes Irish, recalls the actor, writer, comedian, and filmmaker. Odenkirk: I think we all were in the same place of like, Were going to make an honest effort. And I said, Theres a lot of pretty good Jewish actors in Hollywood. Odenkirk, his costars, and the writers enjoyed fleshing out Jimmys backstory. Because it was real. Odenkirk: It put me at ease greatly. Early in the design process, King actually scheduled a meeting with Ron Bellwho made a memorable first impression. And that inspired the blow-up Statue of Liberty on the roof. A lawyer named Saul Goodman? You had the coolness of the outside and the uncomfortableness of sitting in that waiting room. Cranston: I do remember that situation. The gift of gab, he was able to bring that. I was kneeling in front of a freshly dug grave. Obviously, Odenkirk's performance is largely responsible for the character's appeal, but before the comedian shot a single scenebefore, even, the costume designer picked out those godawful tiesSaul needed an office. Seehorn: If he had gone to his trailer, we would have a different outcome, but he chose to stay on set and was hanging with Patrick and I. How do I get out of this? character. Gould: We just loved writing for this character. I thought he was a little nervous. My wife got them for me at the shoe department, and ended up telling me how he had been concerned. I mean, he really dialed me in. I couldnt believe I was sitting there. Burr: There was a real warmth with him and a humbleness where he would talk to me about stand-up as if I was as good as him, way back in the day. And Bryan had presumably done that and gone and been an actor his whole life. Gould: As we kept watching him, Jimmy being a failure didnt seem as funny. But it just became this whole other thing that was beautiful to watch. Gould: We could see pretty early on how Bobs character got under Michael McKeans characters skin. Gould: The question was whether he was willing to do it, because Bob, hes made no secret of the fact that he felt torn between his responsibilities as a father, and hes a super, super involved father. "And a big part of Saul, I thought, is his infomercials. I think maybe, hopefully, I got something from that. One of them gets out of high school at 14. And he was very concerned about making sure he looked respectful, but not overdressed, but not too casual. When Gus threatens the White family, Saul offers to put Walt in touch with a "disappearer," who will set the White family up with new identities for half a million dollars. Ad Choices, Before Better Call Saul, Take a Guided Tour Through Goodman's Breaking Bad Law Offices, Jordan Peele and Keke Palmer Look to the Sky, 14 Summer Shirts Under $100 That'll Make You the Life of Every Party. He can next be seen in two upcoming features: Alexander Paynes Nebraska, opposite Bruce Dern and Will Forte, which premiered at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, and James Ponsoldts The Spectacular Now, which premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. Will Kim Wexler be OK? As the show exploded in popularity during its later seasons, talk of a Saul spinoff began. Its a lucky thing. Ted Beneke is Skyler's boss who also harbors romantic feelings for her. This was really happening to me. This leads to a confrontation where Chuck finally admits that he doesnt think Jimmy is a real lawyer, especially compared to him. My bodys shaking.

He's the quintessential shady lawyer. But the truth is, I didnt think it would be done in a sloppy way, without integrity or purpose. I knew he was a part of the brethren. And every time you add another trailer, add 15 minutes to a company move. The amount of dialogue that was loaded on him. In fact, Gould even remembers Odenkirk asking him whether the writers were going to kill off Saul quickly. "This guy can't have a normal law office near the court house," King observes. Once they saw Bob and this character that he was bringing to it, they opened up to it and said, Oh, theres more. And Vince and I were both huge fans of Bobs from Mr. Show, especially. We werent on some green screen. Reid Harrison (comedy writer): My immediate reaction was kind of like, All right first of all, hang up, you shouldnt be talking to me. Heres how Odenkirk described the scene in his new memoir, Comedy Comedy Comedy Drama: We sat outside, because inside the coffee shop were ten people writing screenplays, and its not good to be around that if youre a recognizable face.. We asked King to walk us through the design of Saul's office, from the faux columns to the inflatable Statue of Liberty. Tuco is a meth distributor known for extreme violence. Bobby took that dogthis is my affection for Bobbyhe took that dog home. Its the kind of role that someone wins an Emmy for. And I said, All right, well, let me think about it for a minute. And then I called a friend, Reid Harrison, and I said, Do you know anything about this show Breaking Bad? And he was like, Oh, my God, its the best show on television. Very few people had seen it. McKean: When two siblings are that far apart and one of them is a big-deal achiever. But they grew to like visiting me in Albuquerque. But that went along with the character. And I go, Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. Odenkirk: What I loved about that scene was the outrageousness of the scenario and how we got to do it so realistically. Marie is Skyler's sister and the wife of DEA agent Hank Schrader. McKean: Im saying, Oh God, whats going on? I tried to get in touch with, I guess Rhea, and there was stuff that came down the pipeline from Peter and Vince and saying, Hes resting, its all good.. Ill try not to cry, and Im very close with him and his family, and it was traumatic. And so Bob came to Peters house to rehearse. And I very clearly have a boundary about it, like, Were not discussing cases.. And thank God he didnt leave set. I said, well, maybe he has his set in his office, so all he has to do is stand at the foot of his desk and face a camera, and he shoots his own infomercials there." So once that door opened, and youyou!were allowed into Saul Goodman's office, your world changed." The star of the show, Frankie Muniz, was a boy. So lets start there.. And that was the birth of Better Call Saul, through Bobs ability to carve out his piece of the pie.. Banks: I love it when Bobby plays the bewildered, put-upon, I dont know what ever Im gonna do! I thoughtand I never said a word about it, because I didnt want to create a kerfufflethey gave me the part because I played [agent] Stevie Grant on Larry Sanders. Odenkirk: It was an important scene to me, the most important scene in the first season, and really, an important scene for the whole series. When we were doing the show in New York, I had heard that they were doing a prequel and it seemed like a very cool idea, because I loved Bob and this show and I love the character. Jimmy moves to Albuquerque. Like I said, I hadnt seen much of it. Born with cerebral palsy, Walter White, Jr. is Walter and Skyler's teenage son. And what I found was a kind of a singsong that doesnt get repetitive. "We were trying to show another form of life in Albuquerque," King tells us from the set of his next film, _La Vida Robot. It was all about just tuning into Bryan, which might tell you a little something about my own approach to acting, which is to read the room as best I can. Saul also agrees to tip off the DEA about a plot to kill Hank in an effort to shore up Hanks safety. And its because they were traumatized, not me. Yet there was much more to Saul than that. Ever the opportunist, Saul works for both Walt and Jesse after the two part ways. And I go, Oh, OK. Well, so am I. Im half-Irish., Once Odenkirk learned Sauls true heritage, he moved on to more important matters. And I was sure that one day, Vince would tell me the story of how he saw me on Larry Sanders, and thats what gave him the idea. Saul Goodman is Walt and Jesse's attorney. Saul Goodman had a toupee. Or did you take them out? Because he had those Vans that dont have laces on them, or maybe they were Sperry Top-Siders, Im not sure. In the interest of creating a "set" for Saul, King designed the half-octagonal area behind his desk, with its Roman columns and Declaration of Independence wallpaper. To revisit this article, visit My Profile, thenView saved stories. We become very, very close in the crucible of making a show like Better Call Saul. Cranston: And were freezing. And knowing Bob, when I talked to him and he was in recovery, he was calling me and saying, Send me scripts. Cranston: There was one scene early on in Breaking Bad when we kidnap him. "I wanted those chairs to be really comfortable, so people were inclined to loosen up: first their wallet, and then their stories. Weve got a lot of real estate down below that hasnt been discovered.. Always consult me before you go to outside council! he lectures Walt and Jesse. Then the pilot flashes back. And I realized at a certain point I didnt have the love for it, so I bailed. Rhea Seehorn (Kim Wexler): I got the first script and then watched Bob create this Arthur Miller or Glengarry Glen Ross character along with the scripts, obviously. He said, You dont want a criminal lawyer. Odenkirk: We all felt close to each other, after six years of making this show. I remember David Cross singing as this redneck. Hes figured out whats to be done. And we could see it. Walter White may not have survived Breaking Bads five-season run, but Saul Goodman did. He is currently writing and executive producing a new sketch show with the young comedy group The Birthday Boys, which will premiere on IFC in fall 2013. Read an interview with Bob Odenkirk for Season 4 Saul Goodman didn't show up until halfway through Breaking Bad's second season, but he may be the last man standing. We looked at him for guidance every week. Bob Odenkirk didnt think he was right for the role. I suggest you embrace it.. Gould: Once he was committed, we were thrilled. Odenkirk: Vince and Peter were after something different from Breaking Bad, but working in the same area. Gould: All we knew was that she was a lawyer who clearly had a connection with Jimmy. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Cond Nast. But the truth is Peter wrote the first episode that featured Saul. Initially, Odenkirk wasnt convinced it would work. The momentary uncomfortableness is accepted because the long-term gift of being storytellers for a living always prevails. David Cross and I have worked together for years. ", "Saul's office was in a rugged area, so I thought it was important that the secretary be behind glass," King says of Saul's uncomfortable outer office. I remember especially when Jesse Pinkman introduces me to him outside his cheesy office. But the key to what makes Jimmy tick is his relationship with his big brother. Odenkirk: As it turns out, in that first season, I got hit with so much material and so much Saul Goodman chatter that I almost couldnt do it. I think you can find somebody., What Odenkirk didnt know, and Gilligan explained, was that Goodman was actually a silly pseudonym picked to attract clients.

Make things in life as difficult as possible, put me in physically uncomfortable positions.. Jane is Jesse's landlady and girlfriend and also a recovering drug addict. Lets go to work. Odenkirk: It was one of the best production scenarios Ive ever been a part of that wasnt all cheated and faked and shorthanded, but actually played out, with this grand and very real feeling. And I was a very short-term stand-up, for nine months, actually. The actors were all getting sand up their noses, in the back of their throats. Gould: The first thing he said to us at lunch, Vince and me, he said, I dont think I need a full trailer. Cranston: There were things, little hooks, little connector lines that he was able to add to trapeze himself from one line to the next line to the next. And she comes up and she gets under the bush with us in the shade. Read an interview with Bob Odenkirk for the Final Episodes . And he looked up at me and he said, They came this way. I dont entirely grasp why. Thats always really good for an actor to feel confident in being able to connect thoughts. In the early 90s, a heinous pranklook up Chicago Sunroof if you darenearly lands Jimmy in prison. Mike worked for Gus and is Saul's go-to guy when his clients get in sticky situations. Were friends, and we dont have a rivalry that I could tell. Bryan Cranston (Walter White): This dubious, fast-talking, slick, unctuous kind of character. I mean, it was a loud commercial. And of course the next thing you think is, Well, if you start having Jesses idiot friends selling drugs on the street, theyre going to get caught. He said, Oh, you need to work all the time., Cranston: Other people would be, Oh, youre a star, youre a star. And I would immediately push back and deny it and say, No, no, no, Im just a working actor. Seehorn: He seemed a bit aloof for a second, but we were then told to go ahead and rehearse, just me and Bob, that everyone would leave the room and well come back, Why dont you guys go through the scene a couple times just to feel comfortable with each other? And when they left, I realized Bob was staring at his shoe. Since 1957, GQ has inspired men to look sharper and live smarter with its unparalleled coverage of style, culture, and beyond. (Watch Ron Bell's actual infomercial next to Saul's fictional one, below.) And you trust Saul, even though on first sight, you wouldn't buy a car from him. And as I regale this story and I tell Bob this, I told him, I realized that I was spending maybe more energy trying to push away that responsibility, that position in the industry. Cranston: I was well aware of Mr. Show and that was cool. They settled on a "gray, weird, funky strip mall," tucked behind a hill. And nobody talked about it that I knew. Cranston: I think the first thing he said to me was, Ive never seen the show. So its, Well, OK. Youve never seen the show. I dont know if it was single digits but it was close to it. "I wanted to make it small, where you were smelling people, you know what I mean? Odenkirk: The first thing I shot was the commercial, which was a lot like a Mr. Show moment. He drew it from famously loquacious Hollywood producer Robert Evanss memoir, The Kid Stays in the Picture. I was like, Is this guy really asking me about my process? Because I was just like, Theres nothing in my act that can touch what youre doing., McKean: I think that he really liked being in a hit, and we all do and we all did, but I think there was something about, Oh, it not only works, but other people think it does too, and we got a good one here., Seehorn: And there was one point where the late, incredibly great, David Carr came to do his last media piece that he did, on Better Call Saul.