People know that Bob Odenkirk had a severe heart attack while filming an episode for the last season of Better Call Saul. People also know he got better quickly and was back on set five weeks later to finish the previous episodes of the AMC prequel to Breaking Bad that he leads. And just last week, the Emmy-nominated actor said that the heart attack happened in the ninth episode of the season, “Fun and Games.”
But that’s not entirely right, and Bob Odenkirk wants to set the record straight. The tragedy with a happy ending occurred during the production of episode 8, “Point and Shoot,” when the actor was working on the pivotal sequence at Jimmy’s apartment when Lalo (Tony Dalton) sets out his frightening plans for Jimmy and Kim (Rhea Seehorn). (It’s understandable, considering he has no recall of the time around the heart attack.) The show films several scenes out of sequence.)
“We shot Episode 9 following my heart attack; it’s the first stuff I shot,” he tells EW. “The episode 8 pick-up scenes weren’t shot first. So I thought, “Wait, the first thing I shot after the heart attack was episode 9.” True, Where I messed up was saying, ‘Of course, we didn’t come back and instantly shoot what we were filming that day – we kept shooting.’ Our director changed. Michael Morris helmed. We did it. Then Vince [Gilligan, Saul co-creator and “Point and Shoot” director] came back, and we finished the sequence with myself, Lalo, and Kim. My brain just farted; I’m sorry.
“But if you want to compare a person before and after a heart attack, look at Kim and Jimmy when Lalo was there telling them about the plan,” he says with a laugh.
Bob Odenkirk thinks all the worry and attention about his close call can be used for something else. He laughs again and says, “I’ll just say it for the hundredth time, but I’ll say it 500 more times in my life; it’s so nice that everyone cares so much.” “I’m glad people care about it, and if it does any good, it might make other people over 50 go to the doctor and maybe get a second look at their hearts.”
In last week’s Better Call Saul Insider Podcast, Gilligan talked about how Odenkirk passed out on set while filming “Point and Shoot.” “We watched him die. I’d only seen something like that in a movie, “said Gilligan. “When we returned to the set with Bob, we all felt happiness, gratitude, and thanks.”
Before the heart attack, the co-creator had just finished directing Odenkirk and Seehorn’s side of the conversation. “It was great to see Bob there,” Dalton said. “After the heart attack, we all saw him lying on the floor, and we were all like, “Oh my God, dude.” Don’t bother with the show. The worst thing that could happen to someone is this. When you mess with Lalo, this is what happens. [laughs].”
What was it like for Bob Odenkirk to film these key scenes? “This occurrence affected my heart and continues to do so. Today. In time. I ponder it often. I think about what is important to me and how to make the most of each day. But the crew and actors were devastated by the occurrence because they were conscious. I slept. So to return, they were sensitive. Everybody was emotional, nice, kind, and worried. [Laughs] Concerned with everything I did… It was cute and humorous. In everyone’s sight. They asked, ‘Is he okay?’ Will he be okay? But I was still recovering. Each week, my stamina grew.”
Odenkirk’s regular scene partner was happy to see him. Seehorn told EW, “You can’t escape the thrill and emotion of having one of your closest friends living.” “What a terrible day it’s been thus far was followed by the best day of my life,” she says. “We both care about and respect the task we must undertake. He returned and felt he shouldn’t hold back the workers. We’d been shooting for about a year, and he wanted us to “do the work” and “take a break from the overwhelming sensation,” Not ignoring it. It was nice to return to Kim and Jimmy, a project we both enjoy.”
Odenkirk had a lot more to say about the acute episode “Fun and Games” over here, including his thoughts on what will happen after Kim’s terrible choices and in the last few episodes. When Bob Odenkirk returned to action, he began working on scenes from “Fun and Games,” which led to his mix-up.