The early stage of any filmmaker, actor, writer or producer’s career is always fraught with difficulty. Sometimes there’s no work, that big break isn’t coming along, or the work you’re doing isn’t getting any recognition. Then one day, the job of a lifetime comes along and lifts you out of the rut. Comicbook.com reports on a story much like this. That story centers on Bob Odenkirk, who, when speaking on the Howard Stern Show, claimed that before Breaking Bad, he almost went broke and was on the edge of having to claim bankruptcy.
In the video below, Bob Odenkirk, who of course is best known as Saul Goodman in Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, recalls a strange moment in his career which, had it gone another way, may have ruined him financially. In a period of time where he was off the back of limited success directing features, the assistant of his then business manager rang to say that Odenkirk was due to sign a nine-hundred-thousand dollar loan. Knowing nothing of the loan prior to this, Odenkirk recalls that the conversation was weird and ended abruptly.
After that fateful phone conversation, Odenkirk switched business managers. The advice from the new man in his corner was to take any job and get paid. This was especially prudent advice as at the time Odenkirk’s kids were young and income was a necessity. That run of jobs, where Odenkirk says he put his pickiness aside, included directing commercials and essentially taking on any role he was offered. Eventually, his agent spoke of a part in a show called Breaking Bad. Odenkirk knew little of it. He reached out to a writing colleague and friend who told him that it was the best show coming to TV–a statement that many to this day would agree with. Of course, Odenkirk took on the role and the rest is history.
Breaking Bad wasn’t the end of the actor’s time in this role. The job then led to Bob Odenkirk reprising his role of Saul Goodman in Better Call Saul. AMC announced recently that the spin-off show is set to premiere the first part of its thirteen-episode sixth and final season in April. Along with that announcement, AMC also confirmed that there will be three animated spin-offs. As well as this, Odenkirk’s recent action feature film Nobody hit streaming on HBO Max and received a great reception amongst audiences. This goes to show that Bob Odenkirk has come a long way from the financial doldrums and is now a bonafide star. That’s not to say his early financial woes were a result of a lack of promise. In the 1990s he was well known in the world of comedy for co-creating Mr Show with David Cross.
Bob Odenkirk must look back on that phone call as a pivotal moment in his career. It’s no surprise that the business manager he switched to in order to put him on the path to Breaking Bad still works with Odenkirk today. Now, Odenkirk can look ahead to the final season of his hit show Better Call Saul, but it all could have turned out so differently. Just seventh months ago, Odenkirk was fighting for his life after collapsing on set for the aforementioned season six of Better Call Saul. Thankfully, he recovered from that frightening moment and no doubt he will continue to wow audiences for many years to come.