Saul Goodman – the ambulance chasing, money laundering, brown suited lawyer from Breaking Bad– is something of a hero to the legal community. At least that’s according to Bob Odenkirk, the man who plays him.
“They love the attention. I’ve never had a lawyer come up to me and say ‘Saul Goodman is the kind of lawyer I am’, but they always say they know people like that.”
It takes one to know one.
The prequel series Better Call Saul delves into Saul’s past, back when he was a reasonably (-ish) honest attorney called Jimmy Mcgill. (Odenkirk told RadioTimes.com the story could also show more of the future after Breaking Bad.) To many the idea of a Breaking Bad prequel was heresy, but Odenkirk was always on board.
“I would always say to Vince Gilligan [creator of Breaking Bad]: if you write it, I’ll do it. I wanted the idea to come from him and Peter Gould [creator of Better Call Saul]. It’s like telling The Beatles not to make another album after the White Album. I mean…I like Abbey Road.”
Breaking Bad and The Beatles. Odenkirk is certainly setting his standards high, but since the series launched on AMC and Netflix last month it has won over many skeptics.
“I’m amazed that the audience has been so open minded. I haven’t seen much of a backlash, and Breaking Bad was a lot of people’s favourite series ever. I think Breaking Bad ended before people were done with it”
Partly this is down to the different tone struck by the new series. While still brutal, it is less suffocatingly dark than the original and (thus far) includes fewer suffocations.
“It’s a lighter show. The character doesn’t have cancer, for one.” Nevertheless, Saul doesn’t get an easy ride. “I think Saul is fun to watch suffer. It’s not like you want to see him get hurt, but whenever you see him get into deeper and deeper trouble it makes you happier.”
So what can we expect as Saul moves forward?
“You can expect him to get trouble, make a really complicated plan to get out, then get into worse trouble because of his plan.”
Isn’t that just life?
Better Call Saul is released on Netflix UK every Tuesday
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