Q: How did the new show come about? Did the producers come to you and say they had an idea for a spinoff?
A - Odenkirk: I’ll tell you first off, I am surprised. I was surprised and I am surprised. In the second season of doing Breaking Bad I saw Vince in the hallway and he said “what do you think about doing a spinoff?”
People were immediately joking about it on set, I think because the character was so strong, the voice was so strong. You don’t usually have a secondary character with that much chutzpah and attitude. It’s just a very different energy, you know what I mean? It just made a splash and people joked about it, and then Vince asked me what I thought about it. I said “if you want to write it, I’ll do it.” At the time I didn’t really have an opinion on it — I still don’t have an opinion. It was all up to him.
I still don’t think of myself primarily as an actor. I know I’ve been doing a lot of acting the last three years with Breaking Bad and Nebraska and Fargo and now this, Better Call Saul. But I spent so many of my years professionally as a writer and it’s hard to think of being mainly an actor, although I certainly have the last five months. I’ve been playing Saul and he’s the main character in the show and he talks a lot and takes up a lot of space and oxygen. He is the show.
I think what surprises me is not so much the show, which came from Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould’s inspiration — it wasn’t something I asked them to do or begged them to do or chased them down for — it’s that they’ve found so much in the character. It’s so rich and there’s such storytelling and amazing background and fullness and dimensionality. That surprises me. I read these scripts and they’ve written these intense scenes about a person and his motivations and his drives and desires and dissatisfactions and his efforts to become himself. They’ve fleshed out this character so deeply that I can’t believe. I can’t wait for people to see it.
– from Bob Odenkirk goes from ‘Breaking Bad’ to ‘Better Call Saul’ and ‘A Load of Hooey’ (The Oregonian)