The actor said: “I was very surprised by Nobody. I had initiated that project because I had a feeling that the character I was developing in Better Call Saul was the kind of character you see in an action film. He has earnest desires and he was willing to sacrifice himself…I still train multiple times a week and if I get my way you’re going to see me doing more action. I found the action sequences a great deal of fun and close to doing sketch comedy…I love the early Jackie Chan films which had humour in them. I’d like to get that in in future.”
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“It’s almost like people like to see older people lose their shit. Why does that seem to make sense to everyone? It’s funny,” he laughed.
Earlier this month Nobody producer David Leitch confirmed that writing has begun on a sequel to the hit 2021 action movie with most of the original team back on board.
Odenkirk also revealed some of his other ambitions during the session. The multi-hyphenate, who has directed four films to date, told the crowd he thought directing was “the best job there is”. When asked if he had a favourite Italian movie, he cited Roberto Rosselini classic Roma, Open City as one he loves, adding:
“I always wanted to do an LA version of that movie. It would be a strange juxtaposition. LA in no way belongs to Rome, but that’s why it would be funny. LA is such a makeshift city. It’s hardly here. It’s made of sand.”
Odenkirk was asked whether it was a relief to say goodbye to his character from AMC’s long-running hit series Better Call Saul, which recently wrapped its sixth and final season (during which Odenkirk suffered a heart attack): “I have very mixed feelings. We get into this business most of us because we want to play a variety of stories. It’s one of the joys. It was a long time to play one guy and portray his psyche. He did have a very vast array of emotions and experience so there was great variety. We tested the boundaries with elements that were very comedic, almost like sketch comedy. Breaking Bad didn’t overstay its welcome and we had a fount of goodwill. I’m gonna miss the good parts of that guy and the friendships with the actors. We even lived together. And that’ll be the role I’ll be known for my whole life. And I’m proud of that.”
The actor was speaking to the audience via video link from LA following a screening of his new movie Worlds Apart, which screens in the festival’s Venice Days strand.
Director Cecilia Miniucchi’s low-budget indie feature was shot remotely (sometimes using FaceTime) during Covid with most of the actors not able to meet during production. The drama follows three couples stuck at home during the beginning of lockdown whose lives are turned upside-down, but are forced to look at each other in new ways. Danny Huston and Radha Mitchell are also among cast for the movie.
Odenkirk explained that he was virtually cold-called by Miniucchi to take part in the movie. The two knew each other but not well and only spoke every couple of years at most. But it was the call he’d been waiting for, he told the audience.
“It was a cold call. But the thing is I was kind of waiting for that call. We were a few weeks into lockdown and I was wondering what would come next. There was no vaccine, things were getting worse by the day. As a parent you were trying to be brave in front of your kids but in truth you had no idea what would happen. I was waiting for someone to call about making a remote movie with our phones. I wanted to do some acting, some creating, because otherwise we’re going to go crazy. Cecilia was the one who called. She was the one who did it.”
The actor ended the session by imploring the filmmakers and creatives in the audience to embrace risk: “You have to jump off the ledge. You read a script, you re-write it, you get everyone together, but at some point you’ve got to jump and make the thing and you get what you get. I never want to lose touch with that. Cecilia called me and asked if I’d jump off that cliff with her.”
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