Bob Odenkirk On Scoring Another Emmy Nom For ‘Better Call Saul’ And How Difficult It Is To Say Goodbye: “The Story And The Character Are Still Alive In Me”

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Bob Odenkirk scored his fifth nomination for his role as Saul Goodman in Better Call Saul on Tuesday. The series earned seven nominations in total for the final season, including Outstanding Drama Series and Outstanding Writing For A Drama Series.

“I’m genuinely thrilled,” says Odenkirk. “I would say more than any other year, I didn’t expect it. I know it’s stupid, but we came out of Breaking Bad so, in a weird way it feels like we’ve been on the air for 15 years, you know what I mean? I’m just thrilled that people notice that we’re still holding up our standards and delivering a very complex, sensitively written and very unique show.”

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Better Call Saul is the origin story of Saul Goodman from Breaking Bad, which has led Odenkirk on a difficult timeline for his character. “It’s a weird puzzle in your brain,” he says, “and you have to do the math every time because Better Call Saul jumps around in time. So, I could be doing a scene where I’m Saul from Breaking Bad, and then two pages later I’m Jimmy McGill from years before he was even Saul Goodman.”

Odenkirk’s co-star Rhea Seehorn also received a nomination today for her role as Kim Wexler, which has been overlooked in past Emmy seasons. “We don’t expect these things,” he says, “you’d be stupid to expect a nomination, but she deserved one so much for the work she’s done developing Kim Wexler. I’ve just loved being with her for six years and I’m just so glad she’s noticed and nominated. She deserves it.”

The series finale of Better Call Saul airs on August 15th, but Odenkirk says it doesn’t feel like goodbye yet. “I’m gonna feel that when I see the last episode in six weeks,” he says. “In a weird way, the story and the character are still alive in me. We’ve had so many years of shooting this guy and I’ve been playing him for 12 years. Some part of my brain is thinking, ‘When do I go back?’ [laughs] I think when I see the finale and I know what happens, I’ll feel like he’s set and I won’t be him again. Until then I’m waiting to play him again. [laughs] It’s weird, but I can’t put him to rest until I see the ending and maybe not even then.”

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While he may not be ready to put Saul Goodman to rest yet, Odenkirk has started working on a new series for AMC called Straight Man, based on the Richard Russo novel. He says he plays “a humorously disgruntled professor dealing with the world of academia and the security and instability of that world.”

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