Bob Odenkirk, who later this year will be seen in the sixth and final season of Better Call Saul, has opened up about experiencing a near-fatal heart attack on the set of the Breaking Bad prequel series.
As previously reported, the actor told fans last July that he had a “small heart attack” amid production on the series, thanking fans and family for the “outpouring of love” he had received since the news broke. In a New York Timesprofile this week, Odenkirk elaborated further, revealing that his memory of the moment in question is limited.
“I’d known since 2018 that I had this plaque buildup in my heart,” Odenkirk explained, noting that he had visited two different heart doctors at Cedars-Sinai and had also “had dye and an M.R.I. and all that stuff.” The doctors, however, had disagreed on the path of treatment, with one doctor advising that he “immediately” begin medication while the other argued that “it could wait.”
In short, per Odenkirk, last July’s on-set heart attack was due to a piece of plaque breaking up. “We were shooting a scene, we’d been shooting all day, and luckily I didn’t go back to my trailer. … I went to play the Cubs game and ride my workout bike, and I just went down,” Odenkirk said, pointing out that Rhea Seehorn (who plays Kim Wexler on BCS) later told him he “started turning bluish-gray right away.”
The Times reports that it was the “screams” of Seehorn and Patrick Fabian (who plays Howard Hamlin on the series) that alerted a medic to the situation, with health safety supervisor Rosa Estrada and assistant director Angie Meyer ultimately administering CPR to the actor and placing him on an automated defibrillator. After the second zap, an irregular pulse was achieved. “The third time, it got me that rhythm back,” Odenkirk said.
A procedure was later performed by the staff at Presbyterian Hospital in Albuquerque, with Odenkirk stating that they “knocked out that plaque and left stents in two places.” Read the full interview here.
This week, AMC shared an extremely brief teaser clip (see below) for Better Call Saul’s final season, urging fans to mark their calendars while still not disclosing a specific premiere date. Back in August 2020, Breaking Bad creator andSaul co-creator Vince Gilligan provided some insight on the then-current status of the writing behind the show’s final episodes. Per Gilligan, fans can expect to see Breaking Bad “in a very different light” once Saul comes to a close.
“I think we’re going to learn things about the characters in Breaking Bad that we didn’t know,” Gilligan told the Hollywood Reporter at the time.