‘Better Call Saul’ Season 4: Bob Odenkirk and His Co-Stars on Chuck’s Demise and Jimmy’s Progression to Saul

Better Call Saul Season 4 Cast Press Conference
Peter Gould, Giancarlo Esposito, Bob Odenkirk, Rhea Seehorn, Michael Mando, Patrick Fabian and Vince Gilligan attend the ‘Better Call Saul’ press conference during Comic Con 2018 (Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for AMC)

During the 2018 San Diego Comic Con press conference for AMC’s Better Call Saul, Giancarlo Esposito explained one of the aspects of the series he believes makes the show so very special. “All of the characters are so entwined with each other,” said Esposito while revealing he can’t wait for Gus to have more screen time with Bob Odenkirk’s Jimmy as Jimmy moves into a space that becomes darker.

Cast members Odenkirk, Esposito, Michael Mando, Rhea Seehorn, and Patrick Fabian took part in the show’s packed Comic Con panel with fans and in the press conference to support season four. Here’s a few of the highlights from the press conference which found the cast members praising each other’s work on the show and looking forward to the reaction of viewers once season four debuts on August 6, 2018.

Better Call Saul Season 4 Press Conference:

Do you think Jimmy feels responsible for his brother’s death and how do you think it will affect him?

Bob Odenkirk: “I disagree with Peter Gould on this. He and I don’t see eye-to-eye. I really feel like…and we really talked about this so much this season because the whole season is kind of the reverberations of that incident of Chuck killing himself…I feel like because of that scene that happened the night before when Chuck told Jimmy that I never really cared about you one way or the other, you just never meant much to me at all, that that colors the whole impact of Chuck’s death. To Jimmy, I think he walked out of the room and he kind of compartmentalized that Chuck had wrote him out of his life the night before he died.

I think it’s natural, too, for a person if someone you know and you’re close to dies to think, ‘What was the last thing that we talked about? What was the last thing I said or they said to me?’ In this case, Chuck said some really cold stuff and he really seemed to mean it. He wasn’t emotional or anything; he just seemed to be matter-of-fact about it. So, for me, Jimmy’s written Chuck out of his life. He’s not going to let Chuck’s death weigh him down.

That would be how I perceived it. These guys don’t agree, but we’ve gone through a whole goddamn season with that dichotomy and didn’t have a problem. I feel like everything that Jimmy does in season four fits with my philosophy of how he perceived Chuck and leaving Chuck behind him. And somehow it works as well for Peter, all that plot works just as well for him. He feels that Chuck’s death is massive. It’s okay; we can disagree. Just like fans can disagree about what things do.”

Do you miss Bryan Cranston?

Bob Odenkirk: “I do. I do miss Bryan Cranston. Bryan was the guy who really dialed me into the tone of these shows. The first thing I did for Breaking Bad was the commercial that Jesse watches and it was very much like stuff I did in comedy for my whole career on Mr. Show and many other comedy shows. It was kind of broad and fun and silly, and then I had a scene with Bryan Cranston. Bryan was amazing. He was so heavy and serious and cold and dry. There was just a lot of texture, so he really got me to focus. So working with people like Bryan and Rhea (Seehorn), this marvelous person here, working with people that are better than you really helps a lot.”

Do you think we’ll see Aaron Paul on the show in the future?

Bob Odenkirk: “I do. Speaking as a fan, I think we will. I don’t see how we don’t. Look, here’s what I know. I know that Hank Schrader knows Saul, right? Because when they meet in the hallway, they give each other shit and they know each other – if you remember the first time. Okay, so Hank knows Saul. And I think because of what Jesse says to Walt, ‘You don’t need a criminal lawyer, you need a criminal lawyer,’ you know that line, obviously Jesse saw Saul’s commercial on TV, we saw that in Breaking Bad. But I don’t think that’s enough that Jesse would recommend they go to Saul. That’s just a commercial.

I think he knew Saul and he knew Saul’s reputation. I think those characters, I think, should meet.”

Will a relationship develop between Nacho and Gus this season?

Giancarlo Esposito: “Certainly worlds will collide in season four because these two characters have different agendas that each of them have not known about of each other. The audience may see it coming, but more than likely will not. But when those agendas are revealed, then obviously action has to be taken. It is something I think will more than likely be inevitable, but I will neither confirm nor deny.”

Michael Mando: “It really feels to me…I think Nacho’s storyline really kind of breaks through and comes into focus this season. The arc of the character this season is very much a redemption story. It’s the story of a good son who’s fallen from the good graces of his father and has to learn about self-sacrifice in order to redeem himself and hopefully save his father and maybe himself.

What’s really interesting is I find whenever we have scenes with Giancarlo – the very first time I had a scene with Giancarlo I was a huge fan of his and I remember it being at Los Pollos and looking into his eyes and the first thought that crossed my mind was, ‘This guy’s got people in his basement.’ I don’t know where that came from, but it gave me chills. And to me I really compare it to this situation of man versus corporate. I feel Nacho’s got this romantic idea of being able to walk out of hell and then he faces this corporation that’s operating on a level of almost with no beating heart, just mental. It’s all pure mental genius here.”

Giancarlo Esposito: “The other element to it that I believe could be expanded on and explored as well is the father relationship – the relationship between Nacho and his father. The disappointment he has and his father has in him, and the relationship to Gus Fring who might be able to teach Nacho something he doesn’t know if he can be reined in, which is the big question. Can Nacho be reined in to learn something new and become a different cog in the wheel for the cartel?

I’m not sure that’s possible because Nacho has such a strong personality and has ideas of his own.”

Bob and Giancarlo, with the time jumps on the show how do you sort the evolution of your characters?

Bob Odenkirk: “For me, Saul is a thinner character than Jimmy. He’s just a front. He’s not a whole person, really.”

Michael Mando: (Laughing) “You looked fatter in Breaking Bad.”

Bob Odenkirk: “That because I had a bulletproof vest on. So, it’s actually…spoilers, right, because in this season there’s some cool shit and they don’t want me to say it. Anyway, the point is I did have to ask that question of myself this season so maybe that tells you something. ‘Who is Saul and how do I play him now that I’ve played Jimmy?’ He’s not as dimensional as Jimmy. It’s kind of easy, really.”

Giancarlo Esposito: “For me, I always have to remind myself this is Gus prior to Gus. My younger self would have a different way of exacting his mission plan, trying to figure out how to really have people understand he can run this business better. He has ideas to expand the cartel. But as he’s younger, there’s more vulnerability and more mistakes that he can make. In my mind it’s tracking these two.

Gus primarily is mysterious. The less you know about him, the more you want to know and the more you want to see him. So, with the work that I do I try physically and facially and in my gut to make him seem a little less seasoned in certain areas. And maybe that is to make him a guy who’s not so in control as to when you met him in Breaking Bad. For me, it’s always trying to keep that in the forefront of my brain that he’s still trying to figure it out as we go so that there is nuance to the performance that I bring this time around in Saul, as opposed to what you saw Breaking Bad.”

(Bob Odenkirk brings Rhea Seehorn into a discussion about Chuck’s death.)

Rhea Seehorn: “We did have a lot of conversations about grieving and the process of grieving and if you’ve ever been a supporter of someone who’s grieving or their support system. It was like that constant question of when do you tell someone that their behavior needs to stop or something, whatever their coping mechanisms are? We had a lot of very interesting conversations and I think it will be fun to see viewers and fans figure out what is accessible, what is strange, what is odd. It’s all particular. It’s all individual to the characters.

There’s things that Jimmy’s doing that you normally might say, ‘That’s unacceptable.’ But because somebody is grieving, it just really opens up your mind to how to be someone’s support system through that. What exactly is strange behavior while he’s also in this gradual devolution to becoming Saul? It was a very interesting jigsaw puzzle for me to figure out what is odd behavior and what is not odd behavior.”

Patrick Fabian: “I’ve been sitting here kind of taking a scorecard. Here we are sitting here, these guys and girls up here on stage, it seems to me that without a doubt Howard Hamlin now occupies the moral high ground on the show.”