Bob Odenkirk took 'Breaking Bad' role as he was bankrupt after directing flop films
Bob Odenkirk recently revealed how, after going bankrupt, he couldn't say no when he was offered a role in ‘Breaking Bad,’ the hit AMC show starring Bryan Cranston as Walter White. Odenkirk recalled on Stern's Sirius XM radio show, "I get a phone call, 'They're gonna offer you a role on 'Breaking Bad,' the show 'Breaking Bad'' — not a popular show or a big show at the time — 'and don't say no,' my agent says.”
He explained, "and I was like, man, I haven't said 'no' in a year and a half.” Prior to assuming his part in the series, Odenkirk, who had switched to directing at the time, stated he was bankrupt after completing multiple feature films that weren't great and didn't pay him well. Odenkirk told Stern that as a director, he lacked vision and ended himself in a "financial hole," prompting his business manager to arrange a $900,000 loan for the actor to keep afloat.
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Following that, Odenkirk said he went to another business manager, who urged him to "bring some money through." In 2015, Odenkirk told GQ that he spent the years 2003 to 2007 trying different things, which included anything from directing commercials to acting more and creating TV pilots. The ‘Better Call Saul’ star directed 'Let's Go to Prison,' a 2006 comedy starring Will Arnett and Dax Shepard, and 'The Brothers Solomon,' a 2007 picture starring Kristen Wiig and Will Forte, both of which have a 13 percent and 16 percent Rotten Tomatoes critics score, respectively. Finally, in 2008, he received a call from ‘Breaking Bad’ showrunner Vince Gilligan regarding the part of Saul Goodman, according to Odenkirk.
Odenkirk joined ‘Breaking Bad’ in its second season and stayed with the series for the duration of its five-season run. He also starred in the prequel spinoff ‘Better Call Saul,’ which will air its sixth season in April and will finish in 2022. Despite its eventual success, ‘Breaking Bad’ wasn't quite as popular in its first season, according to Odenkirk. Odenkirk recalled of the days before his debut, "I still checked it out, I still wanted to know what the hell the show was. I contacted a buddy, Reid Harrison, with whom I'd been writing, and he said, 'Oh, that's the finest program on TV. That is something you must do.' That's the most ideal situation."