What Input Does Bob Odenkirk Have On The Creation of His “Better Call Saul” Character?


Breaking Bad (2008) star Bryan Cranston was frequently praised for how much he contributed to Walter White’s character construction. He voiced his input about everything, from his mannerisms and appearance, to makeup and wardrobe. Naturally, that leads one to wonder if Bob Odenkirk has that same level of input with his character on Better Call Saul (2015), or if he leaves those decisions to the showrunners.

It turns out, it’s a little bit of both. While Odenkirk takes no credit for designing the character, he says he simply interprets what’s written by Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould, sees what costumes and style he’s given by the wardrobe department, and plays it as he feels the material suggests. There appears to be more of Odenkirk’s influence in the character creation than he’ll admit, but he seems to be a humble being.

In an interview on the subject with HitFlix, Odenkirk said, “When we talked on the phone about the character, I said, “I have an idea for the hair.” And he was just describing the character to me. And I said, “Could he have a mullet in back and a comb over up top?” And he said, “Yeah, that sounds great.” And beyond that, all the clothes, it’s all Vince and the costume designers. That’s their choice. And that to me helped me know the character, but Vince Gilligan, Peter Gould, the costume designers, the set designers, those are the people who told me who this character was and then I built whatever I built. Whatever I added to came all from them. When people say, “When you created the character,” I’m like, “I didn’t create the character, Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould created the character and then I built off the script and off these signals and indicators from the costume people or whatever. What kind of guy builds this office for himself? What kind of guy talks like this? What kind of guy makes these kinds of jokes?” And that’s how I made my contribution.”