Bob Odenkirk explains how playing Jimmy McGill on Better Call Saul was harder than his newest AMC role. In 2022, Odenkirk and company wrapped up their time in Albuquerque with the dramatic final season of Breaking Bad’s Saul Goodman-centered spinoff show. Now Odenkirk is coming back to AMC in Lucky Hank, playing a cranky and out-of-touch English professor in the midst of a midlife crisis.

Jimmy McGill/Saul Goodman was obviously a huge role for Odenkirk, given what it did for his career as a dramatic actor, but it was also an especially challenging role as the star explained in a recent talk with EW. Indeed, Odenkirk thinks his new role on Lucky Hank was easier on him than playing Goodman, a character he describes as being driven by negativity, and characterizes as being emotionally childish. Check out what Odenkirk had to say in the space below:


Honestly, Saul beat the s— out of me. The first year was so f—ing hard, man. I was like a basket case. I mean, the sheer number of lines I had. Being inside another person, and in Jimmy’s case, so much of what drove him was negative things. He felt he wasn’t given his due and he was resentful, so that resentment towards Chuck and everybody really was a big driver of him, and just living and wallowing in those negative emotions… In this case, [Lucky Hank’s William Devereaux] has processed more of that stuff, but his bigger issues are: He just hasn’t noticed that the world has changed around him. He’s got to recognize it and he’s got to change, too.

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How Lucky Hank Helps Odenkirk Move On From Saul Goodman

Bob Odenkirk in Lucky Hank wearing a thick beard and glasses, pointing angrily at someone during a meeting

In addition to the challenge of playing such a negative character in Saul Goodman, Odenkirk says it was difficult portraying someone much younger than himself in emotional terms. Odenkirk says he relates more to his Lucky Hank character William Henry Devereaux, Jr, explaining that “He’s holding a lot of feelings deep inside him, but in the course of even the first eight episodes, he gets to work through many of them.” By contrast, Jimmy McGill/Saul Goodman was not a character who was ever good at working through things intellectually, but instead was always scrambling for the next hustle or scam, never really dealing with his conflicted feelings about his brother Chuck or anything else in his life.

It sounds as though Odenkirk feels much more comfortable in Lucky Hank, playing a character who is able to process his problems in an adult way, and maybe even learn from his mistakes (and not wind up in prison by the end). Playing such a character allows Odenkirk to finally move on from the ever-scheming Saul Goodman, though it remains to be seen if audiences will latch on to Odenkirk’s work in Lucky Hank the way they did Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul. Lucky Hank premieres on AMC on Sunday, March 19.

More: Better Call Saul’s First Big Risk Didn’t Pay Off Until Season 6

Source: EW

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