While “Breaking Bad” would provide Odenkirk with a path to dramatic stardom, his role on the show was not necessarily a particularly meaty one. Saul Goodman in “Breaking Bad” was a relatively one-dimensional conman, more memorable for his quips and one-liners than his depth of character. While, down the line, he would have a few dramatic scenes, it was a role that one could imagine someone with a comedic background, like Odenkirk, easily stepping into.
And according to Odenkirk in the New York Times piece, he accepted the role sight completely unseen, not having seen a second of “Breaking Bad” before jumping right in. When Odenkirk entered the series, “Breaking Bad” was not yet the ratings juggernaut it would later become, and the show was only a season deep in its five-season run. While the series’ potential was clear from its very first episode, it was still young and finding itself, and Odenkirk was stepping into what was still a potentially unstable environment.
It seems like a huge risk to take, especially for someone taking on what could be their first big role after a slump in his career. But, according to Odenkirk, he didn’t require any more preparation than he put in.
“I didn’t even watch a whole episode, but I didn’t need to, I got it.”
As anybody who’s seen Odenkirk’s electric performance as Saul Goodman/Jimmy McGill would agree, Odenkirk certainly did just get it.