A version of this story about “Better Call Saul” and Rhea Seehorn first appeared in Down to the wires: a dramatic case From TheWrap Awards magazine.
When “Saul’s best on demand” Rhea Seehorn wrapped her sixth and final season last winter in Albuquerque and decided to take her long way home. “I drove from New Mexico, just to clear my mind, go back to LA, and it was sad,” she said during an interview with Zoom that took place three weeks before the series finale aired. “It was really hard to say goodbye to that character and to say goodbye to this business and to say goodbye to the kind of collaboration I had for so many years. I don’t think it shocked most of us that we won’t be back because it (still) airs – like, we’re excitedly anticipating to talk to people about those last two episodes and the series as a whole.”
It’s easy to understand why Sehorn was reluctant to give it up: The introduction to Breaking Bad, the lifelong role of Kim Wexler, gave her the witty, and often ambiguous lawyer, whose moral compass is increasingly skewed as she becomes addicted to the thriller art of fraud with her husband, Jimmy McGill, Also known as Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk). Critics praised her performance from the start, but only now, seven years after Kim’s tightly coiled ponytail debuted on screen, has the Television Academy finally noticed and nominated her for a supporting actress in the drama. (When it rains it rains: I also got a nod to star in the short film “Cooper’s Bar.”) Since the morning of the Emmy nomination, I’ve been inundated with congratulations. “It was really cool,” she said. “It’s really kind of surreal for people to be involved in that and really feel like they were supporting you.”
Because of the timing of the final broadcast date, Sehorn couldn’t tell us exactly What happens to Kim Wexler, but she had a lot to say about her character’s shocking breakup with Saul and the law, how the character was received into the world of “Breaking Bad” and where she herself goes from here.
When I got “Better Call Saul”“ It’s your turn, you find yourself thinking, “Well, well, Kim isn’t around “Too bad.’ what happened to her? Or are you just focusing on the Kim present?
He went in stages. At first, it was: I don’t know how effective Kim would be. I knew I was going to be a storytelling cog in the wheel somehow, but I didn’t know how much I’d be in it. So I was more focused on what was in front of me. And then as I became more and more immersed in the story, certainly Patrick Fabian (who plays attorney-attorney Howard Hamlin) and I spoke about it. Like “Game of Thrones” or something else where the main characters can die all the time, we’d flip scripts like, “Yay! I’m alive.” And then it turns to the third chapter. I was curious as a fan and intellectually: What happens to her? How will they deal with this? How are they going to handle each trip of people who aren’t in “Breaking Bad” or at least aren’t in “Breaking Bad” a favour Being in “Breaking Bad”? And I was aware of the excitement in that because I was like, I don’t know either. I don’t have to worry about spilling the beans because I don’t know. (Laugh)
The audience immediately embraced Kim, and as she became more and more integral to the story, many fans were more concerned about her fate than Saul’s, because we know he became Walter White’s shady lawyer in Breaking Bad. It must be interesting to be in the middle of that.
For me, Saul’s fate is still first – if not The Initial story. It just comes down to how we see his fate. He was a dangerous clown and now this tragic Arthur Miller is to me. So this became a question, versus Kim – literally, what happened to this guy? It is a fun place of mystery and novel to live in. People feel protected from it. And I think part of that is the fact that she’s always had her own agency, she’s made her own decisions a lot, and whether it’s good or bad, she’s the one who says, “I’m going to save myself.” And I think people responded to that in a way that was really cool. And they don’t want this person to be punished for that.
It stands in stark contrast to the vile misogyny thrown at Skylar White – and Anna Gunn, who played her – in “Breaking Bad.” Have you ever wondered if Kim would get the same treatment because she’s a woman with an agency?
It’s always possible, isn’t it? I mean, misogyny is always possible, unfortunately.
or more likely.
right right. Oh, this is so sad. It is important to me not to add any gas to that crazy, misplaced, baseless, untrue, absurd thing that has fallen. Which I didn’t know about until after the fact. I’m one of those people who watched “Breaking Bad” after other people watched it. I wasn’t aware of it until I wrote to her beautiful Article from “The New York Times”.
It’s far from anything that I can wrap myself around with a reason or logic to, that it’s like throwing your hands in the air when my character was too. There is nothing worthwhile or unworthy in any of our offerings. I think she (Anna Jean) is great. I will never, in my life, forget the scene in which he appeared early in the series, when she was sitting at the table by the pool knowing now Walt had cancer, but he told her not to tell anyone in the family. They sit and talk about what he’s going to do next, and she has tears running down her cheeks as she tries to act well. It’s a great piece of acting.
So I was more concerned about being as good as she was, and the entire cast was – and my crew was too. (Laugh) The reception was a bit beyond anything. I couldn’t worry about that. I mean, listen, people could have simply hated anyone who wasn’t in “Breaking Bad”: me, Patrick, Michael Mando. all of us. you do not know.
Kim and Jimmy broke up in Episode 9 when she realized their scams had gone too far (and Howard had been killed). It was devastating to watch. How did you react when you found out that this was their end?
It was a huge blow to me to read it. It’s the end of what they had and the tightrope they walked on. It is very well written, beautiful and complex. It wasn’t about them falling in love with each other, and it wasn’t about her passing judgment on Jimmy. It’s about making her own judgment. Sadly, coming from a place of “I’m the one who saved me,” she ends up becoming a character saying, “I’m the one who’s going to condemn me. I’m going to set my own prison sentence.” She’s the shell of someone who hates herself, which is more tragic to me than so many things can happen to her.
She also left the law profession that she loved. You no longer aspire to be Atticus Finch.
yes. I already thought it was – he is A noble profession. And she thinks she can put her finger on the scale of justice, only lightly, so that it errs in favor of the receivable – receivable in quotation marks. This is a dangerous, unethical and illegal way of practicing law. (LaughIt’s a Machiavelli or Robin Hood, and he has walked away from her. She does not have a commercial law practice anymore. She has no business passing judgment on people. I think she thinks this is punishment. This is what you deserve.
The “more” she said she wanted out of life during her job interview with attorney Rick Schweickart the previous season became too much?
I thought about it a lot. It’s a bit of an Icarus story in her mind: How dare she want more than her station?
She directed this season’s episode of “Hit and Run”, in which Kim and Major Mike Irmentera (Jonathan Banks) finally met. How was it, orienting yourself in such a pivotal scene from the series?
My entire staff in every department, led by Peter, had put in place an infrastructure that was set up for me to succeed. Jonathan Banks and I are very close friends and we’ve lobbied for a scene together forever, you know, half-joking, because it’s like, be careful what you wish for, because if I wanted a scene with Giancarlo (Esposito) or Jonathan, it might be because I’m dead. (Laugh) We also thought the characters each of us made would be so much fun in a room together because they can be incredibly sober. Both are very wary of the others. I was so glad we put him at El Camino on the bar stools. I loved the idea of putting them side by side because there’s something about the tape scenes where you can really see the split between what one person chooses to show the other person versus what they do when they look away. We had a great time. We’ve been filming this scene for a very long time. Like Jonathan said, you got it covered shit get out of it. (Laugh)
What will you do next? Bob Odenkirk wants you in the play he’s making with David Cross?
My God. I can not wait. I’m glad he wants me to play with him and his teammates. Other than that, I’m just in a lot of development talks and a lot of meetings with various writers and exhibitors about various films, limited series projects, as well as other series. And just trying to find the right thing. The show opened a lot of doors, so I’m very fortunate to be speaking with different people and have the opportunity to have conversations about the right part.
Will you miss Kim’s ponytail?
(LaughI cut it right after I rolled it! I will miss Kim and everything that goes with her. Her ponytail was part of her armor which eventually became that measure of what she was doing, which was a lot of fun. I don’t think any of the great hair department heads would miss my ponytails, though. This is maintenance to make sure the thing is perfect.
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