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December 20, 2014

Bob Odenkirk's Inspiration For His 'Breaking Bad' Character Was... Robert Evans?

by Joel Keller, posted Mar 21st 2010 3:15PM
Bob Odenkirk as Saul Goodman in 'Breaking Bad'Wanted to pass along another tidbit from the 'Breaking Bad' roundtable I wrote about the other day. When Bob Odenkirk was asked by one of the reporters if he modeled his character of slimy lawyer Saul Goodman on TV televangelists like Joel Osteen and various media hucksters, he agreed that those people informed his character. But the biggest influence on how he played Saul wasn't a huckster; it was legendary movie producer Robert Evans.

"I've never had a part with this many lines that someone else wrote. Even for myself, even that I wrote. Anything I've ever written for myself, I've never had these monologues. So that was intimidating," said Odenkirk. "I thought, if your cadence doesn't change, if you don't have an interesting delivery to this, you're never going to be able to listen to this three pages of dialogue from this one guy."

He cited the audiobook to Evans' autobiography 'The Kid Stays In The Picture' for helping him deal with those monologues.

"(It) is just one of the best books on tape ever. Because you can just listen to that guy tell a story over and over. He has this great up and down rhythm, and he brings you to the brink, and turns it."

Odenkirk has played Evans, more or less, on 'Mr. Show' and his appearances on Bill Maher's 'Real Time.' So he channels Evans when he gets in Saull Goodman mode. "What I do is I do all my lines as Robert Evans when I rehearse alone. I do. I don't consciously go to the set and try to bring any of that. I don't think about doing an impersonation or anything, but I do it one or two times, just while I'm running it, as him."

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Carol Renteria

Robert Evans was a powerhouse and master of words. I worked at Paramount all through his tenure there and will say that he was brilliant in everything that he did--a bit eccentric, but brilliant and a nice guy.

March 21 2010 at 7:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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