‘Better Call Saul’s’ Bob Odenkirk, Showrunners Talk Jimmy McGill’s Transition to Saul Goodman at Season 2 Premiere

Vince Gilligan, Thomas Schnauz, Rhea Seehorn,
Photo by Brian To/Variety/REX/Shutterstock

At the Season 2 premiere of “Better Call Saul” at the Arclight Cinema in Culver City on Tuesday night, Bob Odenkirk weighed in on his character’s transition from Jimmy McGill to Saul Goodman.

“I think it’s a big drop off,” Odenkirk said. “It’s a slow journey, and then all of a sudden, he finds himself as Saul, I think that’s how it is going to go. My gut tells me he fights like hell to not be Saul, and then he just gives up for some reason that’s probably pretty potent and painful.”

The executive producers and showrunners of “Better Call Saul,” Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould, said the timeline for when Jimmy would become Saul has been in constant flux.

“In the early going, we thought he would become Saul Goodman by the end of the season, or maybe by the middle of Season 1,” Gilligan said. “We came to realize that Jimmy McGill is a guy we like better than Saul Goodman. He’s a guy we’d like to have a beer with, and we came to the realization that when he becomes Saul Goodman, it’s going to be a bit of a tragedy.”

The second season will pick up where the critically-acclaimed first season ended, with Jimmy McGill, the small-time attorney championing the underdog client, turning down a lucrative job offer and telling Jonathan Banks’ Mike Ehrmantraut that his days of playing the game straight were over.

Since initiating the role of Saul Goodman in “Breaking Bad,” Odenkirk said the character has become more and more appealing to him.

“He was always fun to play when I did ‘Breaking Bad,’ with all of his plots and plans and capers that he got into,” Odenkirk said. “As far as liking the person and spending time in the character, he’s a much more likable guy as Jimmy McGill. He’s a much more dimensional character.”

The cast also said to expect more “Breaking Bad” Easter eggs in the upcoming season.

“When we found out who we were working with and who we saw, our jaws just dropped,” said Michael Mando, who plays Nacho Varga. “I think the fans are going to be very happy.”

The screening — which received rapturous applause — was also attended by other members of the AMC family, including “Breaking Bad” star Bryan Cranston and “Walking Dead” executive producer Robert Kirkman, who then joined the cast at an after-party at the nearby Culver Hotel. Partygoers enjoyed passed hors d’eouvres including shrimp skewers, tuna tartare and mushroom tarts, as a DJ spun tunes.

“It’s such a beautiful show,” said Odenkirk. “I can’t believe I get to be in it.”

“Better Call Saul,” which also stars Rhea Seehorn, Michael McKean and Patrick Fabian,  premieres Feb. 15 on AMC.