Bob Odenkirk was financially broken before "Breaking Bad."
In fact, the Emmy-nominated actor said he was actually bankrupt and his business manager was encouraging him to take out a $900,000 loan to "stay afloat," he told Howard Stern this week.
At the time, Bob was directing projects that "weren't great" and didn't pay well. He admits he lacked creativity and was visionless. Soon, he was in a "financial hole" and taking any gig that he could get his hands on, regardless of pay.
His business manager told him, "'Money is money, whatever you can make. If somebody offers you $3,000, if he offers you $300, make that money today, bring some through. That's all you gotta do. If you just do that, we're gonna be ok,'" Bob remembered. "I proceeded to live that way. Instead of being my picky, snooty self I said, 'Look, work's work, let's do it. Let's act, direct.' I pursued commercials. I directed some commercials. I had a good time doing it."
Then, before the second season of "Breaking Bad," Bob's phone rang.
"I get a phone call, 'They're gonna offer you a role on 'Breaking Bad,' the show 'Breaking Bad" — not a popular show or a big show at the time — 'and don't say no,' my agent says," Bob recounted. "And I was like dude, I haven't said 'no' in a year and a half, but maybe you didn't notice that."
The "Better Call Saul" actor had no plans of turning down the role, but he still looked into it, having not heard of the AMC show.
"I still checked it out, I still wanted to know what the hell the show was," he said. "I called a friend, somebody I'd been writing with, Reid Harrison, and he goes, 'Oh, that's the best show on TV. You gotta do that. That's the best thing there is.'"
Of course, "Breaking Bad" turned Bob's career and checking account around, as his portrayal of Saul Goodman earned him a prequel spinoff, "Better Call Saul," which is set to conclude after its sixth season in April 2022.