Better Call Saul cast shares thoughts on hit show at PaleyFest LA

Saul - PaleyFest

Attending the Better Call Saul panel at the Paleyfest LA in the Dolby Theatre this past weekend, you couldn’t help but get the feeling that Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould might be the best bosses to work for in Hollywood. In an industry known for self-promotion and self-aggrandizement, the most telling moment of the event was when Gilligan took a moment in the middle of the panel to call out latest episode’s writer Ann Cherkis and director John Shiban from the audience and have them take a bow. This is illustrative of just how much of a group effort it is to craft this intricately-made and critically-acclaimed show.

Nearly the entire cast was on hand this past Saturday to meet with devoted fans to discuss all things Better Call Saul – from the characters to upcoming story points to unexpected (and potential future cameos).  On stage during the panel were co-creators Gilligan and Gould and cast members Bob Odenkirk, Michael McKean, Rhea Seehorn, Peter Fabian, and Michael Mando.

On the red carpet for the event, Mando spoke with us about the expanded role his character Nacho has taken on in season 2. “With Nacho, it’s very much a coming of age story. Here’s a guy who’s been an observer, who’s been marginalized all his life. And in order to feel accomplished and to take possession of his own dreams, he has to take helm of his own destiny,” said Mando.

Longtime character actor Fabian, who plays Howard Hamlin, talked about being recognized as “that guy” from over two decades of working in Hollywood. “If I die right today, my tombstone will say, ‘He kissed Kelly Kapowski.’  There are worse things to have on your tombstone, but I’m getting a lot more Hey Howard’s [now].”

Odenkirk commented on the risks associated with spinoffs and why he thinks Better Call Saul succeeded when so many in the past have failed. “Whenever you do something that’s built out of something people love a lot, you risk being resented for using that love in a way that’s cheap. But I think people gave us a chance and I’m thankful for that, and very quickly realized that these two guys [Vince and Peter] were not going to use their love for breaking bad in a cheap way. They were willing to earn your respect and appreciation for this different project. People got that pretty quickly.”

Gould gave his thoughts on the character of Saul and why he resonates so much with audiences, “It’s not that Saul is based on someone I know, [but rather someone] I wish I knew. I wish that I could always come up with the right thing to say in every situation. I wish that I could always find the shortcut. This character is an experiment in trying to figure out what would it feel like to have this ability to sweet talk anybody.”

We also took the opportunity to ask Gilligan if he had a chance to watch the X-Files reboot this year. Gilligan replied, “I enjoyed it very much. I was fortunate to get invited to the premiere. I wish I could have been a part of it. Chris Carter very nicely offered me the possibility of working on it. I was so crushed that I didn’t have time because I was busy doing Better Call Saul.”

Paleyfest LA is a must-attend pop cultural event produced by The Paley Center for Media that brings you together with the talent behind your favorite TV shows. Enjoy a screening of an episode or highlights of the featured program, followed by a panel discussion with your favorite stars live onstage, capped off by a Q & A with the audience.


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