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Bob Odenkirk On Getting Intense In Nobody, Being A Badass, And Loving Taylor Swift

by : Cameron Frew on : 08 Jun 2021 20:25
Universal Pictures

Bob Odenkirk is best known as Breaking Bad‘s friendly neighbourhood conman. Now, he’s a Nobody with an axe to grind. 

In 2014, the Keanussaince began with John Wick. Lean, mean, brutal, with a mission we could all get behind: avenging a dead dog. However, while Reeves’ action chops were known, who would have ever seen Saul as a bona fide badass? Derek Kolstad did, and you’re going to lose your mind.

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‘It’s an intense movie, we had a lot of fun making it. Everyone making it gave it all they had. These guys love action. I put myself in their hands. I was just in with a bunch of pros – first I trained, so I wouldn’t get hurt. And we did it. It’s a real throwback to those ’70s action movies that are gritty and dark,’ the Emmy-winning star told UNILAD.

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Ahead of Nobody‘s release, we put Odenkirk through The Ten, where he told us all about Abraham Lincoln, Taylor Swift, loving Ireland, and Bruce Springsteen. Born to run? No, he’s born to fight.

1. You’ve got a time machine, where’s the first place you’re going?

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Bob: Gettysburg for the Gettysburg Address. I’m a big fan of Abraham Lincoln. I’m from Illinois and I just like Abraham Lincoln a lot [laughs]. Front row seat I hope, amidst all the dead, rotting bodies.

2. What’s the most famous-person thing you’ve ever done?

Bruce Springsteen when he reunited the E Street Band after like 10 years. They did a live show at a bar in Manhattan, it was about 250 people. I got to meet him backstage as well. Bruce had to use a binder with lyrics of his songs, he had forgotten some of the lyrics. They were doing a video for their ‘best of’ album. Jonathan Demme directed it, he played for like an hour-and-a-half.

Bob Odenkirk in Nobody. (Universal Pictures)Universal Pictures
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3. If you weren’t an actor, what do you think you’d be doing with your life?

I’d definitely be writing, that’s what I did for most of my career. Or I’d be hiking, don’t know if you get paid to hike [laughs].

Do you have a favourite spot you like to hike?

We hike in British Columbia in Canada, in the mountains there. It’s beautiful.

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What sort of writing would you be interested in? 

I don’t have an idea for a novel, I’ve written mostly comedy. I’ve got a memoir coming out in a year-and-a-half. I just wrote with my daughter a bunch of rhymes that I wrote for the kids when they were little – now we rewrote them and she did illustrations for them.

Bob Odenkirk in Better Call Saul. (Sony Pictures Television)Sony Pictures Television

4. You have one wish and it has to be selfish, what do you wish for? No world peace. 

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One wish and it has to be selfish?

No world peace, no curing cancer. 

I can’t cure any diseases… [laughs] I can’t help anyone. Okay… for me, I would go spend a year in Ireland. It’s my favourite country, but I rarely get to go there. I haven’t been there in years, but I used to go a lot when I lived in New York and wrote for Saturday Night Live. I would go to Ireland on most breaks, I would just fly there instead of LA – it’s the same distance, only nicer.

What is it you like about Ireland?

I just like the vibe of the country. It’s where half of my family is from, and I just love it. For a while, I thought about moving there and just making a go of it. I think it would have been very hard for me, but I just love hanging out there.

Bob Odenkirk in Better Call Saul. (Sony Pictures Television)Sony Pictures Television

5. Whose career are you secretly jealous of?

Not too many people… it would have to be the Coen Brothers. They seem to have a great time together and make a lot of great projects. I think that’s a thing to envy; when you have a partnership that lasts a long time. I did a TV show with a friend of mine David Cross, he’s still a good friend, but we haven’t been making stuff together.

Okay, so if you could star in one of the Coen Brothers’ movies, which would it be?

I wouldn’t wanna ruin The Big Lebowski, because Jeff Bridges does it so well. Gee… I don’t want to claim any parts, but I love True Grit. Maybe Matt Damon would move over and let me take the reigns.

Bob Odenkirk in Nobody. (Universal Pictures)Universal Pictures

6. What is your strongest held opinion? What is a hill you’re willing to die on?

It’s a thinker. My strongest held opinion is… moderation in all things. Like literally everything you believe and want and do, just kinda… don’t get too intense. The only place to get intense [is] on-screen, like we did in Nobody. The screen is fantasy, and that’s a place where you can take things past the limit, and that’s what we did in this movie. But I think in real life, I feel strongly a good guide is to just tone it down a little. Whatever you’re deeply into, watch out for it. Back it up a little bit.

7. What’s something you’ve never admitted publicly but you’ll tell me now?

I like… music that’s written for 14-year-old girls. Taylor Swift, a group from Chicago called Beach Bunny. I love their music. There’s no question it’s made for teenage girls [laughs] – the lyrics, the feelings of yearning, hurt and pain. My daughter called me out on it. That’s not entirely true, my favourite band is The Replacements, but there’s a lot of teenage angst in that too. I think I just really relate to that teenage point-of-view on things. My favourite TV show is PEN-15, which is also like… for girls. I mean, it’s not… but it’s so good.

8. You’re stuck living the same day over and over, what day would it be and why?

Probably the day I got married to my wife Naomi, 23 years ago. It was a great day, simply a great day. All my friends were there, we had a great time. It was a beautiful moment, I’m very lucky.

Bob Odenkirk in Nobody. (Universal Pictures)Universal Pictures

9. Have you ever been left convinced – or at least persuaded – by a fake news story about yourself?

No. I’m pretty sceptical and careful when it comes to news. It doesn’t mean I don’t trust things, I just try to give it time. I also realise that whenever you or some version of you appears in a public format, it’s not really you. It’s like somebody else’s point of view, so you shouldn’t take it too personally.

10. If you had to remove one colour from the world forever, which would it be and why?

I’m pretty colour blind, so my wife would argue that a lot of colours are missing in my world anyways. I would get rid of a… kind of gross pink. Like a dark pink. I dunno, it’s ugly I think. There’s no value.

Nobody is out in UK cinemas from Wednesday, June 9.

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected].

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Cameron Frew

After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BJTC-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He's now left his Scottish homelands and taken up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.

Topics: Featured, Bob Odenkirk, Film and TV, The Ten