Bob Odenkirk is setting a new benchmark for comedians as he shifted his career from sketch comedy to television drama to action-pack thriller film, Nobody. The 58-year-old actor has garnered four Emmy nominations in drama acting for working in Breaking Bad and its spin-off, Better Call Saul (both are available on Netflix).
The film is slated to release on Feb. 19, Odenkirk will portray Hutch Mansell who work towards a revenge mission and eventually put his family into jeopardy. The screenplay is written by Derek Kolstad, who has previously worked on John Wick, and helmed by Ilya Naishuller.
This is the first time Odenkirk played an action lead star, which is what he craved for a long time, as per his multiple previous interviews.
“I get the s— kicked out of me in this movie. I really wanted to go way far outside, like 180 degrees outside my comfort zone. Just commit to this guy, commit to his rage, and commit to his commitment to what he’s doing.” And when this violence addict who swore off the sauce two decades earlier indulges in a wild relapse, Odenkirk’s Hutch reawakens a treacherous enemy (Aleksey Serebryakov) from his days in three-letter agencies doing off-books deeds. “It’s not a clean, vengeful narrative. It’s almost like collateral damage causes him more trouble than his initial problems,” Odenkirk said.
Other cast members include Connie Nielsen, Christopher Lloyd, RZA, Gage Munroe, and Paisley Cadorath. “I think I handled them well, but you can’t help but kind of wish you’d done more,” the actor said about the cast members. “I thought I’d just work with that dark energy to see if there was a story there.”
Odenkirk further explained how he brought the idea and served as a producer. “It started with an advertisement for Better Call Saul in China that my brother-in-law sent me,” he says. “I thought, ‘Wow, they’re watching Saul in China! I wonder if I could do a film that could play around the world.’ Action-genre movies with strong, clear character drives and challenges play around the world. I’m in pretty good shape. I can get in better shape. They know me around the world as a character who’s striving, earnest, failing, getting back up again. It’s essentially an action lead without the fighting.”
It is fascinating that the actor trained with standout stuntman Daniel Bernhardt for two years and learned jujitsu, judo moves, boxing, and karate.
“The fist-bloodying fight sequences were as much fun as being in a comedy room,” he explained. “I mean; I’ve never had that much fun since we wrote Mr. Show. It’s a group effort. Anytime you see a fight sequence in a movie that has a bunch of people, as soon as they yell ‘Cut!’ everyone laughs. There’s all this interaction and group problem-solving that goes on.”
“The hardest thing to do was the lack of irony,” Odenkirk revealed. “Scenes with high-concept feelings, with characters who are enraged or bereft, but there’s no joking in it. You don’t get to puncture the moment with a laugh or a wink; you have to just live in it. I’ve done some of that in Better Call Saul. But this is closer to a ’70s action movie — the lone guy walking the streets.”
For more updates on Nobody and Better Call Saul season 6, keep watching this space.