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How Rhea Seehorn's odd jobs and journeyman career paved the way for her becoming Better Call Saul's MVP

  • Better Call Saul writers didn't originally have a big vision for Seehorn's Kim Wexler role. But what Seehorn brought to the character convinced the writers to slow down Jimmy McGill's transformation into Saul Goodman. In fact, the change in plans was reminiscent of Breaking Bad abandoning killing off Aaron Paul's Jesse Pinkman because of what the actor brought to the role. “Thank God, we got as lucky with Rhea as we did with Aaron Paul,” says Vince Gilligan, who created Breaking Bad and co-created Better Call Saul. “But this is different, because Jesse, God bless him, he and Walt were not really equals in their character dynamic. But these two characters are definitely equals, and most of the time, Kim is Jimmy’s better — certainly his better angel.” For Seehorn, her breakout role was a long time coming. A decade into her acting career, in 2003, she was cleaning toilets while working as a receptionist at a Brooklyn construction site when she landed a role on I'm with Her, a short-lived ABC sitcom inspired by Brooke Shields' relationship with her sitcom writer husband Chris Henchy. Seehorn worked steadily ever since, including playing Whitney Cummings' friend in the 2011-2013 NBC sitcom Whitney. "Seehorn’s work ethic is the reason Kim Wexler has evolved from a person for whom the show’s creators had no concrete plan, beyond giving Jimmy (Bob Odenkirk) a confidante, into the heart of the series, and the reason they drastically changed their original intentions about when and how Jimmy would become Saul Goodman," says Alan Sepinwall. "Kim has gone from afterthought to one of the most beloved characters on either Better Call Saul or Breaking Bad." As Better Call Saul co-creator Peter Gould put it: "She just brings so much depth, and there’s so much thought and so much intelligence to every moment that she plays. She’s able to play all the ideas between the words and make them ring and sing. She’s just fascinating to watch. You want to know what’s going on between those ears.” For her part, Seehorn has had to contend from the beginning with whether her character lives or dies. “I’m sad. I can’t think that I’m not sad about it," she says of her final episode. "It’s the best part I’ve ever played, and I will miss that experience, and I will miss all the people on it. But I’ve made my peace as far as however I’m going out — it’s going to be the smartest way she could have possibly gone out. I trust them with her.”


    TOPICS: Rhea Seehorn, AMC, Better Call Saul, Breaking Bad, Bob Odenkirk, Peter Gould, Vince Gilligan