‘Better Call Saul’: Bob Odenkirk on-Set Heart Attack Taught Him New Life Saving Skills

Better Call Saul fans and just fans of great human beings around the world had a scare when Bob Odenkirk had a heart attack on the set of Better Call Saul Season 6. Odenkirk recovered from the heart attack and ultimately returned to work to finish the final season. In a recent interview, Odenkirk reflects on the learning experience, which included teaching him the new way to do CPR.

'Better Call Saul' star Bob Odenkirk sits on a chair and speaks into a microphone at SXSW
Bob Odenkirk | Rick Kern/Getty Images for Audible

Odenkirk was a guest on the Sunday Sitdown with Willie Geist podcast on March 13. When Geist asked him about his heart attack, Odenkirk explained how crew members performed CPR in a new way on him. Better Call Saul Season 6 part 1 premieres April 18 on AMC.

CPR kept Bob Odenkirk alive after heart attack on the set of ‘Better Call Saul’

Odenkirk clarified that doctors called his heart attack a “heart incident.” He also shouted out Better Call Saul cast members and crew who saved his life with CPR.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=meb8ksPgJ5M

RELATED: ‘Better Call Saul’ Season 6 ‘Enmeshed’ With ‘Breaking Bad,’ Bob Odenkirk Says

“But I went down and I was very lucky that my costars, Rhea Seehorn and Patrick Fabian, were right nearby,” Odenkirk said on Sunday Sitdown. “And they rushed over to me and they set off the alarm, screaming. Some wonderful people, Angie Meyer and Rosa Estrada who was our health officer on Better Call Saul, who both know CPR really well, started CPR on me.”

CPR changed by the time of Bob Odenkirk’s heart attack

CPR stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation. You see it all the time in movies, not only hospital dramas, when someone flatlines and someone pumps his or her heart and breathes until they wake up. It’s an important first aid skill anyone can learn with a certification course. Odenkirk learned that CPR had evolved when it was performed on him.

RELATED:‘Better Call Saul’ Star Bob Odenkirk Filmed ‘Really Heavy Finale Scenes’ While Training for ‘Nobody,’ Stunt Coordinator Says

“If you haven’t taken a brush up on your CPR class, do it because it’s a little different than it was 15-20 years ago when I first took it,” Odenkirk said. “You don’t have to breathe into the person anymore. Just keep the pounding going because the body naturally sucks in air if you’re doing that right. Among other reasons why you don’t need to do that.”

‘Better Call Saul’ informed him of the efforts made on his behalf

Odenkirk was unconscious for all of this. He’s repeating the stories he was told once he woke up in the hospital. 

“They came out and did CPR properly right away, broke my ribs like you’re supposed to and carried on until the ambulance arrived,” Odenkirk said. “Also Rosa had an AED device which is a defibrillator in her car. She was able to go get it. It took only three tries. It’s not supposed to take three. I was not present for any of it but I’m told it was a pretty shocking day on set and traumatizing for all my costars and crew members and people I love very much who love me and stood by my side and then went to the hospital with me.”

RELATED: ‘Better Call Saul’: Bob Odenkirk Can’t Remember What Happens Each Season