Fans were shocked when Bob Odenkirk collapsed on the set of “Better Call Saul” in July 2021, subsequently revealing he suffered a heart attack.
In a new interview with the New York Times, the 59-year-old actor revealed the situation was far more dire than many realized — he didn’t have a pulse when he collapsed.
“We were shooting a scene, we’d been shooting all day, and luckily I didn’t go back to my trailer,” he said, recalling that he was taking a break with co-stars Patrick Fabian and Rhea Seehorn.
“I went to play the Cubs game and ride my workout bike, and I just went down,” Odenkirk said. “Rhea said I started turning bluish-gray right away.”
When the production’s medics arrived at the scene, the show’s health safety supervisor Rosa Estrada and assistant director Angie Meyer performed CPR before attaching him to a defibrillator to restart his heart.
However, the first two attempts to get his heart beating failed.
“The third time, it got me that rhythm back,” Odenkirk said.
According to Odenkirk, he has no memory of what happened, and has relied on colleagues and co-stars to help him fill in the blanks.
“That’s its own weirdness,” Seehorn told the Times. “You didn’t have a near-death experience — you’re told you had one.”
Odenkirk also explained that back in 2018 he’d been diagnosed with plaque buildup in his heart, but decided to hold off on treatment and felt totally fine until “one of those pieces of plaque broke up” and caused his heart attack.
Doctors “blew up the little balloons and knocked out that plaque and left stents in two places,” he explained.