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‘Better Call Saul’ Star Rhea Seehorn on Why She’s Not Completely Saying Goodbye to Kim Wexler

Whenever she finds herself in a room surrounded by TV’s biggest stars, Rhea Seehorn is always looking for Bob Odenkirk. “He’s my partner in crime,” the Better Call Saul star says of her co-star. This awards season will likely be no different, as Seehorn, Odenkirk and the AMC series are all nominated once again for Emmy Awards.

For the second year in a row, Seehorn scored a nom for her performance as Kim Wexler, a role she’s played over six seasons and seven years. But this time marks Seehorn’s last outing as the character, as the series closed with its final season in August 2022.

Coming off last year’s nomination, Seehorn isn’t any less excited for the mayhem to come — eventually, as the ceremony itself has been pushed to Jan. 15, 2024: “I am an eternally not-jaded person,” she says, adding that she intends to deploy “a little smidge of sarcasm and snark to make sure you don’t get too full of yourself,” should the inconceivable happen.

Seehorn spoke with THR on the morning of her nomination about the emotional moments of Better Call Saul‘s final season, her favorite shows on TV right now and the SAG-AFTRA strike, which began two days after this interview.

This is your second consecutive nomination — how does it feel?

I’m thrilled, it’s very exciting. I’m so happy that the show is nominated. I was so proud of how Peter [Gould, showrunner] handled those final six episodes and everybody’s writing and direction on them. As a fan of the show, in addition to being in it, I thought it was so respectful of the fans, the characters and the story. So for us to be invited to the prom one more time — plus, it’s a chance to see each other because everybody’s sort of spread out and doing their own thing. We’re quite a tight-knit group. It’s a wonderful thing to have another chance at this.

Definitely. And does this season feel different from the last at all?

It began to sink in that we’re doing the finale finale — not a season finale but a series finale. Although I agree with Bob; he has said that it kind of wasn’t until it aired, and then you really started to realize, “Oh, we’re not going back.” Because normally, we wait for a long time and it airs and then we’ll go back [into production]. But in the beginning, there was an awareness that these are their final stories that we’re telling — at least for now. Luckily, it felt appropriate. It felt very real for the characters and it felt very satisfying after having worked on them for so long, to do these things together in the end.

What were the most challenging aspects of playing Kim this time around?

Emotionally playing those final scenes — the prison scene, walking through the prison yard, and the final smoking scene — those were hard. Even navigating what Kim is feeling was very hard, but technically “Waterworks” [episode 12], the Florida episode in black-and-white when Kim is an entirely different person who gets a phone call from Jimmy, was very, very challenging. And I like to say blissfully challenging because I know many actors feel the same as me — it’s a gift to go, “Holy shit, I don’t know if I can pull that off,” and then have wonderful people say, “Well, go try.” That was a really interesting thing to navigate with Peter. Who is Kim in that moment? And doing so many scenes without any of my familiar scene partners, I felt like a fish out of water in the right way.

Rhea Seehorn as Kim Wexler, with fellow Emmy nominee Bob Odenkirk as Saul Goodman, on AMC’s Better Call Saul.

Rhea Seehorn as Kim Wexler, with fellow Emmy nominee Bob Odenkirk as Saul Goodman, on AMC’s Better Call Saul. Greg Lewis/AMC/Sony Pictures Television

This could be the last time you play this role. What will you take away from this experience with her?

I don’t think that I will ever forget her. I hope one day there’s an occasion to revisit these characters. Getting to play one character over the course of seven years, and the massive allowance of evolving and subtext and growth that they allowed us to play — she feels very three-dimensional as a human to me. There are parts of her that, as an actor and as a human, I am still trying to learn from, but I’m not fully successful. I don’t have a poker face like she does. I would like to not nervously fill silences. It was very meaningful to me to meet fans that Kim meant so much to and for me to realize [the viewers] are often her greatest confidants in scenes, because she doesn’t let other people in the room know what she’s thinking.

Besides Better Call Saul, are there any shows that you binged this summer?

I watched so much TV. Whenever I run into people that are like, “I don’t really watch TV,” I’m like, “It’s fine, I got you covered.” My fiancé [Graham Larson, a real estate agent] and I love Beef and The Bear and Fleishman Is in Trouble and Love & Death. Of course, The White Lotus. I’m behind [on Succession], but I do know it’s brilliant. All those actors are brilliant. What else were we just watching? I’m rewatching PEN15, which I think is going to be an annual habit for the rest of my life because I’m obsessed with it. Happy Valley’s final season that I’ve waited for forever was really exciting to watch. I love Bad Sisters.

We’re talking hours before a possible SAG-AFTRA strike begins. As a member of the guild, why is striking important to you?

It pains me that so many people, even the people that I run into in the general public, are like, “Is this about writers and actors getting a million dollars, and now they want $2 million an episode?” We’re not all in Friends from 20 years ago. That’s not what we’re talking about, and it’s not about being greedy. It’s just about the platforms and the way things are streamed, and the way things earn money has changed. Nobody would argue [against] that. Everybody who’s involved with making these things needs to be involved with sharing in the success of them. Whatever that looks like. And that model is not — as far as I’m being told, and I’m not the most educated person on this — the old model does not reflect where we are now. And it’s not just residuals. It’s the AI thing. It’s good to have stuff in place that is protecting everybody. And we have to create some kind of system where [TV writing can] be a profession, not a hobby on top of your three other jobs. I don’t think we want a world where our authors can’t make a living. We have to figure that out. I’m not smart enough to know the how, but I’m smart enough to know that it needs to be addressed.

Interview edited for length and clarity.

This story first appeared in the Aug. 16 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.



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