Rhea Seehorn Was Prepared To Do Many More Takes Of That Really Difficult ‘Better Call Saul’ Scene Than She Had To

Warning: This post contains vague-ish spoilers for the last final episodes of Better Call Saul.

Better Call Saul came to an end on Monday, and even for a Breaking Bad spin-off, it went to some pretty dark places. One of the most gutting scenes happened in the penultimate episode, entitled “Waterworks.” It found Rhea Seehorn’s Kim Wexler having a breakdown on a bus. Crying onscreen ain’t easy, and Seehorn, a professional thespian, knows it. Luckily, they only wound up doing two takes, but Seehorn was ready to do far more.

“I didn’t know we’d only do two takes until I arrived,” Seehorn told Vulture in a kind of exit interview for the show. “I prepared as best I could to have to do many, many, many, many takes. That is not because any of our directors are sadistic, but it’s because the visual vocabulary of the show is many angles on the same thing. So, just technically, that requires you doing it over and over and over and over.”

Still, she was hoping for fewer takes. She was already anxious about having to “go over to a corner and drum up some painful memory of my real life.” But she also knew she “can’t do that for 36 takes.” One way she steeled herself for possibly doing several crying jags was to “think about the different pieces that she’s crying about here, because it is not just about one moment. She’s crying for the entire Shakespearean tragedy of Jimmy McGill and of Kim Wexler and of their relationship and of Chuck and of Howard and of people that try to be a good person and how hard that fight could be in day-to-day real life.”

And so Seehorn decided to think about the many heartbreaking aspects of the show’s storyline:

I just tried to pull all of those things, get on a bus with strangers, which made me feel so alone even though my crew was there, and now try really hard not to cry. Literally that was my plan because if you go in there and say, “I hope I can make myself cry for 30 takes,” you’ll fail. That’s too scary. I literally just put the things physically that we have all felt in extreme shame in our lives or extreme pain in our lives and then try to not let them come all the way out. As soon as you get fissures and it cracks a little bit and you fight to squash it down harder, it’ll come back at you harder. Those are the takes you ended up witnessing and then Vince [Gilligan, the show’s creator and the episode’s writer/director] said, “I think we’re good. We’re just going to do two.” And I was like, “Oh.”

Seehorn says she even offered to do more, but Gilligan told her, “No, we have it exactly. We have it exactly.”

The scene not only shows a side of Kim we’ve never seen before, but also one, Seehorn argues, that she’s never seen of herself. “Someone asked me the other day in an interview, ‘Do you think Kim, over the last five, six years, has been privately crying in a closet like this away from people?’ I said, “No,’” Seehorn explained:

“The decision I made is that this is the first time she’s let any of this out. She would not let herself feel it. One, for fear that the dam would never be able to be closed up again and two, because of the compartmentalizing. You can’t rehearse it in a traditional way, but I did a lot of thinking about it and then gave myself some tactile markers that I knew that I could have as a reminder of my starting point each time when I get on the bus.”

You can watch Seehorn cry her eyes out in the video above. Hope you liked it because you might not be seeing the Breaking Bad-verse any time soon, though Seehorn told Vulture if Gilligan and team ever change their minds, she’s return to the role “in a heartbeat.”

(Via Vulture)