Patrick Fabian interview: ‘Better Call Saul’


“The fate they gave him I thought was actually the best,” states actor Patrick Fabian about how his character ended his run on “Better Call Saul.” For our recent webchat he adds, “I think Howard finally found his voice.” Watch the exclusive video interview above.

The AMC drama series is midway through its final season and tells the story of how Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk) became the criminal lawyer Saul Goodman in the Emmy-winning drama series “Breaking Bad.” Fabian plays Howard Hamlin, a legal partner to Jimmy’s late brother Chuck (Michael McKean).

Fabian explains, “In the beginning, I’m identified as ‘Lord Vader’ by Jimmy. On our very first day of shooting I was nervous, just like you are the first day of school. I’m leaning into the perceived meanness of Howard. (Creator) Vince Gilligan came over and said, ‘we’re not sure which way Howard’s cutting on this. We hired you and we think you’re pretty decent. Think about that.’ I kept that in the forefront of my mind as I played Howard. He was ultimately a decent man. Over the course of five seasons, they’ve provided windows into him. You found out, ‘oh he’s not Lord Vader.’”

During shooting on the final season, Odenkirk suffered a heart attack that shut down production. Fabian describes, “There was the sense of, ‘that’s over, the season’s done and everything else.’ Six weeks after that moment being back on the same set doing the same scene; how do you wrap your brain around that? The thing that we do is make this show. So we took over our assignments and did our thing.”

Throughout the fifth season, Jimmy and his wife Kim (Rhea Seehorn) plan to damage Howard’s reputation to pressure a case settlement. In the mid-season finale, Howard is shot by one of Jimmy’s drug cartel clients. It’s a shocking moment where worlds Jimmy and Kim have been trying to keep separate horrifically collide. About his departure, Fabian reveals, “It feels like the end of high school. It sinks in that this moment in time is slipping through your fingers. The exit they gave me was extraordinary. It allowed Howard a bit of redemption and identify exactly who Jimmy and Kim are through his eyes. It may be a way some of the fans are starting to look at them. There was sadness in that I love Bob and Rhea. However, if you’re going to do your final scenes you want to do with your best friends. It was a real gift, all the way around.”

A lighter moment from their escalating feud is when Howard challenges Jimmy to a boxing match. Fabian says, “Bob Odenkirk and I are standing there in boxing gloves. I looked at him, I’m like, ‘are you kididing me? Did you ever think that this was the point?’ He goes, ‘that’s show business.’”

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UPLOADED Jun 17, 2022 2:36 pm