The hit television show “Better Call Saul” is the riveting character study of man as his experiences transform him for the worse. The star, Bob Odenkirk, has enjoyed a career of many highs including the critical sensation Mr. Show to the action blockbuster Nobody. But his own transformation in perspective – for the better – occurred only recently, when a major heart attack in the summer of 2021 on set while shooting the series’ final season caused him to reassess many of his priorities.
In his 2022 memoir “Comedy, Comedy, Comedy, Drama,” Odenkirk pondered how he had failed to take stock and enjoy the high points throughout his career. “I wasn’t pausing to celebrate much. I was very much driven to get to the next place.”
Part of that drive caused him to delay taking actions to protect his health. He’d known since 2018 that he had a buildup of plaque in his heart. After going for tests, one doctor thought he should start medication right away, and one thought he could wait; Odenkirk listened to the second one. His heart attack was the result of one of those pieces of plaque breaking up.
Bob Odenkirk and His Lifestyle and Perspective Change
Now? He emphasizes the importance of a healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise. “One of the things that saved me was I learned how to work out,” he told Howard Stern. “[Exercise] helps enlarge some of the other veins around your heart. And I had done that, and as a result, I was told that more blood was able to go to my heart during CPR because these veins were just a little bit bigger from a lot of working out.” He added, “I recovered much faster than I think a normal person who wasn’t exercising so much would, because my body was already in good shape.”
As well as physical fitness, the health scare “definitely helped” give Odenkirk reason to reflect on his career, his audience, and his family. “It’s especially pertinent in the modern world we live in where the idea of being constantly driven is sort of just an accepted game plan for every day of your life. The people we celebrate are people who wake up at 4 a.m. and work out for an hour and eat kale and do yoga and then try to own the world,” he says. “That’s super cool in some ways, and in some ways, it’s kind of gross and sick and misses the point.”
“I want to be a better person. I think we go into the business, and we have certain mountains we want to climb. I got to climb a lot of those mountains. I think there comes a point we have to start appreciating only and start being present. I think my focus should be on that as soon as it can be, which is now.”
Taking care of your health – and maintaining a perspective of gratitude and compassion – are important. So is being prepared in case you have your own health scare. A Cancer/Heart/Stroke policy from ASBA is important. This plan will pay cash directly to you upon the first diagnosis paid at one time in one lump sum and is yours to be used however you like.