Bob Odenkirk Confirms What We Suspected About His Scary On-Set Heart Incident

"Better Call Saul" star Bob Odenkirk endured a frightening incident on the set in July 2021, and he's opened up about the experience in an interview with Willie Geist for "Sunday TODAY." What Odenkirk revealed closely aligned with what many of his fans presumed about the experience. Odenkirk collapsed while filming "Better Call Saul" in New Mexico, and he was quickly transported to a local hospital. As news spread about the collapse and hospitalization, Odenkirk thanked fans for their support, and explained via Twitter he'd "had a small heart attack." Odenkirk assured fans he would recover and expressed his gratitude to the medical team who helped save his life.

At the time of the incident, Odenkirk was filming the final season of "Better Call Saul," noted Us Weekly. The successful six-season run of the series came after the actor appeared as sketchy attorney Saul Goodman on "Breaking Bad." The spinoff series was set up to be a prequel to "Breaking Bad," highlighting the twists and turns of the character's life prior to his work with Walter White (Bryan Cranston) and Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul). Now, the actor has confirmed what we suspected about his scary experience all along.

Bob Odenkirk's collapse was traumatizing

In an interview for "Sunday TODAY," Bob Odenkirk acknowledged the "heart incident" he experienced on the "Better Call Saul" set had been critically serious. He explained his "widow-maker artery was completely blocked" and he "went down." Luckily, co-stars Patrick Fabian and Rhea Seehorn were on the set when Odenkirk's collapse happened and they jumped into action. Others began CPR, and luckily, one person had a defibrillator in her car that she retrieved. "Took only three tries," the actor quipped, acknowledging it is not supposed to take three tries to bring someone back. "I was not present for any of it," he said, "but I'm told it was a pretty shocking day on set, and traumatizing for all my co-stars and crew members and people I love very much who love me."

"I'd known since 2018 that I had this plaque buildup in my heart," Odenkirk previously told The New York Times. He consulted two Cedars-Sinai heart doctors, who disagreed on a path forward. Odenkirk followed the second doctor's advice, which was to wait and see how it progressed. Nothing more happened until July 2021, when "one of those pieces of plaque broke up" and he collapsed. The "Better Call Saul" actor remembered nothing of those initial hours, noting, "That's its own weirdness." He explained, "You didn't have a near-death experience — you're told you had one." Thankfully, despite this traumatic on-set experience, Odenkirk recovered and was able to wrap up the final episodes of the long-running series.