Bob Odenkirk startled fans when he had a “small” heart attack in July 2021 on the set of his AMC series “Better Call Saul.”
Now Odenkirk, 59, has opened up about the harrowing experience — revealing that he shockingly didn’t have a pulse when he initially collapsed between filming.
“We were shooting a scene, we’d been shooting all day, and luckily I didn’t go back to my trailer,” he recently told the New York Times, adding that he was taking a break with costars Patrick Fabian and Rhea Seehorn at the time of the incident — about which he has no memory.
“I went to play the Cubs game and ride my workout bike, and I just went down,” Odenkirk said.
“Rhea said I started turning bluish-gray right away,” he continued.
The production’s medics were alerted, and then the drama show’s health safety supervisor, Rosa Estrada, and assistant director, Angie Meyer, did CPR before attaching him to a defibrillator.
However, the first two attempts at shocking and restarting his heart reportedly failed.
“The third time, it got me that rhythm back,” Odenkirk said.
While Odenkirk has no recall of the incident, his colleagues have since helped him to remember what happened.
“That’s its own weirdness,” Seehorn told the Times about Odenkirk’s foggy recollection. “You didn’t have a near-death experience — you’re told you had one.”
As for the cause of the incident, Odenkirk said he found out in 2018 that he had plaque buildup in his heart but chose to forgo treatment for the time being. The father of two said he was fine until last year — which was when “one of those pieces of plaque broke up.”
The “Nebraska” actor was rushed to Presbyterian Hospital in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where doctors surgically “blew up the little balloons and knocked out that plaque and left stents in two places.” During his recovery, his wife and children stayed with him at the hospital.
Thankfully, Odenkirk was able to commence filming his show again in September 2021.
“Back to work on Better Call Saul! So happy to be here and living this specific life surrounded by such good people,” he tweeted at the time.