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How Lucky Hank's Mundane World Attracted Better Call Saul's Bob Odenkirk

Even a cursory glance at Bob Odenkirk's IMDb page will tell you he's been one of the hardest-working actors in Hollywood over the past decade or so. It would also tell you he's appeared in film and television projects that span virtually every genre. 

Still, comedy and drama remain the primary areas of expertise for Odenkirk, with the actor proving time and again he's among the best in the business in both genres. Odenkirk's serio-comedic prowess has been on display during the first season of his new AMC series "Lucky Hank," which finds him playing the title role of a curmudgeonly professor embroiled in a mid-life crisis.

The series began its own AMC run less than a year after the actor said goodbye to his longtime role as the sleazy attorney from "Better Call Saul" and "Breaking Bad," Saul Goodman. As Odenkirk told The Independent, after playing Saul so long, he was looking to change things up dramatically by the series' end. Odenkirk stated that he read "Lucky Hank" before "Better Call Saul" ended and liked how the project was distinctly different from his run as Saul Goodman. "Going from one thing to something really far away from it in spirit – and tonally, this is so different," Odenkirk said.

In fact, one of the biggest differences that attracted Odenkirk to the project was its focus on the more mundane challenges of life. "There's no drugs and no guns; the stakes are really closer to normal life," Odenkirk said.

Odenkirk also says it's nice to play someone capable of connection after Better Call Saul

Given the crime-addled, morally questionable (and often reprehensible) character arc of Saul Goodman during Bob Odenkirk's 10-season "Breaking Bad" and "Better Call Saul" tenure, it's easy enough to understand why the actor might've been looking for a bit of a palette cleanser. While "Lucky Hank" hardly shies away from drama, Odenkirk notes it's a different sort of beast. And the more grounded comedic edge of the series is no doubt a relief from the mostly pitch-black comedy of "BCS."

More important than playing on the lighter side of the dramatic table, Odenkirk admits he's relishing the chance to portray a character who, unlike Saul Goodman, is capable of forming deep human connections. "What was so meaningfully different to me was that Hank loves his wife, and Lily loves Hank," Odenkirk said, adding, "There's something about [Hank] being genuinely connected to the other characters that I can relate to and feel for."

Odenkirk's current small-screen venture has already wrapped its first season, and it remains to be seen if "Lucky Hank" will return for a second. But even if it doesn't, the series has clearly done Odenkirk's mind and soul a world of good.