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The Intense Training Bob Odenkirk Did To Prepare For Nobody

Can't teach an old dog new tricks? Bob Odenkirk would certainly disagree — and might resent you a bit for calling him "old."

The Breaking Bad alum and Better Call Saul favorite takes on a brand-new kind of role in Nobody, the upcoming action thriller from director Ilya Naishuller (of Hardcore Henry fame) and writer Derek Kolstad (whom you likely know as a co-creator and writer of the John Wick film franchise). In the film, Odenkirk plays Hutch Mansell, your typical, well-mannered father and husband who doesn't kick up a fuss when adversities come his way. He's a bit of a pushover and no one expects too much from him. One could easily argue that Hutch Mansell is, well, a nobody. 

That changes after Hutch fails to protect himself and his wife Becca (Connie Nielsen), his son Blake (Gage Munroe), and his daughter Sammy (Paisley Cadorath) during a home invasion. Upset at the fact that his own meekness has directly endangered his loved ones, Hutch begins a transformation into his old self — one with impressive combat skills and shockingly dark secrets. 

The level of action and thrills in Nobody require a lot of its leading man, and in order to get in top fighting form for the film, Odenkirk had to undergo intense training. Universal Pictures, the studio behind the movie, has now released a behind-the-scenes clip that reveals just how much effort Odenkirk put into becoming Nobody's not-so-nobody Hutch Mansell.

Bob Odenkirk dove head-first into his Nobody training

Odenkirk — who also co-produced Nobody alongside John Wick and Deadpool franchise mainstay David Leitch, as well as Kelly McCormick, Braden Aftergood, and Marc Provissiero — was quick to admit that throwing punches, squaring off with hulking bad guys, wielding guns, and generally being immersed in a fictional world of violence was a huge change of pace for him. "I started as a comedy writer in this business, so no exercise at all," he said in the clip. "I knew that this was something that would be really challenging for me personally." According to Leitch, Odenkirk was more than up for that task: "Bob took the challenge wholeheartedly."

And thus began the intensive prep work on Nobody. Odenkirk explained that he was aware that he'd have to bring both his body and his mind to a "whole 'nother level" so that he could perform stunts himself — and without getting hurt. The actor-producer worked with Nobody's fight coordinator and cast trainer Daniel Bernhardt, spending long hours in the gym acquiring and perfecting all sorts of combative techniques. Training began way back in November 2017, and from there, Odenkirk learned how to punch, kick, and throw his opponents, as well as how to brandish various weapons. Bernhardt commended Odenkirk on his dedication and resilience through it all, saying, "He knew that if he wants to play this character, he has to pay the price [...] and he would not quit." 

Odenkirk added with a laugh, "I wanted to commit completely, and go all the way into utterly unapologetic rage."

By all accounts, it sounds like Bob Odenkirk will be the John Wick of 2021. See the results of his hard work when Nobody debuts on Friday, March 26.