Mark Proksch, who plays Daniel Wormald aka Pryce on AMC’s Better Call Saul, discusses why his character is too arrogant for his own good, the odd kinship between Pryce and Mike, and why he’ll never be able to eat pie again.
Q: Given where things left off with your character, were you expecting to return in Season 3? What was your reaction when you got the call?
A: They really tied up my character pretty well. They didn’t kill him, which is always a good sign that somehow you may come back, but I had no expectations to be back. I was just hopeful that they would figure out a way to get me back in there. I was really surprised, honestly, when they let me know that they wanted me back. It was great to be back. They checked my availability, and of course you clear everything! [Laughs] They play it so close to the chest that I didn’t even get a script until a week before.
Q: Pryce is no longer driving his Hummer. How much has he changed since we last saw him?
A: [Laughs] I think he may have learned his lesson. That type of person is prone to self-sabotage because of their arrogance, assuming that they’re thinking they’re always the smartest person in the room when in fact they’re the most inept person. His life, other than the Hummer, hasn’t changed too much but the arrogance is still there, and I think he can be easily convinced to get back into the drug trade.
Q: He has spent some money on a pretty serious (if ineffective) security system. Is Pryce afraid for his own safety or mostly just worried about his baseball cards?
A: I think it’s about protecting his baseball cards. I really don’t think he grasps the seriousness of the people he’s dealing with and the situation he got himself into. It speaks volumes in his last scene last season when he thought he was owed an apology from Nacho. He really is delusional about his importance on Earth. [Laughs] He thinks of himself as almost untouchable, which is really hilarious.
Q: Pryce doesn’t seem thrilled to see Nacho again. Do you think he regrets ever going down this path in the first place?
A: I don’t think regret is in his vocabulary. I think he thinks what he did would have been perfect if other people hadn’t screwed it up and stolen his baseball cards. Everything was fine until then. I think he looks at it as other people being idiots, not himself. … I think he thought everything was tied up and wrapped up nicely, and now that Nacho comes back. I think he’s starting to grasp that these things aren’t ever going to go away unless he gets out of Dodge. He’s terrified that Nacho’s there, and that’s the first time you really see him terrified. But even in that, he still talks back to Nacho and cracks wise.
Q: Why do you think Pryce goes to Mike for help?
A: Mike is his father figure, as odd as that sounds. Mike is giving him direction in Mike’s own way, and I think he sees Mike as a protector and someone that will fix the situation before it gets out of hand, and he does. They have an interesting relationship. I think Mike looks at Pryce with pity.
Q: Does Pryce wonder what ultimately makes Mike change his mind about helping?
A: He’s ultimately just grateful. As long as it works in his favor, he’s not really thinking much beyond himself. I do think as the character evolves in this episode, it’s certainly a possibility that he wonders what makes Mike tick, but I really think he’s just this arrogant idiot. He’s probably thinking that Mike likes him, and that’s certainly a possibility.
Q: Now that the Season 2 DVD is out with the full Squat Cobbler video, can you tell us a bit more about filming that scene?
A: [Laughs] It was a handful of hours of squatting in pies and pie gets everywhere – in every nook and cranny. Especially the apple pie. It was really well-written by Heather Marion, and she just really went into a strange area and nailed it. Having Bob [Odenkirk] there yelling things was also funny. It’s not an awful feeling, squatting in pies. There’s something oddly pleasurable about it, probably in the same way of when you’re a child and you’re in a diaper. I probably won’t want to do it again, but I have no regrets.
Q: Will you ever be able to enjoy pie again?
A: Honestly, I can only eat my mom’s pie because when I do see other pies, it does remind me of squatting on it. It kind of ruined it. She had to suffer the indignity of having a child squat in pies. But I’m shameless so it’s not a problem for me. [Laughs]
Q: Last time we spoke, you talked about your Zim Zam Yo-Yo Man stunts. Do people still ask you about those?
A: Yeah, all the time! Peter [Gould] and Vince [Gilligan] and Tom Schnauz have always been really great about giving me a shoutout for that type of stuff in interviews they’ve done. I have people bring it up that they heard it on the Better Call Saul podcast or Talking Saul or stuff like that. It’s great that people continue to discover those videos after six or seven years. I really appreciate it.
Q: What is a weirder legacy: Zim Zam or being the guy who sits in pie?
A: Definitely the guy who sits in pies. [Laughs] I mean, that has reached a far greater audience than Zim Zam did. As weird as K-Strass is, he never made an odd, non-nude fetish video involving baked goods. That’ll be my legacy, most likely. If it’s funny, and I look awful doing it, I’ll still do it. I don’t have much vanity.
Better Call Saul airs Mondays at 10/9c. For the latest information and exclusives sign up for the Insiders Club.Read More