Rhea Seehorn, who plays Kim Wexler on AMC’s Better Call Saul, talks about Kim’s solo venture and making deals over Pryce’s pie.
Q: Taking the leap of going into business as a solo practitioner is pretty courageous. Did you ever think Kim had that inside her?
A: I was surprised and delighted by that. I think she has the ambition and the work ethic. Kim is definitely a person that you want on your team. I didn’t foresee how smartly [the writers] wrote how this would happen because I thought she was indebted to HHM for financial reasons, if not moral reasons, since they put her through school. I remember shooting Episode 5 and thinking, “Kim would not like being a pawn.” Jimmy warned her and she didn’t believe it because she thinks he views everything as a personal vendetta. [Laughs] Kim lives by being rewarded for hard work, and it’s just not turning out that way.
Q: Kim is on board for Wexler and McGill, but not Wexler-McGill. Why is it so important to her that she be seen as an independent lawyer, unconnected to Jimmy?
A: She has to protect herself and she has a great amount of integrity. Granted, she’s being challenged — her line in the sand and decisions about things are morphing at times during the season because she’s had to grapple with how she’s looking at things. However, she does know that Jimmy operates in a certain way and we see it in the agreement that they make while eating Pryce’s pie. [Laughs] Jimmy is going to behave how he’s going to behave. I think she still trusts him. That’s why they still have this incredible relationship, but she also needs to give him the space to be who he is. She knows she’d be doing a disservice to him and herself if she put him in a box that he can only fail in.
Q: We’ve seen Kim inspire Jimmy to “do the right thing.” What does Jimmy bring out in Kim?
A: I think it relieves Kim to take her mask off as well. Jimmy’s one of the only people that she’s totally herself in front of. He is as much her confidante as she is his. He asks her to challenge herself outside of these mantras that she clings to, like “Keep your head down, do the right thing and you’ll be successful.” He’s asking her if she ever bothered to equate “successful” with “happy.” He aids her growth, but are there challenges? Yeah! [Laughs]
Q: What do you think attracts Kim to scamming? Where is her moral line?
A: I don’t know yet, and I’m excited about that. It didn’t seem like total foreign territory to her – she’s actually good at it and seems to enjoy it – but I don’t know. As the season goes along, we see her dip into wanting to play the sap. I know people are worried about Jimmy’s influences on Kim, but I’m excited for what it shakes loose in her. There are things Kim will do in the name of what she wants. She has a moral compass. She’s trying hard to do the right thing, but she’s also trying to make doing the right thing be the right thing to do.
Q: Were you surprised that Chuck helps Kim after she’s demoted?
A: It wasn’t surprising to me that he helped, but she doesn’t know his motives. She asks Chuck straight out, “Do I have a future?” He chooses to tell her a story and throw his brother under the bus, which has a lot of implications. He doesn’t address what she’s asking. Even when he does help, I think Kim is at a point where she begins to feel like nothing is for free — except for Jimmy, who seems to be there for her. She’s starting to be certain that everyone has an agenda. So, she’s relieved for about a millisecond before she’s trying to figure out why.
Q: What are your thoughts on Kim and Jimmy’s romantic dynamic in Season 1 versus Season 2?
A: I think the illustration of [their dynamic] has changed. In Season 1 when Hamlin is furious about Jimmy’s billboard, Kim straight up lies and acts like she doesn’t even hang out with Jimmy. I thought, “Wow! She will really change her tune.” In Season 2, we see that even on the ugliest of firing lines, after the Davis & Main commercial, she refuses to throw Jimmy under the bus. When Chuck tells her about what Jimmy does to their father — at least his point of view — she still won’t participate in throwing Jimmy under the bus. There’s a loyalty there. I never felt like that was their first kiss by the pool. I don’t know the backstory for a fact, but my feeling at the time was that this was old behavior being revisited in a new way. I’ve always felt that their level of intimacy, even when it wasn’t sexual, had an odd closeness. It doesn’t feel different, but it’s being explored in a new and exciting way this season.
Q: With “Giselle” making another appearance in Episode 6, have you thought about any alter egos of your own?
A: [Laughs] No, but I need to make up some. I am 200% more comfortable playing a character than I am playing myself. That is most visible during the few times in my life that I had to do public speaking. I think I should develop some persona to handle different parts of my life.
Q: What are you actually writing on your legal pad when Kim is taking notes in her meetings?
A: I’m actually taking legal notes! I’m that nerd. I don’t have a law degree, so it’s like dictation. Whoever is talking, I’m writing what they’re saying. Sometimes, my cast mates will write funny things like, “Damn, Susan! Where’s my turkey wrap?”
Q: Kim gifts Jimmy with a “World’s 2nd Best Lawyer” mug. Where did the mug actually come from?
A: Props brought that in. I laughed when I read in the script that Kim writes “2nd” in marker. It’s so sweet, funny and character-specific. Somebody tweeted me about getting one in the mail, so you must be able to purchase them. My friends and family ask for that mug and Jimmy’s American Samoa Law School sweatshirt.
Q: We’ve asked your colleagues, and now it’s your turn: Who would you rather have defending you in a court of law, Jimmy or Saul? What if we threw Kim into the mix?
A: Between Jimmy and Saul, it’d depend on what kind of trouble I’m in. If you’re ever in a situation where you need Saul, you’re pretty much only going to be able to use Saul. With Kim, I think you’d want them as a team. One person is that “color outside of the lines” maverick and then the other person makes sure all the “I”s are dotted and “T”s are crossed. You’d definitely have two people who wouldn’t rest until you won.
Read an interview with Daniel and Luis Moncada, who play The Cousins.
Better Call Saul airs Mondays at 10/9c on AMC. Receive show exclusives by signing up for the Insiders Club.Read More