Bob Odenkirk's 2021 movie Nobody will always be special to him.
As the Better Call Saul star told Howard Stern on Monday's episode of The Howard Stern Show that having done the action thriller played a part in helping him survive his July 27 heart attack on the set of the Breaking Bad spinoff.
"We were talking about Nobody," Odenkirk said, "and one of the things that saved me is that I learned how to work out [in preparation]. And because I was in good shape, you kind of enlarge some of the... other veins around your heart, if you work out a lot. And I had done that and, as a result, I was told that more blood then was able to go to my heart during CPR because these veins were just a little bit bigger from... a lot of working out."
Odenkirk said being fit also helped him to recover faster. He was back on the set six weeks later.
He told Stern that having received help immediately saved his life. Odenkirk explained to The New York Times earlier this month that he and co-star Rhea Seehorn had been hanging out during a break from filming — he was about to watch a Chicago Cubs game and take a ride on his exercise bike — when he collapsed. Seehorn called for help. (He told Stern that another co-star, Patrick Fabian, rushed to his side, too.) Once alerted, the show's health safety supervisor, Rose Estrada, and the assistant director, Angie Meyer, gave Odenkirk about 12 minutes of CPR. Estrada then retrieved a defibrillator from her car. Two attempts to restore Odenkirk's heartbeat didn't work. The third did.
"Which is actually a lot, Howard," Odenkirk said. "I don't know any of this stuff, but I was told later that, when the defibrillator doesn't work once, that's not good. When it doesn't work the second time, that's kind of like... forget it. But then they jacked it up a third time, and it got me back to a rhythm.”
Odenkirk said since the health emergency that he'd been told he had "a plaque buildup" in his heart in 2018. But his doctors didn't agree on the seriousness of the situation, so he hadn't sought treatment yet. The situation became dire when a piece of plaque broke up, and he underwent emergency surgery. They blew up the little balloons and knocked out that plaque and left stents in two places," Odenkirk said in that New York Times interview.
He urged Stern's listeners to take CPR classes.
"Because," he said, "you can save lives with them."