'Better Call Saul': Rhea Seehorn Based Kim/Mike Meeting on 'Heat,' but Not De Niro/Pacino Scene
Better Call Saul Season 6’s fourth episode, “Hit and Run,” featured the long-awaited meeting between Kim (Rhea Seehorn) and Mike (Jonathan Banks). Seehorn got to direct the episode that featured the landmark encounter. She had another landmark reference for the scene, the Robert De Niro/Al Pacino classic Heat.
[Warning: This article contains spoilers for the Better Call Saul Season 6 episode “Hit and Run.”]
Seehorn was a guest on the Better Call Saul Insider podcast that dropped May 3, the day after “Hit and Run” aired. She explained the Heat reference, and it’s not the classic De Niro/Pacino confrontation at Kate Mantilini you’re thinking of.
‘Better Call Saul’ Season 6 does ‘Heat’ when Kim and Mike meet
Mike asks Kim to sit next to him at the counter of a diner. He explains that the men she caught following her work for him. He worries Lalo Salamanca (Tony Dalton) will come after her. If he doesn’t, she has nothing to worry about. But, if he does, his men will be there.
“I wanted to mimic a favorite scene of mine from Heat with De Niro and Amy Brenneman where they both are on guard and then they let each other in with some information,” Seehorn said on Better Call Saul Insider. “So that’s why I asked to do it at the booth.”
Rhea Seehorn is the Robert De Niro of ‘Better Call Saul’
In Heat, bank robert Neil McCauley (De Niro) is sitting alone at a counter. Eady (Brenneman) makes polite conversation. Initially, McCauley snaps at her and keeps to himself, but eventually he warms up and they have a relationship during the movie.
“To be clear, in my mimicry, I’m De Niro and Jonathan is Amy in this scene,” Seehorn said.
Rhea Seehorn made other big changes to the scene between Kim and Mike
During the podcast, Better Call Saul co-creator Vince Gilligan revealed that the Kim/Mike scene originally took place outside in the script. Seehorn explained why she moved it inside.
“There was a couple of things,” Seehorn said. “It was going to be as though he’s waiting for a bus and there were logistical issues with using anything existing that looked like a bus stop or putting anything in because the exterior of that diner had already been seen. So we had some stuff there and then we were going to move it to a bench right in front of a diner.”
There were technical issues with staging the scene outside. So, Seehorn got her Heat diner scene in Better Call Saul.
“It was going to have extremely flat harsh sunlight for the majority,” Seehorn said. “Then if you’d either have to mimic that if you had to keep shooting after the sun moved or be stuck with what was really unflattering and very unmoody lighting. We talked through it with Paul and everybody and also we would have had our backs literally against the wall and it would’ve limited that coverage.”
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