Although Chuck McGill is a brilliant attorney whose legal skills are legendary in the Albuquerque legal community, he suffers from a psychosomatic illness that leads him to believe he is sensitive to electricity. Although Jimmy cares for Chuck, the older McGill is deeply resentful of his scheming younger brother and quickly becomes the main antagonist in the first few seasons of the show.
McKean’s performance on Better Call Saul was raunchy, and Chuck’s intentions are always surrounded by insecurity and self-righteousness. It’s the kind of nuanced role that would normally require close collaboration between an actor and the writers to portray it correctly. However, McKean said that after being allowed to lead the character in his own direction for the first few seasons, he only came to the writers with small suggestions.
Additionally, as McKean told The Hollywood Reporter, the series’ writing style was so succinct and well-structured that it never needed much clarification. “The only questions I had were, ‘Those two sets, guys? “It could be a sentence,” he said. “It really is. It’s so detailed because they’re very, very clear. It’s not like we’re sitting around having cop meetings and we’re like, ‘Hey, where is Chuck going this year?’ It’s like, ‘Tell me me, guys.” I’m the hitman. As long as you don’t bully me, I won’t bully you either.'”
McKean did not stay with Better Call Saul for its entire run, as his character met a tragic fate at the end of Season 3. The absence of his gravity-laden performance was deeply felt. Although characters like Gustavo Fring (Giancarlo Esposito) spice up season four, it took some time to escape the pull of the chuck-shaped hole at the center of the series.
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