PaleyFest LA is one of the country’s premier television festivals. Each exciting event begins with a screening of a premiere episode or never-before-seen footage, followed by a discussion with the cast and crew, and an audience Q&A.
I stumbled across this event and saw that Better Call Saul was kicking off their season finale at the event. Scheduled to appear was Bob Odenkirk (Saul Goodman), Rhea Seehorn (Kim Wexler), Jonathan Banks (Mike Ehrmantrout), Patrick Fabian (Howard Hamlin), Michael Mando (Nacho Varga), Giancarlo Esposito (Gus Fring), Tony Dalton (Lalo Salamanca), Vince Gilligan (creator, head writer, executive producer), and Peter Gould (writer, executive producer).
The event was held at the Dolby Theater (off Hollywood /Highland) where the Oscars are held — yes where Will Smith slapped Chris Rock on stage. I was extremely fortunate to have scored 3rd row seats and had an excellent view of the stage.
We started the event with a sneak peek of the episode one of the upcoming season 6. No video was allowed until the Q&A session, which only still photography was permitted. Variety’s Michael Schneider moderated the panel.
As the cast was called out one by one, I noticed Vince Gilligan did not make an appearance. It was still a great session, and some of the writers from the show were seated behind me.
The cast discussed topics ranging from Bob’s heart attack scare on set, to the evolution of the characters, to potential surprises for the final season.
They ended the event with 3 questions from the fans, where the first one was extremely awkward for both panel and fans… some guy was trying to sell his script to the cast. He didn’t get the hint that it wasn’t just inappropriate, but it also let out a lot of the steam that made the night enjoyable.
In the past, fans were allowed to crowd the stage after the event to get an autograph from a cast member. Due to the pandemic, they were not signing, but actors Michael Mando and Rhea Seehorn did stop to take a video selfie with the fans. I caught myself at the tail end of the video, on the right side.