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Why We Worry About Better Call Saul’s Kim Wexler

Rhea Seehorn delves into the unraveling of TV’s realest working woman.

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As Emmy nominations approach, Vanity Fair’s HWD team is diving deep into how some of this season’s greatest scenes and characters came together. You can read more of these close looks here.

The Character: Kim Wexler, Better Call Saul

There’s no character on TV I worry about more than Kim Wexler, the grammar-obsessing, silk blouse-wearing, Moscow mule-drinking, NoDoz-carrying, bad boy-loving, fiercely independent, workaholic lady lawyer on Better Call Saul.

Kim Wexler是最令自身擔心的電視人物,她在風騷律師裡扮演一人極度重視文法正確、愛穿絲質襯衫、愛喝vodka加姜和青檸的、喜歡壞男孩的不行獨立的做事狂女律師。

Played with sly restraint by Rhea Seehorn, the AMC drama’s only female lead, Kim is a former mailroom striver linked to Bob Odenkirk’s Jimmy McGill both professionally and romantically. Over the course of the show, she’s been Bonnie to Jimmy’s Clyde in low-stakes barroom cons against the kinds of jerks who deserve it. But Season 3 of the Breaking Bad prequel, which airs its finale June 19, sees Kim’s grip on her ethics getting looser just as her ponytail is getting tighter. When Better Call Saul viewers last saw Kim, she was in terrible shape, having fallen asleep at the wheel on the way to a meeting and nearly dying—her body badly bruised, her legal papers scattered across a desert cliff.

本劇裡独一的女子主角,Kim由Reha Seehorn扮演,從收發室起步,Kim是顶梁柱吉米my職業上、心境上的伴儿。她於吉米my如Bonnie於Clyde,不過他倆的小騙局都以針對那多少个罪有應得的壞蛋。但在第三季裡,作者們看到Kim道德上的標準在變的歪曲,同時她的馬尾確

“This whole season is about consequences,” Seehorn says. “With Kim, you begin to see the fatigue and the control issues take over. Things that were once her best asset—her work ethic and independence—are becoming a problem. It’s an internal unraveling.”

How She Came to Life

When Better Call Saul creators Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould cast Seehorn in 2014, they revealed little about her character’s backstory. “They told us Jimmy and I had known each other for 10 years, that we came up in the mailroom together but the relationship was somewhat undefined,” Seehorn says. “I got that Kim was extremely smart, hard-working, plucky. I took a lot of that into account and started thinking, this is a person who’s prioritizing work, who doesn’t have other outlets. She’s not frivolous. Even in her dialogue, there’s a leanness to the way she speaks.”

Seehorn’s wardrobe on the show has reflected Kim’s practicality and her economic class—after showing promise in the mailroom, Kim had her law schooling paid for by the firm. So unlike Patrick Fabian’s impeccably suited, to-the-manner-born law firm partner Howard Hamlin, Kim hits the sales, surmises Better Call Saul costume designer Jennifer Bryan. “The attorneys I saw were very put-together,” Bryan says. “But that’s because they followed a traditional path. Kim’s was scrappier. She can’t go out and buy Armani suits. However, I had to get across that she has her own power. She might buy the jacket and then buy the skirt. She might go to Marshalls or a sale rack until she found that one business blouse.”

Bryan dresses Kim in Joie silk blouses, Calvin Klein and Hugo Boss separates, and middle-to-better brands like Tahari and Lafayette 148. Kim’s jackets aren’t nipped in at the waist; her jewelry rarely changes. Bryan has given her two handbags and three sets of earrings, including a simple gold triangle she considers Kim’s “bad-girl look . . . it’s a little bit aggressive.”

That emphasis on function over fashion is a rare one in TV, especially for actresses, whose sex appeal is so often prioritized over character-driven considerations. Early on in the series, when Seehorn and Bryan began talking about Kim’s clothes, Seehorn “started tearing up," she says. “These were the working women I grew up with. If you prioritized work that much, you weren’t changing your purse every day. This isn’t a person who would want to be discounted by presenting her sexuality first. She wouldn’t want that to be the first thing people notice when she’s walking in a room. Part of her wants to blend in.”

With a round brush and rollers, plus one synthetic piece, the show’s hairstylists give Kim a tightly coiled ponytail that presents the facade of perfection, of having every piece tucked into place. In a montage sequence this season, economically edited by Skip Macdonald and Kelley Dixon, the audience sees Kim’s morning routine. Rather than go home and take a shower, she’s become such a workaholic that she joined a gym across the street from her office and does her grooming there. “You see this private moment of the game face she puts on,” Seehorn says. “This perfect ponytail and this suit is her armor.”

Kim is not a screamer or a cryer, so the show’s writers have revealed her increasing stress and control issues subtly—as in an episode where she obsesses over whether to use a semicolon, a colon, or a period in a legal document. Despite an increasing workload, she’s reluctant to hire an assistant; “God forbid a detail should slip,” Seehorn says. Because the show is a prequel to Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul fans know what will ultimately happen to many of its characters. Jimmy becomes Saul, the sleazy legal accomplice to Walter White’s drug empire. But Kim, who never appeared in Breaking Bad, has an unwritten ending, which infuses her character with a layer of potential tragedy.

“They’ve left themselves a lot of avenues to explore,” Seehorn says. “Who was Saul when he went home? Did he have any friends? Where’s Kim? I’m excited to see where Kim will be when those years arrive—physically, ethically, morally, spiritually.”


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