Actor Bob Odenkirk talks ‘Nebraska’

Actor Bob Odenkirk recently spoke with “Breakthrough Entertainment” about his role as Ross Grant in the new dramedy “Nebraska.”

In “Nebraska,” which opens Friday, Nov. 22 exclusively at Harkins Camelview, Will Forte plays a man who grudgingly agrees to drive his tempestuous father (Bruce Dern) to Nebraska to claim a million dollar prize that he is convinced that he has won via a magazine sweepstakes.

Listen to “Breakthrough Entertainment’s” full interview with Odenkirk by clicking HERE. The following is an excerpt from the interview in which the actor discusses the character he plays in “Nebraska” and why the film is being presented in black and white as opposed to color.

You try to bring a dignity to every character you play. You try to see them as a whole person – not just one side of them. So when you have got a character like Ross, who is an egotistical and judgmental guy, you sort of try to see another side of him. Thankfully, Bob Nelson’s screenplay and Alexander Payne’s amazing direction attempts to show all sides of everyone as well.

So when you are being the egotistical newscaster, you try to make him real; make him somebody who, while you can laugh at him and his pretensions, you kind of see yourself in and go, ‘Well I am also trying to be something in this world.’ You have an understanding for him.

I sympathize with Ross and I think that he is not wrong to be angry at his father. But I do think that once you let it out and say how you feel, you have got to move on to another place and try to have some empathy for the people in your family. You have got to forgive your family for being who they are. They are not perfect – and neither are you.

[Alexander Payne] basically said that it was just how he saw it when he read [Bob Nelson’s] screenplay. He just saw it in his head in black and white, which is a good, organic, natural instinct to follow. But I think that it also makes sense because it is a very simple story – cranky dad goes on road trip with generous son and crazy capers happen along the way. It is a very simple story.

And the landscape of Nebraska is kind of simple – farmhouses and barns and lots and lots of empty space with pastureland and silos here and there. You get this beautiful vista that is very simplified by the black and white – just like the story. But it is filled with emotion and feeling and longing and I think it works beautifully. It is a really beautiful film.” – Bob Odenkirk


Joseph J. Airdo

Joseph J. Airdo is a film critic, producer and on-air personality for Breakthrough Entertainment, a talk radio show airing 10-11 a.m. Saturdays on KPHX 1480 AM and that shines a spotlight on the practical perspectives of the topics and themes explored in movies. He has a pet duck named Frozen who is as opinionated about movies as he is. E-mail him at

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