Breaking a leg's for amateurs: actor cut off his own arm to land more roles

Film, television and theater are brutally competitive businesses. A lot of actors work to shape their bodies, pay to sculpt their faces and train as singers, dancers or martial artists — anything that'll make themselves stand out to casting directors. Some are more dedicated than others.

From Task & Purpose:

Actor Todd Lawson LaTourrette — whose credits include brief roles on TV shows Better Call Saul and Longmire plus a bit part in The Men Who Stare At Goats — publicly outed himself as faking military service to get his big break during an Oct. 29 interview with KOB4 news.

But the story gets more bizarre, because of the lengths he went to do it: LaTourrette said that 17 years ago, he cut off his own arm, cauterized the wound, then made his own prosthetic, all so he could pass himself off as a war-wounded veteran.

In a recent interview, LaTourrette stated that at the time that he decided to do away with his arm, he was being treated for a bipolar disorder and had gone off of his medication. After healing up, LaTourrette crafted a military backstory for himself and started attending casting calls. The film industry took the bait and started handing him film and television roles.

Stealing valor is shitty. Cutting off your limb during a psychotic episode is sad. By talking about both, LaTourrette is trying to own what he's done. That's got to be worth something.

Image by Rasbak - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link Read the rest

Los Pollos Hermanos—Taste the Family!

A perfect teaser for Better Call Saul season 3. The show returns this spring with 10 new episodes, and it looks like Gus Fring, the wonderfully evil meth kingpin in Breaking Bad, will play a role. Read the rest

Teaser trailer for 'Better Call Saul' Season 2 is pretty awesome

Can't wait for Season 2 of AMC TV's 'Better Call Saul,' the offshoot of the Breaking Bad multiverse in which our protagonist is the beloved underdog scumbag lawyer played so perfectly by Bob Odenkirk. This is my absolute favorite show right now. Don't fuck it up this season, guys, Season One was perfect perfect perfect perfect and this S2 trailer is too.

Better Call Saul Season 2 returns Feb. 15 to AMC.

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A con man expert talks about the cons in Better Call Saul

Slippin' Jimmy (aka Saul Goodman) and his buddy Marco pulled a number of classic cons in the first season of Better Call Saul, and Megan Friedman of Esquire asked con expert Alexis Conran to weigh in on their portrayal on the show. He says the show did a great job overall.

The Black Money Scam

Later in the montage, Jimmy and Marco convince a few rubes that they have a bunch of cash dyed black, and the perfect formula to remove the stuff. "I was particularly happy to see it in there, because it is an old classic and it's a wonderful scam," Conran says. If the con is done right, there are a few real $100 bills included, and then boxes and boxes of simple paper covered in black paint. Conran has pulled off the scam several times for TV, and says the trick still continues today.

Related: Read the Boing Boing reviews of Better Call Saul's first season. Read the rest

Better Call Saul: The Rise of Mike The Cleaner and The Fall of the McGill Brothers in "Pimento"

In which we review the penultimate episode of Better Call Saul’s debut season. Spoilers ahead.

Better Call Saul: Jimmy and Chuck unite for seniors' rights in "RICO"

Remember when the idea for Better Call Saul first floated around in television production gossip, and it was conceived as a half-hour comedy? There has been a lot of controversy over the new rules for category eligibility at the Emmys, with Shameless making it into Comedy despite its hour-long runtime and decidedly serious worldview, and Orange Is The New Black finally shifting over to compete in its rightful category as a Drama. I had a screenwriting professor who worked in Los Angeles throughout the 90s and 00s, and was still livid that Ally McBeal got to compete as a comedy when it was an hour-long dramedy that had no business going up against sitcoms.

Those are all semantic arguments about categorizing shows when there’s a lot of mutability. But imagining a world where Better Call Saul isn’t 45 minutes of deliberate, enthralling dramatic irony, holding a hopeful carrot out in front of Jimmy when the audience knows there’s a banana peel waiting to catch his foot, makes me shudder with would’ve been lost.

The cold open to “RICO” is one of my favorites so far this season, because it succinctly encapsulates the futile tragedy of James McGill. Better Call Saul eluded to the fact that Jimmy worked in the HHM mailroom, but here it’s on full display, as he cheerfully delivers mail to everyone around the office, with the added bonus that he knows pretty much everyone’s name. But the reason the show ventures to this moment in McGill history is because it’s the day Jimmy believed his life would change: when he passes the bar and becomes a lawyer in the state of New Mexico. Read the rest

Better Call Saul giveth and taketh away from Jimmy in "Bingo"

In order for Better Call Saul to inch closer to the timeline it’s trying to meet, James McGill’s difficult life has to fester into bitterness. He’ll do anything to escape it.

Better Call Saul reveals the tortured origin of Mike Ehrmantraut

One of Breaking Bad's finest characters gets an episode in the spotlight

The midpoint of Better Call Saul's first season hinges on scenes without Jimmy

The latest episode of the Breaking Bad spinoff, recapped for your further entertainment.

“Better Call Saul” shows Jimmy can wear many masks in "Hero"

Episode four of the Breaking Bad spinoff, recapped.

Better Call Saul explores survival instinct in "Nacho"

Jimmy and Mike find common ground in "Nacho", episode 3 of the Breaking Bad spinoff.

The best moments from the two-night premiere of Better Call Saul

The task set before Better Call Saul is impossibly daunting. Can it join Breaking Bad in the pantheon of great TV?