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Bob Odenkirk says he rejected advice from conservative doctor before his heart attack

Bob Odenkirk says he rejected advice from conservative doctor before his heart attack

Bob Odenkirk had a heart attack in 2021 — and now, the actor has revealed that a personal disagreement with his doctor influenced him to reject sound medical advice.

The actor discussed his medical scare on comedian Tig Notaro's podcast Don't Ask Tig. "My doctor was a conservative. He got crankier and crankier the older he got," the Better Call Saul star said. "When I was 50, I went in, he was a heart doctor, Cedar-Sinai, and he had signs up all around his office at this point [saying] 'We do not accept Obamacare,' and I hated this side of him that I only learned over time."

Odenkirk continued, "I'd been with him for 20 years, and he said, 'You need to start taking statins right now.' And I said, 'Well, I don't know. I don't have heart disease in my family.' He goes, 'Just take 'em.'"

The actor opted to get a second opinion from another doctor, who told him that heart medication wasn't necessary yet. "And I had a heart attack. And I think the first doctor was right," the actor said. "The cranky conservative jackass was right, because he was a goddamn good doctor. His political point of view doesn't have anything to do with his ability to judge your health and your health choices and needs."

Bob Odenkirk attends the Los Angeles premiere of AMC Network's "Lucky Hank" at The London West Hollywood at Beverly Hills on March 15, 2023 in West Hollywood, California.
Bob Odenkirk attends the Los Angeles premiere of AMC Network's "Lucky Hank" at The London West Hollywood at Beverly Hills on March 15, 2023 in West Hollywood, California.

Monica Schipper/Getty Images Bob Odenkirk

Odenkirk was rushed to the hospital after collapsing on the set of Better Call Saul in July 2021. He recovered quickly and resumed filming in September. "I'll just say for the hundredth time — but I'll say it 500 more times in my life — it's so nice that everyone cares so much," he later told EW. "I thank people for caring about it and if any good can come of it, it can be other 50-plus-year-old people getting in to see their doctor and maybe getting a double check on their heart."

On the podcast, the actor urged listeners to separate people's professional skills from their personal beliefs. He also explained that just as a doctor with questionable politics could save your life, a flawed artist might make magnificent art. "If somebody makes a great movie and then they have a really horrible personal behavioral choice that we all learn about, the movie can still be a great movie," Odenkirk said.

Listen to the full episode of Don't Ask Tig below.

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