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Better Call Saul

Mark Margolis does more with a bell than some actors do with 5000 lines

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Mark Margolis as Hector Salamanca - Better Call Saul _ Season 6 - Photo Credit: Greg Lewis/AMC/Sony Pictures Television
Photo Credit: Greg Lewis/AMC/Sony Pictures Television

Actors take note! Mark Margolis emotes more with a bell, facial expressions, and deep breaths than other actors do with entire, dedicated monologues. Take Hector Salamanca’s phone call with Lalo on Better Call Saul’s Season 6 premiere as the ultimate scene study.

This Better Call Saul Season 6 Episode 1 recap contains spoilers for “Wine and Roses”.

82-year old Mark Margolis has perfected non-verbal communication into an art form on Better Call Saul Season 6’s premiere episode. Proof to all actors out there, you don’t need a buffet of lines to get your character to the finish line or noticed.

Take Hector Salamanca sitting in a wheel chair as he’s alerted his nephew Lalo is calling him, immediatley he tenses up and breaths heavily to indicate the importance of the call. Hector’s eyebrows slowly shift up and eyes show attentiveness the second Lalo says “Tío”. Margolis’ nuanced facial expression shows complete attention as the nurse holds the phone to his ear.

Mark Margolis as Hector Salamanca - Better Call Saul _ Season 6 - Photo Credit: Greg Lewis/AMC/Sony Pictures Television

Mark Margolis as Hector Salamanca – Better Call Saul _ Season 6 – Photo Credit: Greg Lewis/AMC/Sony Pictures Television

Lalo begins to consult with his uncle by checking he recognizes his voice, which in true Better Call Saul & Breaking Bad fashion is confirmed with a bell. Lalo grins from ear to ear… While Hector’s facial express conveys a certain mischievousness that his nephew has not only averted death but has fooled the ‘chicken man’. 

Tony Dalton as Lalo Salamanca - Better Call Saul _ Season 6, Episode 1 - Photo Credit: Greg Lewis/AMC/Sony Pictures Television

Tony Dalton as Lalo Salamanca – Better Call Saul _ Season 6, Episode 1 – Photo Credit: Greg Lewis/AMC/Sony Pictures Television

Closely look at the way Hector moves his jaw and mouth to stay in character, not a single square acre of his expression real estate is wasted. Margolis maintains Hector’s health debilitation to the audience while revealing his true feelings underneath it all. Just look at the rage on Hector’s face at the mere mention of the ‘chicken man’. That’s the heart of acting, no lines needed.

When Lalo Salamanca begins to speak of his revenge plans against Gus Fring up North, suddenly Hector’s facial expression changes to one of concern, discipline, and wisdom. Hector rings his bell several times to indicate dissatisfaction with Lalo’s draft of vengeance. With Lalo’s collaboration, Hector spells out ‘proof’ with his bell, the old fashioned way by going through the alphabet.

Tony Dalton as Eduardo Lalo Salamanca - Better Call Saul _ Season 6, Episode 1 - Photo Credit: Greg Lewis/AMC/Sony Pictures Television

Tony Dalton as Eduardo Lalo Salamanca – Better Call Saul _ Season 6, Episode 1 – Photo Credit: Greg Lewis/AMC/Sony Pictures Television

Lalo realizes there is proof after all, bringing joy to Hector’s face in a unique way. Margolis carefully displays fury building up within, even shifting his nose, flaring his nostrils. When Lalo confirms he knows where to find proof (capture Nacho Varga), Hector is comforted as the reigning patriarch of the Salamanca family. Equally as valuable without words as with them.

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A lesson to all actors out there, make the most out of every inch of your face and body language. You don’t need 5,000 lines to accomplish a memorable character. Mark Margolis imbues Hector Salamanca with personality with non-verbal cues and is more memorable than half of characters on TV today.

Better Call Saul Season 6 Trailer



More Better Call Saul Season 6 Coverage

– Be sure to check out our exclusive Patrick Fabian Interview on Howard Hamlin in Better Call Saul Season 6

– Read our Better Call Saul Season 6 Premiere Early Review

Meet the Salamanca Cousins in-person at The Breaking Bad Store ABQ on April 23!

– Fan of Mark Margolis? Be sure to read Better Call Saul’s Mark Margolis in big Snowpiercer Premiere scene

– Discuss the “Wine and Roses” and “Carrot and Stick” premiere episodes in our new Better Call Saul Forum!

Register today and chat with fellow fans about Jimmy McGill (Saul Goodman), Kim Wexler, Don Eladio and maybe even Walter White & Jesse Pinkman… Which are confirmed to appear in Better Call Saul Season 6.

Will Michael Mando, Rhea Seehorn, Bryan Cranston, and Aaron Paul have a scene together? Or will they reunite on-screen somehow with Breaking Bad cast mates Bob Odenkirk, Giancarlo Esposito, and Jonathan Banks? We’ll know what Vince Gilligan & Peter Gould have in store for us in Season 6 soon enough…

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