Better Call Saul showrunner Peter Gould has explained the reason behind Pat Healy taking over the role of Jeff from Don Harvey. In the new episode titled ‘Nippy’, Jeff returned to the show after previously appearing in the first episode of season four in 2018, and he also confronted Jimmy in the mall during the opener to series five.
However, Jeff’s latest appearance sees Pat Healy cast in the role rather than Don Harvey, which left viewers feeling confused.
During an appearance on the Better Call Saul Insider Podcast, Gould has revealed the truth behind the recasting, and it all came down to a scheduling conflict. Before they contacted Harvey, he’d already signed up to appear in HBO’s We Own This City which stopped him from reprising the role of Jeff.
Gould explained: “That is correct, and we were very sad. We did not know what to do. Then our brilliant casting folks said, ‘Why don’t we take a look at the original auditions for this role?’ And there was Pat. It would have been a different string of episodes with Don. I think Pat is fantastic. I love what Pat does with this role.”
He continued: “In the past, we’ve been lucky on this. We’ve done this many times, where we’ve had actors who we wanted back on different seasons that we didn’t know. I mean, Mel Rodriguez (Saul’s old pal Marco) certainly came back three times, and we didn’t know.”
Gould added: “We’ve been very, very lucky. This time, we maybe pressed our luck by asking for four years, I don’t know what it was, a four-year span. And Pat, we’re just damn lucky that Pat Healy was available to us, and he came running off of a Martin Scorsese movie to Albuquerque. So, we’re just so damn lucky to have you, Pat, and I love your character.”