In the entertainment industry, as in other walks of life, the phrase “fake it ’til you make it” can sometimes be just the right piece of advice to further one’s career. Actor Todd Lawson Latourrette took that way too literally in his past, and he’s now confessed to having severed his own arm to promote the falsehood that he was a wounded military veteran. It was all in an effort to land acting roles, such as a Season 4 appearance in Better Call Saul.
His bizarre sense of hyper-dedication aside, Todd Lawson Latourrette doesn’t seem to be very proud of his actions, which he said happened 17 years ago. Latourrette claims to be bipolar, and admitted he wasn’t properly taking his medications whenever he made the drastic decision to cut off his arm. He told Albuquerque’s KOB4 that he used a skill saw to go through with it.
According to Latourrette, his mind was going through “a psychotic episode,” and he obviously wasn’t thinking the most clearly. The actor then had the wherewithal to cauterize it, though, so there was at least some planning and consideration happening, giving Latourrette a chance to later use his new cover story out. Indeed, while he hasn’t been vastly prolific as an actor, his war veteran story has landed him quite a few roles, even if they weren’t star-makers.
It’s unclear exactly what made Todd Lawson Latourrette want to come out and make this grand confession now, but he did state that it has been hard to live with this always-present lie. And for what it’s worth, he says he’s not going public as a way to gain more recognition, since he knows that this rare case of self-sabotage will likely blackball him from the film industry. In his words:
At this point, rather than trying to add more entries to his acting resume, Latourrette says he hopes that his story will reach and help others who may be suffering from mental illness. People sometimes are guided more successfully by cautionary tales than straightforward advice, so this story could very well provide some food for thought for others looking to make drastic decisions.
Latourrette did manage to book several jobs in the years after he first cut his arm off. The first role came in 2002 for the Dennis Hopper-starring thriller Unspeakable, but it wasn’t until 2014 that he broke more into the TV side of things. He took small roles in Longmire, The Messengers, and Manhattan over the next few years.
Earlier this year, he booked what is currently his latest and last role, which came in the Better Call Saul episode “Quite a Ride,” which featured that excellent Breaking Badflash-forward that took place within Saul’s office. During the scene where Saul is hocking burner phones to diner patrons, Latourette’s character is seen buying one, and his semi-bionic arm is on display. Don’t expect that character to be the lynchpin in Gus Fring’s operation, though.
While TV audiences might not be seeing Todd Lawson Latourrette anytime soon, the fall TV schedule is full of new and returning shows that will keep you busy.