Here Are The 10 Best Revelations From ‘Breaking Bad’ Creator Vince Gilligan’s Reddit AMA
Is Walter White really dead or what?
So when he recently took to Reddit for an AMA (Ask Me Anything) session, fans of his shows naturally flocked to the site to see if Gilligan would drop new knowledge about their faves.
Gilligan did not disappoint. Peppered with questions about characters, plot points, and shows he wrote for in the past—most notably The X-Files—Gilligan was generous with background where he could give it and managed to maintain an air of mystery about what he’s got coming our way in the third season of Better Call Saul.
Below are all the best highlights from his responses to Redditors’ questions.
1. On the difference between using multiple writers to script a drama and having a single showrunner writing everything, and whether he’d want to be the lone writer for a show again:
I’m kinda working on such a thing right now (an HBO miniseries about Jonestown). Having said that, I’ve become a BIG fan of writers’ rooms. For me, working collaboratively with a bunch of talented writers is exciting, entertaining, and yields much better results (and yields them quicker) than working by myself.
I think writing by one’s self is a bit overrated. There’s nothing wrong with people working together – not just in writing, but in every human endeavor. I think we need more of it in the world, in fact.
2. On Walter White’s last meal if he’d lived and been sentenced to death for his crimes:
Breakfast cereal! Oh wait, that’s his son.
3. Vince Gilligan’s top three films:
I know it’s a maddening answer, but I don’t really have favorites. I find that choosing a “favorite” of anything winds up being self-limiting. Also, my tastes change somewhat as the years go by.
Having said that…Rorschach Test-wise, right off the top of my head? The Third Man, Godfathers I & II, 2001.
Ugh, but that’s so self-limiting!
4. “Is Walter White dead?”
Sure looked that way to me!
5. The explanation for the infamous pizza on the roof scene—because a sliced pizza would’ve flown apart:
…We had a long discussion before we shot the pizza on the roof scene about whether or not the pizza should be sliced — because, as all you physicists know, a thrown, sliced pizza would come apart due to centrifugal force or angular momentum (or something like that).
And yet, you’re right: no self-respecting pizza parlor sells an unsliced pizza. So we figured we needed to explain it (in the “They pass the savings on to you” scene), or else face our audience’s righteous wrath!
6. Vince Gilligan on whether Breaking Bad writers discussed making Walter White’s DEA brother-in-law Hank a bad guy:
[Every] idea was fair game for discussion in the writers’ room. So the idea of Hank becoming a bad guy probably was floated at one point or another, but I couldn’t swear to it in a court of law. However, we wouldn’t have talked about it for long, because it just seemed to us that Hank was too much of a straight-arrow to go for that.
7. On whether Jesse Pinkman ends up happy or not:
I really believe so. In my mind, yes. Don’t take that as gospel, just take that as what I personally want to believe.
It really is up to the individual viewer, however. There is no definitive answer, and it was left that way on purpose so that you guys cold come up with the ending for Jesse that you saw fit. And for me, that ending was…ultimately…peace.
8. “Are there any interesting Breaking Bad Easter eggs that you believe the viewers never caught?”
Nope! You guys are WAY too smart for us. I know that sounds like I’m blowing smoke up your butts…but I’m still blown away by how quickly everybody caught on to the code in the episode titles from Season 2 of Better Call Saul.
9. How the frequently excellent music for both Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul is selected:
Music is (…) important to me…as is silence. Both are crucial, it seems to me, in telling a story via “motion pictures” (I still use that old-fashioned term, because it covers both movies and television nicely). Having said that, all credit for the wonderful source music we used on Breaking Bad and continue to use on Better Call Saul goes to Thomas Golubic, our music supervisor.
He’s the one with the fantastic ear and bottomless knowledge. His taste is impeccable, and he always provides an embarrassment of riches, musically speaking. Out of the many excellent choices he provides us, Peter Gould and I pick the song we like best.
10. Finally, Vince Gilligan revealed how Jimmy McGill/Saul Goodman’s eccentric brother Chuck became one of the bad guys on Better Call Saul, and why he loves TV’s episodic structure:
[The] idea of Chuck being the “bad guy” was a late addition to Season 1. We were probably working on episode 7 when the idea dawned on us that Chuck had been the reason Jimmy had never moved forward at HHM.
When that idea dawned on Peter Gould and I, along with our writers, we got very excited. But back to an earlier answer, this points out one of the things I love most about writing for TV. There are enough episodes and enough lead time (if you’re lucky) for writers to change the direction of a story midstream. We took advantage of that in Season 1 of Better Call Saul, and in the past for Breaking Bad. It’s a great creative opportunity to have at one’s disposal.
Better Call Saul premieres April 10th.