Interviews

 

Vince Gilligan

Writer/ Show Creator

Vince Gilligan describes the inspiration for Breaking Bad (born out of a joke during a call with his fellow frustrated writing pal Thomas Schnauz); on the character "Walter White"

03:06

'Breaking Bad' is about a guy having the world's worst midlife crisis - a guy who's never littered or jaywalked, never broken the law in any serious way, suddenly finding himself doing something reprehensible and illegal. Why would he do such a thing? That's the experiment of 'Breaking Bad' - it's a show about change. Our main character, our hero, becomes our bad guy... And if we're going to do this, we have to be courageous about it and we have to let the chips fall where they may.   

About this interview

In his nearly four-hour Archive interview, writer/producer Vince Gilligan talks about knowing that he wanted to be involved with storytelling, in film or television, from a very early age. He discusses his education at NYU Film school and winning a screenwriting award, which led to his first jobs in television writing. He recalls becoming a staff writer on The X-Files after a chance meeting with series' creator Chris Carter and details his seven years as a writer, and later producer, on The X-Files . He describes several specific episodes including the Emmy-winning "Memento Mori." He speaks about the short-lived spinoff, The Lone Gunmen, and how both series were affected by the events of 9/11. He then talks about his current project (then concluding season 4), the AMC drama Breaking Bad, which he created and produced. Jenni Matz conducted the interview on August 9, 2011 in Burbank, CA.

'Breaking Bad' is about a guy having the world's worst midlife crisis - a guy who's never littered or jaywalked, never broken the law in any serious way, suddenly finding himself doing something reprehensible and illegal. Why would he do such a thing? That's the experiment of 'Breaking Bad' - it's a show about change. Our main character, our hero, becomes our bad guy... And if we're going to do this, we have to be courageous about it and we have to let the chips fall where they may.   

Interview Highlights

Embedded thumbnail for Vince Gilligan describes the inspiration for Breaking Bad (born out of a joke during a call with his fellow frustrated writing pal Thomas Schnauz); on the character "Walter White"

Vince Gilligan describes the inspiration for Breaking Bad (born out of a joke during a call with his fellow frustrated writing pal Thomas Schnauz); on the character "Walter White"

03:06
Embedded thumbnail for Vince Gilligan on not knowing how Breaking Bad will end - "I have hopes and dreams for these characters"

Vince Gilligan on not knowing how Breaking Bad will end - "I have hopes and dreams for these characters"

03:41
Embedded thumbnail for Vince Gilligan on how he realized Bryan Cranston could portray a "sympathetic creep" when he played a guest role on The X-Files

Vince Gilligan on how he realized Bryan Cranston could portray a "sympathetic creep" when he played a guest role on The X-Files

02:45
Embedded thumbnail for Vince Gilligan on how The X-Files  writers' room would "break" the story by building a scene "brick by brick" 

Vince Gilligan on how The X-Files writers' room would "break" the story by building a scene "brick by brick" 

03:14
Embedded thumbnail for Vince Gilligan on the moment he's proudest of on Breaking Bad,  when "Walter White" turns down a no-strings offer for money, which is supposed to be the reason he's making sacrifices, making his character less sympathetic from early on in

Vince Gilligan on the moment he's proudest of on Breaking Bad,  when "Walter White" turns down a no-strings offer for money, which is supposed to be the reason he's making sacrifices, making his character less sympathetic from early on in the series

02:21