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BREAKING BAD Creator Talks With Other Showrunners About Craft
Vince Gilligan is a charming guy.
He looks and sounds like if a young Colonel Sanders ran a Hug Shop.
And the creator of one of the Complex’s favourite current TV shows, Breaking Bad, seems to have some very big, softly spoken balls.
Gilligan’s polite testicles were in fine form at a recent Emmy’s Roundtable showrunners interview held by The Hollywood Reporter. Although running one of the most popular, successful and scrutinised shows on television, Gilligan has seemed to maintain a fairly improvised path toward story on his show, which has yielded stunning results, and he seems to be barrelling full ahead with that approach with the final season of Breaking Bad.
While Gilligan didn’t divulge any plot details, he did lull me to a gentle euphoria with his regional twang and the image of his gently swaying salt’n’pepper hair.
Like all the writers at the roundtable – including Howard Gordon (Homeland), Terence Winter (Boardwalk Empire), Glen Mazzara (The Walking Dead), and others, Gilligan spoke more about the process of writing. He’s often focussed, Gilligan says, on the minutiae of detail, and writes incredibly detailed scripts.
I kind of dig that the guy behind such an amazingly satisfied and well-structured story doesn’t really plan out his story beats in advance. But it kind of makes sense – Gilligan tries more to write what feels authentic, feel out scenes and directions as he goes, and so far has yet to put a foot wrong. However, with the final season premiering in a little over a month (albeit, that season is split across two years) the showrunner states that he doesn’t really know how it’s gonna end – “with every day we have a little bit clearer picture of how it ends. I would like to know more about how it ends, frankly. I would feel more comfortable.”
In fact, although said in his most soothing manner, everything Gilligan said came across like he was a little nervy. When discussing with an actor the killing off his character in Breaking Bad season 4, Gilligan says that the actor took it well, while he himself was shaking and covered in flop sweat.
It’s seems like a no-brainer that the show will end badly, and frankly, given the ride so far, I like the idea that the show surprises the writers as much as it does me, like it’s some kind of sentient narrative, come to reward my love of quality crime fiction, and punish me with the crippling anxiety it causes.
I imagine that whatever happens at the end of Breaking Bad, Gilligan is going to be just as shaky and doing as many nervous wees as me. Only I’m sure he’ll look a damn-sight more charming and gentlemanly.