As the creator of Breaking Bad and co-creator of Better Call Saul, Vince Gilligan may just be the television industry’s most wanted man (in a good way). Earlier this evening, he took part in a Reddit AMA where he said that no topic was off-limits. And he made good on that promise. Here are seven things we learned about Breaking Bad from the two-time Emmy winner.
NOTE: If you haven’t binge-watched all of Breaking Bad, beware of spoilers ahead!
1. ON THE SET OF BREAKING BAD, BRYAN CRANSTON WOULD REGULARLY TELL AARON PAUL THAT JESSE PINKMAN WAS BEING KILLED OFF.
“He loved to tease Aaron Paul mercilessly,” explained Gilligan. “This came about after I told Aaron Paul early in the series that I had planned to kill off his character. From then on, every time a new script came out, Bryan would hurry to read it first so he could put on a sorrowful face and say to Aaron, ‘Gee buddy, I’m so sorry. You’re going out with a bang, at least.’ And Aaron, God bless him, seemed to fall for it every time."
2. AARON PAUL INSPIRED MUCH OF JESSE PINKMAN’S CHARACTER.
Though Gilligan said that “Aaron Paul very much fit the bill of my interpretation of Jesse Pinkman from the get-go,” he acknowledged that “a great deal of Aaron's personality and goodness then became a part of the character of Jesse Pinkman as the show progressed. In other words, we the writers were inspired by Aaron's specific qualities as a human being, and we incorporated many of those qualities into the character of Jesse Pinkman. And we did this with all of the other actors as well—from Bryan Cranston on down. It's a wonderful thing about television, that you can do that. You're telling one story for so long that you have the time to adjust the story, over many episodes and many seasons, as you learn more about your actors. No other medium allows for that.”
3. WALTER WHITE WAS THE HARDEST CHARACTER TO KILL OFF.
“I have to say the death of Walter White affected me the most,” admitted Gilligan, "because what it represented was the end of the story and the completion of this seven-year journey we had taken together—the cast, crew, writers and directors of Breaking Bad. That was the most affecting death to write. I actually teared up when I wrote it. I think a close second was the death of Mike Ehrmantraut.”
4. YOU MAY VERY WELL BE ABLE TO EAT AT LOS POLLOS HERMANOS IN THE NEAR FUTURE.
Gus Fring’s fictional chicken joint may become a nonfictional chicken joint. “Believe it or not, there is talk of a Pollos Hermanos becoming a real restaurant,” confirmed Gilligan. “This is not an idea that I generated personally. But it's one that's been presented to me, through the good folks at Sony, and the idea came to them from a businessman who has an interest in doing just that. Speaking for myself, I'd love to see that happen!”
5. GILLIGAN IS FLATTERED BY THE MANY INTERPRETATIONS OF HIS WORK.
When asked whether he thinks his work gets over-interpreted, Gilligan responded that, “The short answer is no. That’s because I view people interpreting Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul very closely as the highest form of flattery. However, I will admit that a great many of the interpretations that people have of both shows involve details and conclusions which—frankly—I never had in mind. But my opinion is that these shows, once on the air, belong to you the fans as much as they belong to me and those who act and work on the shows, so your reactions are just as valid as mine.”
6. HE HAD NO IDEA HOW MANY PIZZAS FANS WOULD THROW.
In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Gilligan addressed the fact that so many fans have visited the house that posed as Walter White’s residence—only to throw pizzas on the roof (as Cranston did so perfectly in one episode). When asked whether the thought that fans would reenact the scene ever crossed his mind, Gilligan responded, “No, I never anticipated that the pizza-throwing scene would be one of the 'non-submergible' moments of Breaking Bad. None of us did. It seemed like a fun thing to include in the episode at the time, but none of the writers of the series thought it would take on a life of its own. Thank you for asking that question, because it once again gives me the opportunity to say: for any of the folks who wanted to throw pizza on the roof of the White house, it’s very unfair to the sweet lady that lives there. Please, please do NOT do it. If you want the photo of a pizza on the White house roof: Photoshop it!!! That’s the way to do it in this day in age. You can have any size pizza, and it won’t risk this very sweet lady breaking her back getting her ladder out and climbing up to clean pizza off her roof.”
7. HE’S NOT SURE WHERE HUELL IS EITHER.
When someone asked whether Huell was okay, Gilligan didn’t provide too many details, but did say, “I believe Huell is just fine.” (Hmmm... sounds like he's hiding something.)