Vince Gilligan at Banff, Part TwoComplications Ensue
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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Q. Is Walter White a good guy who’s made horrible decisions? Or is he a bad guy who’s finally fulfilling himself?
A. I don’t know. The franchise of this show is transformation. We are transforming our main character -- we’re turning Mr Chips into Scarface. I don’t know for sure if this is a dark world corrupting an innocent man, or all this stuff is within him and it’s now coming out. A man who previously lived so bottled up due to fear is now free of fear. Without the cancer diagnosis he would have lived a life of quiet desperation."

Q: What do you find admirable about him?
Gilligan: There’s not a lot. I love Walt. He loves his family. He never gives up. He’s dogged. He has a passion for something in life. Has a passion for chemistry. People who have passion are interesting. But he is not the character I like the best on the show, although he is endlessly interesting to write about. Jesse is kind of the moral center of the show -- at least he is the moral center of his and White's little thing that they've got going. He's the voice of reason. 'How much money do we need?' He's trying to live up to being the bad guy, but he can’t really be the bad guy.

Q. Do you know how the series will end?
A. I’m impressed that Damon Lindelof knew the ending of LOST after the end of Season One. As to where BREAKING BAD ends … I have hopes and dreams for the characters...

Q. Do you see going two more years?
A. I like setting an end date. When the LOST guys went to ABC they had a huge hit show and they said to their bosses: let’s put a clock on this thing. My hat is off to them. Every serialized show should think about doing that.

But the business doesn’t do that. I would love to put a clock on BREAKING BAD. Does that mean the end of Season 4? Season 5? I can’t imagine anything past season 5. I love a countdown – you’re working towards a very concrete definitive end. It allows you to come up to a more satisfying ending. And I always had a continuum: he goes from Mr. Chips to Scarface. Well, he’s got pretty bad. How more bad can he get? There’s no finite limts on his continuum.

But you want to keep working. And thinking as a showrunner, my show employs 150-200 people, and I want to keep them working.

But you want to leave the party a little too early and have people miss you. It’s tough. It’s the thing I ask myself all the thing.

Q. And of course internationally it makes a lot of money.
A. Our show is a tough sell. I’m amazed it’s on the air. It’s like a bumblebee. Scientists it’s supposed to be impossible for it to fly. There’s no reason why this should work. But it does.

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