Even though “Breaking Bad” officially went off the air in 2013, fans are still clamoring for any new tidbits about Walter White and the complex world built by his creator, Vince Gilligan. Gearing up for the third season of his prequel series, “Better Call Saul,” Gilligan answered users’ burning questions during a short Reddit “AMA,” which is short for “Ask Me Anything.”
Gilligan mused on whether Jesse was happy (he hopes so), whether Walter is really dead (he is), why Hank could never be turned, and what was up with that damn unsliced pizza.
The conversation got emotional when one user shared that his father received a cancer diagnosis around the same time the show began airing. He writes: “We always watched the show together and he frequently would tell me how much he related to Walt’s struggle with cancer. I’d say he even lived a little through Walt’s wild decisions.” Gilligan thanked him, writing “God bless your Dad.”
Here are five things we learned from the conversation:
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How to write characters that resonate emotionally with the audience — even in an action-packed drama.
Gilligan: Always find something to love about your characters…even if it’s only something small. Always try to find a way to invest in them emotionally. And when you write a scene, always ask yourself: are these people behaving like real, recognizable human beings? That last bit of advice is something that a lot of writers ignore when they’re in a pell-mell rush to write cool, exciting scenes. To my mind, the most exciting scene in the world will ultimately fall flat if the characters in it aren’t behaving in a way that we can comprehend.
What the hell was up with that conversation about why the pizza place doesn’t slice the pizzas?
Gilligan: 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!
Hank could never be turned to Walter’s side, because he’s “too much of a straight-arrow.”
Gilligan: You know, 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.
Does Jesse end up happy?
Gilligan: 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 could come up with the ending for Jesse that you saw fit. And for me, that ending was…ultimately…peace.
Is Walter White really dead?
Gilligan: Sure looked that way to me!
“Better Call Saul” returns to AMC on April 10th.