Vince Gilligan:“If you go back and watch the very first episode of Better Call Saul, there’s no indication at all that Chuck McGill is anything but a loving brother who is damaged mentally or emotionally at some level….there’s no indication that he’s going to be the villain of the whole piece.
That’s for a good reason. Because we had no idea.
But something happened along the way. You <to Peter> describe how it came to you.
Peter Gould: To me, the moment was watching Michael and Bob do the very first scene between Jimmy and Chuck. A scene in the pilot episode that Vince and I wrote together….we both saw something in Michael McKean’s performance. A tremendous pride. Michael brought to this character not just vulnerability. He wasn’t just a big baby who needed to be taken care of. He was someone who had towering pride.
When we went back to the writer’s room, we said “We invented this character to tell us something about Jimmy. But what is it like from Chuck’s point of view?” The more we thought about it, the more we thought about how hard it is to be Jimmy’s older brother. There’s a jealousy there. That pride was a shield that Chuck was living behind. That fascinated us. The best thing about doing a series like this is that the characters get to talk back to you. You get to observe the performances of the actors and take that knowledge back to the writer’s room and use it to shape the story.”
Stills from Season 3 of Better Call Saul (2017)