x files ama

Highlights from the Vince Gilligan AMA on Reddit (April 30, 2015):

Q: Have you ever thought of opening a Los Pollos Hermanos?
Vince: “Believe it or not… there is talk of a Pollos Hermanos becoming a real restaurant. 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!”

Q: George R.R. Martin commented that he thought “Walter White is a bigger monster than anyone in Westeros,” which Martin also said has influenced him to make an even worse character in future books to “fix this” – what do you think about this comment?
Vince: “I take George R.R. Martin’s comment as high praise indeed. I suppose the grass is always greener, because I would put young King Joffrey up against Walter White as far as pure unadulterated evil goes, because he was pretty intense – but I’m glad a writer as talented as George R.R. Martin is thinking about Breaking Bad in any shape or form!”

Q: Do you feel like your work gets over-interpreted?
Vince: “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.”

Q: What was your favorite X-Files episode that you wrote and will you be writing more for the reboot?
: “If you held my feet to the fire, I’d probably say “Bad Blood.” But really, as an experience, my favorite writing moment on The X-Files was probably writing “Je Souhaite” episode. That’s because that’s the first episode I got to direct as well as write. And it was really a wonderful turning point in my career and it was a great deal of fun to boot. Unfortunately I won’t be writing for the reboot, because my work on Better Call Saul will keep me from doing that. I’m very sad to miss out, because I would love to have a hand in The X-Files reboot. The X-Files was my second favorite job ever, a close second to Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, and I’d love to be a part of it. Rest assured, I will be watching it as a fan. I can’t wait to see it.”

Q: Why do you think Breaking Bad connected so closely with viewers, to the point where they wished Walter White would have lived?
Vince: “I wish I knew! Although, I’m certainly glad viewers did connect with Walter White. In the early days of the series – when I was at my most foolish – I deliberately tried to make Walter White so unlikeable that his behavior would shed viewers. In hindsight, I think that was extraordinarily dumb of me, but I have to admit that by the end of the series, I myself did not have a whole lot of sympathy for Walter White. For me, he had gotten too dark to empathize with, which is not to say viewers should all feel the same way I do. I’m glad viewers still rooted for him up till the end and wanted him to live. Hell, even my mom did! And if you knew her, you’d be pretty shocked she would root for a guy like that. I think Walter White was smart, active, willful – and that’s what we look for in our heroes. The fact that he was engaged in some pretty heinous criminal behavior might have been a bit beside the point. He nonetheless had many other qualities that we deem heroic in fiction. Maybe that’s why people stuck with him. Certainly people stuck with Walter White because he was played by the astoundingly talented Bryan Cranston, who remains constantly watchable no matter what character he is playing.”

Q: If you weren’t working in this industry, what else do you think you’d be doing right now instead?
Vince: “I think I’d like to be a helicopter pilot. I think I’d enjoy that. I don’t know how good I’d be at it, in terms of having it as a career, but I think flying around in a helicopter all day would be pretty satisfying to me.”