'Breaking Bad' creator reveals his biggest regret from the show, and the character he nearly killed
Can you believe it's been a full decade since Breaking Bad first aired? It feels like a long time since it's left our screens, but ten years seems far too much.
The show started off a little slow, with enough viewers to guarantee a second season - but then things started to escalate, in more ways than one. By time the final season aired in 2012/2013, it was one of the most talked-about shows on television, and the story had developed from an interesting drama into some seriously compelling material.
Now, nearly five years since it came to an end, to celebrate ten years of Breaking Bad, the creator and cast of the show dropped by Conan to talk about it. Writer and show creator Vince Gilligan was joined by Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn, Dean Norris, Betsy Brandt, R.J. Mitte, Giancarlo Esposito, and Bob Odenkirk, and there were plenty of revelations and fun tidbits to be discovered in the ensuing conversation.
For one, Gilligan revealed that the polarising ending of the show didn't go down too well with his own mother, who had waned Walt to get away from the ordeal "scot-free" (spoilers: he didn't), at which point Cranston brings up his own conspiracy theory. "Was there a coroner's report? Was there a listing in the obituaries?" he asked, and well... he ain't wrong.
Aaron Paul, on the other hand, has found that his character Jesse is following him around in unexpected ways.
In fact, the actor is a little worried his daughter’s first word is going to be “bitch,” given that his character's signature word is shouted at him from across the street pretty much everywhere he goes.
There was something about Paul's character that Gilligan said he wishes he could have changed. “Isn’t that the prettiest set of chompers you’ve ever seen?”
Gilligan said as he pointed to Paul’s perfect teeth. “You get your ass kicked so much, like three times an episode for 62 episodes, plus you’re smoking a lot of meth...”
Brandt, who played Marie, believed the tense drama was a comedy when she first auditioned, joking that “It was probably season three when I caught on.” R.J. Mitte, who plays Walt Jr, however, knew the deal. When he noticed that he wasn't getting too many lines in one season and started to suspect he'd be the next to bite the dust. "No one was safe on this show," he explained.
Conan turned the question back to the creator, asking him if he ever thought about killing Walt Jr, and he surprised us all by claiming that he did. Gilligan apparently suggested to his staff that "he gets killed by this nasty guy Walt is somehow in business with," but it didn't go down to well.
According to Gilligan, the rest of the writers room “looked at me like I had completely lost my mind, that I was the most horrible person who’s ever lived.”
Who can blame them? I still would have watched every minute of the show (twice), but killing off such a sweet and innocent character would have been too far - wouldn't it?