Walter White wasn’t supposed to wear a white hat, but the man who would become Heisenberg was still someone who admired “Breaking Bad” – up to a point.
But time and distance can reshape views, even for “Breaking Bad” creator and executive producer Vince Gilligan, who seems to have completely changed his mind about his complex hero. In a Q&A with The New Yorker, Gilligan is bitten hard by the protagonist who fed him for five heavy seasons of Emmy. And his opinion of Walter White is getting worse over time.
“The more I get away from Breaking Bad, the less I sympathize with Walter,” Gilligan said, After a moment of thought, On a brighter final finale to his ‘Better Call Saul’ spin-off.
“[Walt] “I received a lifeline early,” Gilligan said. “And if he had been a better human being, he would have swallowed his pride and taken the opportunity to cure cancer with the money his former friends had given him.”
While Bob Odenkirk’s Jimmy McGill was “finding a little bit of his soul” (and also surviving) on a final make-up episode of “Saul,” Bryan Cranston’s Walter White fell into a barrage of gunfire of his own design, a “breaking” moment that bad fans saw as heroic. At best, self-fulfilling at worst.
“He’s coming out on his own terms, but he’s leaving a trail of destruction behind,” Gilligan said. “I focus on it more than I used to.”
Everything that got us rooting for White in Heisenberg’s heyday, Gilligan said, was hiding a bunch of character flaws, which didn’t age well.
“After a certain number of years,” he said, “the spell disappears.” Like, wait a minute, why was this guy so cool? He was really holy, he was really full of himself. He had an ego the size of California. And he always saw himself as a victim. He constantly wondered how the world had come down to him, and how his brilliance wasn’t given its due. Never. When you take all that into consideration, you end up saying, “Why I was Am I rooting for this guy? “
Although Walter White’s character is a long-dead fictional character from a TV show that ended in 2013, Gilligan may be familiar with his creativity words: “You’re getting past me, and there will be consequences.”
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