Vince Gilligan: Breaking Bad ending was decided “very late in the game”

Showrunner reveals more about the exciting finale and says that the lead character of Walter White was inspired by his own midlife crisis


Breaking Bad fans have been told to “strap on their helmets” by the show’s creator, Vince Gilligan.


In an exclusive interview with, the showrunner of the cult drama told British fans:  “I would say strap on your helmets because it’s going to be one wild ride. They move very quickly, so hold on tight.”

He also disclosed that he only decided the fate of the major characters including chemistry teacher turned drug dealer Walter White played by Bryan Cranston right at the end.

Gilligan said:  “We decided very late in the game. We had about eight or 10 months to work on these final eight episodes. I have six excellent writers, and the seven of us together worked many hundreds of thousands of man-hours to figure out this ending.

“We didn’t really figure out the very ending until about a month or a couple of weeks before we wrote it. There was a great deal of tension in the constant anxiety that we wouldn’t end this correctly. And then we figured out the ending.”

Asked about his sympathies for the main character, Gilligan reveals: “I don’t know that I was rooting for Walt for a while. I find him to be a very fascinating character, but I don’t know that he’s sympathetic.

“He’s narcissistic, he’s got a great deal of ego and pride. And as we all know, pride goeth before the fall. He is a character who if you dig just a little beneath that prideful surface, you find a very damaged individual who has reduced feelings of self worth, although he’d be the last person to admit that. He’s a character who lies and betrays his family so much that I find him hard to sympathise with.”

Gilligan told that the character was also inspired by his own experiences.

He said: “I was about to turn 40 years old and was starting to feel a midlife crisis coming on. That was the point where this idea came to me and I think the character is not based on any real person out there.

“If anything, I was probably thinking of myself. I’ve never been a teacher but I’ve got several former teachers who have been very important in my life. My mum is a retired schoolteacher and my girlfriend is a retired schoolteacher. That was probably an inspiration. I was thinking in terms of all of those things, but mostly in terms of a guy who’s having a really bad midlife crisis. “