In “Breaking Bad,” Walter White (Bryan Cranston) builds a multi-million dollar meth empire, all while lying to his family and mercilessly killing those who stand in his way. But it was often his wife Skyler White, played by Anna Gunn, who was viewed as the villain in the story.
“Back when the show first aired, Skyler was roundly disliked,” Gilligan said. “I think that always troubled Anna Gunn. And I can tell you it always troubled me, because Skyler, the character, did nothing to deserve that. And Anna certainly did nothing to deserve that. She played the part beautifully.”
Gilligan continued: “I realize in hindsight that the show was rigged, in the sense that the storytelling was solely through Walt’s eyes, even in scenes he wasn’t present for. Even Gus [Giancarlo Esposito], his archenemy, didn’t suffer the animosity Skyler received. It’s a weird thing. I’m still thinking about it all these years later.”
Rewatching “Breaking Bad” years later, Gilligan suggests that fans might look at Walt with fresh eyes.
“After a certain number of years, the spell wears off,” Gilligan said. “Like, wait a minute, why was this guy so great? He was really sanctimonious, and he was really full of himself. He had an ego the size of California. And he always saw himself as a victim. He was constantly griping about how the world shortchanged him, how his brilliance was never given its due. When you take all of that into consideration, you wind up saying, ‘Why was I rooting for this guy?'”
Elsewhere in the interview, Gilligan alluded to his next show after “Better Call Saul,” which wrapped up last week, and discussed why he wants its protagonist to be “an old-fashioned good guy.”
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