If anyone has seen Vince Gilligan’s dark side, it’s Peter Gould. The Breaking Bad writer and supervising producer has worked alongside the show’s famously genial creator for all five seasons now, taking the helm on last week’s devastating penultimate episode, “Granite State,” as well as season four’s “Problem Dog.” As the show dashes to a close with this week’s grand finale, Gould dished on the atmosphere in the writer’s room and the real Vince Gilligan.
“Listen, the Breaking Bad writers’ room was dangerous – there were BB guns, razor-blade flinging catapults, hammers pounding on rolls of cap-gun caps,” Gould told Rolling Stone‘s Rob Tannenbaum when asked how a Southern gentleman like Vince Gilligan could create such an evil bastard in Walter White. “I saw Vince reengineer a Nerf gun: he got rid of the soft ‘bullets’ and put in needle-sharp pushpins. When we hit a roadblock in the story, Vince got frustrated and shot himself in the thigh. On purpose. Later, I came back from the bathroom and he shot me in the face with a BB gun – for some fucking reason, the target was set up on the hallway door. Vince claims he pulled the trigger right when I opened the door – I’ll let you draw your own conclusion. For the rest of the day, when we pitched it was always ‘as I was saying – before Vince shot Peter in the face.’
“So don’t hand me that ‘Southern gentlemen’ bullshit,” Gould concluded. “We’re talking about a guy with a dark side the size of the Marianas Trench.”
Additional reporting by Rob Tannenbaum