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'Nice guy' producer Vince Gilligan exposes his dark side with 'Breaking Bad'

July 11, 2011 |  1:06 pm

Gilligan"Breaking Bad," the sly, wicked AMC drama about a cancer-stricken chemistry teacher who dives into the crystal meth business to ensure financial security for his family, has received tons of critical accolades and is one of the cable network's biggest hits.

Most of the attention has focused on Bryan Cranston, whose portrayal of timid teacher turned master criminal Walter White has earned him three consecutive Emmy awards for lead actor in a drama. But the show's continued success and dark plots have turned up the spotlight on Vince Gilligan, the creator and executive producer of "Breaking Bad."

Past and current colleagues say Gilligan is one of the nicest and most amiable producers working in television. But Chris Carter, the creator of "The X-Files" and Gilligan's former boss, also points out that there is a dark side to Gilligan's writing. And Gilligan acknowledges that working on the series, with its blurred exploration of morality and explosions of bloody violence, can take its toll.

"I don't have a dark alter ego, but I believe we all present one face to the world and live more comfortably with another," he said.

For more on Gilligan and how he builds the shadowy world of "Breaking Bad," read this Calendar feature.

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-- Greg Braxton 

Photo: Vince Gilligan on the set of "Breaking Bad." Credit: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times.

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