Vince Gilligan at the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con International
|Born||George Vincent Gilligan, Jr.
February 10, 1967
Chesterfield, Virginia, U.S.
|Alma mater||Tisch School of the Arts|
|Occupation||Writer, producer, director|
|Partner(s)||Holly Rice (1991–present)|
George Vincent "Vince" Gilligan, Jr. (born February 10, 1967) is an American writer, producer, and director. He is known for his television work, specifically being the creator, head writer and executive producer of Breaking Bad and its spin-off Better Call Saul. He was a writer and producer for The X-Files and was the co-creator of its spin-off The Lone Gunmen. He and David Shore co-created the police drama series Battle Creek, which Gilligan is an executive producer on.
Gilligan was born in Richmond, Virginia, the son of Gail, a grade school teacher, and George Vincent Gilligan, Sr., an insurance claims adjuster. His parents divorced in 1974 and he and his younger brother, Patrick, were raised in Farmville and Chesterfield County. Growing up, Gilligan became best friends with future film editor and film title designer Angus Wall. His interest in film began when Wall's mother, Jackie, who also taught alongside Gilligan's mother, would lend her Super 8 film cameras to him. He used the camera to make science fiction films with Patrick. One of his first films was entitled Space Wreck, starring his brother in the lead role. One year later, he won first prize for his age group in a film competition at the University of Virginia.
Jackie would take Wall and Gilligan to Richmond and drop them off at Cloverleaf Mall to see films, and encourage both of them to pursue a career in the arts. "I wouldn't be where I am today if it wasn't for Jackie. She was a wonderful lady and a real inspiration," he recalls. Gilligan was recognized for his talents and creativity at an early age. George Sr. described him as a "kind of a studious-type young man, and he liked to read, and he had a vivid imagination". He introduced Gilligan to film noir classics, as well as John Wayne and Clint Eastwood Westerns on late-night television. Gilligan won a scholarship to attend the prestigious Interlochen Center for the Arts. After eighth grade, he moved back to Chesterfield to attend high school.
After graduating from Lloyd C. Bird High School in 1985, Gilligan went on to attend New York University on a partial scholarship, where he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in film production from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. While at NYU, he wrote the screenplay for Home Fries, which was later turned into a film; Gilligan received the Virginia Governor's Screenwriting Award in 1989 for the screenplay. One of the judges of the competition was Mark Johnson, a film producer. He was impressed by Gilligan, saying he "was the most imaginative writer I'd ever read". Johnson would serve as a mentor to Gilligan, introducing him to The X-Files creator Chris Carter.
The X-Files and The Lone Gunmen
Gilligan's big break came when he joined the Fox television drama The X-Files. Gilligan was a fan of the show, and submitted a script to Fox which became the second season episode "Soft Light". He went on to write twenty-nine more episodes, in addition to being co-executive producer of forty-four episodes, executive producer of 40, co-producer of twenty-four, and supervising producer of twenty. He also co-created and became executive producer of the The X-Files spin-off series The Lone Gunmen. The series only ran for one season of thirteen episodes.
Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul
Gilligan created, wrote, directed, and produced the AMC drama series Breaking Bad. He created the series with the premise that the hero would become the villain. "Television is historically good at keeping its characters in a self-imposed stasis so that shows can go on for years or even decades," he said. "When I realized this, the logical next step was to think, how can I do a show in which the fundamental drive is toward change?" He added that his goal with Walter White was to turn him from "Mr. Chips into Scarface". While pitching the show to studios, Gilligan was initially discouraged when he learned of the existing series Weeds and its similarities to the premise of Breaking Bad. While his producers convinced him that the show was different enough to still be successful, he later stated that he would not have gone forward with the idea had he known about Weeds earlier.
Breaking Bad received widespread critical acclaim and has been praised by many critics as being among the greatest television dramas of all time. Gilligan has been awarded numerous times for writing, directing, and producing the series. The Writers Guild of America has awarded him four times in straight succession, from 2012 to 2014; three as a part of the Breaking Bad writing team and one individually for writing the episode "Box Cutter". He also received two Primetime Emmys in 2013 and 2014 for producing the show. In 2014, he won the Directors Guild of America Award for directing the finale of Breaking Bad, "Felina".
In September 2013, Sony Pictures Television announced a deal with AMC to produce a Breaking Bad spin-off prequel entitled Better Call Saul. It will focus on character Saul Goodman from the original series, before he became Walter White 's lawyer, and will star Bob Odenkirk reprising his role as the title character. Gilligan co-created the series with Breaking Bad writer Peter Gould, with both of them acting as showrunners. The first episode, which Gilligan directed and co-wrote, premiered on February 8, 2015.
Gilligan's first had a screenplay produced in 1993 for the romantic comedy film, Wilder Napalm. While working on The X-Files, one of Gilligan's early screenplays was produced as a film, Home Fries, which starred Drew Barrymore and Luke Wilson. Gilligan was hired by The X-Files creator Chris Carter to be a consulting producer on his new series Harsh Realm. After The X-Files, Gilligan wrote three episodes of the short lived police procedural series, Robbery Homicide Division and an episode of the ABC series Night Stalker. In 2007, Gilligan and fellow The X-Files producer Frank Spotnitz wrote a sci-fi pilot entitled A.M.P.E.D., which was not picked up for a full series. He also rewrote the screenplay for the film 2008 Will Smith film Hancock, which was originally written by Vincent Ngo.
Gilligan made his acting debut in 2014 in "VCR Maintenance and Educational Publishing", the ninth episode of the fifth season of NBC's comedy series Community. He plays a cheesy actor hosting "Pile of Bullets", a fictional 1990's VCR-based video game. In September 2013, Sony announced that it struck a deal with CBS to produce a new television series created by Gilligan and David Shore entitled Battle Creek. Based on a script written by Gilligan ten years prior, the show will follow the partnership of two police detectives who must compete with a seemingly-perfect FBI agent. CBS ordered thirteen episodes. Gilligan co-wrote the first episode with Shore, who will be the showrunner of the series. The series will air on CBS starting March 1, 2015.
Gilligan has been dating his girlfriend, Holly Rice, since 1991. In an interview in 2011, Gilligan stated that he was raised Catholic, but added "I’m pretty much agnostic at this point in my life. But I find atheism just as hard to get my head around as I find fundamental Christianity. Because if there is no such thing as cosmic justice, what is the point of being good?"
He further stated his philosophy as: "I feel some sort of need for biblical atonement, or justice, or something. I like to believe there is some comeuppance, that karma kicks in at some point, even if it takes years or decades to happen. My girlfriend says this great thing that’s become my philosophy as well. ‘I want to believe there’s a heaven. But I can’t not believe there’s a hell.’"
|2008||Hancock||Co-writer||Written with Vincent Ngo|
|1995–1996||The X-Files||Creative consultant||Season 3|
|1997–1998||Supervising producer||Season 5|
|1998–2000||Co-executive producer||Seasons 6–7|
|1999–2000||Harsh Realm||Consulting producer||Season 1|
|2000–2002||The X-Files||Executive producer||Seasons 8–9|
|2001||The Lone Gunmen||Executive producer||Season 1|
|2008–2013||Breaking Bad||Executive producer||Seasons 1–5|
|2015–present||Better Call Saul||Executive producer||Season 1|
|2015–present||Battle Creek||Executive producer||Season 1|
|Year||Show||Season||Episode||Episode number||Original airdate||Notes|
|1995||The X-Files||2||"Soft Light"||23||May 5, 1995|
|1996||3||"Pusher"||17||February 23, 1996|
|4||"Unruhe"||4||October 27, 1996|
|"Paper Hearts"||10||December 15, 1996|
|1997||"Leonard Betts"||12||January 26, 1997||Written by Gilligan & John Shiban & Frank Spotnitz|
|"Memento Mori"||14||February 9, 1997||Written by Gilligan & Chris Carter & Frank Spotnitz & John Shiban|
|"Small Potatoes"||20||April 20, 1997|
|5||"Unusual Suspects"||3||November 16, 1997|
|"Christmas Carol"||6||December 7, 1997||Written by Gilligan & John Shiban & Frank Spotnitz|
|"Emily"||7||December 14, 1997||Written by Gilligan & John Shiban & Frank Spotnitz|
|1998||"Kitsunegari"||8||January 4, 1998||Written by Gilligan & Tim Minear|
|"Bad Blood"||12||February 22, 1998|
|"Folie a Deux"||19||May 10, 1998|
|6||"Drive"||2||November 15, 1998|
|"Dreamland"||4||November 29, 1998||Written by Gilligan & John Shiban & Frank Spotnitz|
|"Dreamland II"||5||December 6, 1998||Written by Gilligan & John Shiban & Frank Spotnitz|
|1999||"Tithonus"||10||January 24, 1999|
|"Monday"||14||February 28, 1999||Written by Gilligan & John Shiban|
|"Three of a Kind"||20||May 2, 1999||Written by Gilligan & John Shiban|
|"Field Trip"||21||May 9, 1999||Teleplay by Gilligan & John Shiban
(Story by Frank Spotnitz)
|7||"Hungry"||3||November 21, 1999|
|"Millennium"||4||November 28, 1999||Written by Gilligan & Frank Spotnitz|
|2000||"The Amazing Maleeni"||8||January 16, 2000||Written by Gilligan & John Shiban & Frank Spotnitz|
|"X-Cops"||12||February 20, 2000|
|"Theef"||14||March 12, 2000||Written by Gilligan & John Shiban & Frank Spotnitz|
|"Je Souhaite"||21||May 14, 2000||Also director|
|8||"Roadrunners"||4||November 26, 2000|
|2001||The Lone Gunmen||1||"Pilot"||1||March 4, 2001||Written by Gilligan & Chris Carter & John Shiban & Frank Spotnitz|
|"Bond, Jimmy Bond"||2||March 11, 2001||Written by Gilligan & John Shiban & Frank Spotnitz|
|"Planet of the Frohikes"||7||April 6, 2001|
|"Maximum Byers"||8||April 13, 2001||Written by Gilligan & Frank Spotnitz|
|"All About Yves"||12||May 11, 2001||Written by Gilligan & John Shiban & Frank Spotnitz|
|"The Cap'n Toby Show"||13||June 1, 2001||Written by Gilligan & John Shiban & Frank Spotnitz|
|2002||The X-Files||9||"John Doe"||7||January 13, 2002|
|"Jump the Shark"||15||April 21, 2002||Written by Gilligan & John Shiban & Frank Spotnitz|
|"Sunshine Days"||18||May 12, 2002||Also director|
|Robbery Homicide Division||1||"Free and Clear"||4||November 30, 2002||Written by Gilligan & Frank Spotnitz|
|"City of Strivers"||7||November 8, 2002|
|"Life is Dust"||9||November 30, 2002||Teleplay written by Gilligan & Todd A. Kessler & Sean Jablonski
(Story by Michael Mann)
|2005||Night Stalker||1||"What's the Frequency, Kolchak?"||10||March 17, 2006|
|2007||A.M.P.E.D.||Pilot||Written by Gilligan & Frank Spotnitz|
|2008||Breaking Bad||1||"Pilot"||1||January 20, 2008||Also director|
|"Cat's in the Bag..."||2||January 27, 2008|
|"...And the Bag's in the River"||3||February 10, 2008|
|"Cancer Man"||4||February 17, 2008|
|2009||2||"Peekaboo"||6||April 12, 2009||Written by Gilligan & J. Roberts|
|"ABQ"||13||May 31, 2009|
|2010||3||"No Mas"||1||March 21, 2010|
|"Full Measure"||13||June 13, 2010||Also director|
|2011||4||"Box Cutter"||1||July 17, 2011|
|"End Times"||12||October 2, 2011||Director only|
|"Face Off"||13||October 9, 2011||Also director|
|2012||5||"Live Free or Die"||1||July 15, 2012|
|"Madrigal"||2||July 22, 2012|
|2013||"Felina"||16||September 29, 2013||Also director|
|2015||Better Call Saul||1||"Uno"||1||February 8, 2015||Also director
Written by Gilligan & Peter Gould
|Battle Creek||1||"The Battle Creek Way"||1||March 1, 2015||Written by Gilligan & David Shore|
|2014||Community||Devon||Episode: "VCR Maintenance and Educational Publishing"|
Awards and nominations
- McConnell, Jim. "Our Man in Hollywood". Chesterfield Monthly. Retrieved September 14, 2013.
- Segal, David (July 6, 2011). "The Dark Art of ‘Breaking Bad’". The New York Times. Retrieved September 14, 2013.
- "Breaking Bad Biography" AMC June 29, 2013
- Foster, Richard (July 2011). "Bad Man". Richmond Magazine. Retrieved September 20, 2013.
- "Biography at Mahalo" November 25, 2009.
- Lowry, Brian (1995). The Truth is Out There: The Official Guide to the X-Files. Harper Prism. pp. 219–221. ISBN 0061053309.
- Klosterman, Chuck (July 12, 2011). "Bad Decisions". Grantland. Retrieved July 17, 2011.
- Bowles, Scott (July 13, 2011). "'Breaking Bad' Shows Man at His Worst in Season 4". USA Today. Archived from the original on July 26, 2011. Retrieved July 26, 2011.
- "Vince Gilligan Talks 'Breaking Bad' Beginnings, 'Weeds'". Huffington Post. July 17, 2012. Retrieved October 23, 2012.
- "2012 Writers Guild Awards Winners Announced". wga.org. Retrieved February 10, 2014.
- "2013 WGA Awards Winners Complete List". time.com. Retrieved February 10, 2014.
- "WGA Awards 2014 Winners Complete List". hollywoodreporter.com. Retrieved February 10, 2014.
- "66th Annual DGA Awards". dga.org. Retrieved February 10, 2014.
- Arons, Rachel (September 12, 2013). "Better Call Saul! Breaking Bad's Spinoff Series". The New Yorker. Condé Nast. Retrieved October 2, 2013.
- Cieply, Michael (May 4, 2008). "A Man of Steel With Feet of Clay". The New York Times. Retrieved May 7, 2008.
- Carter, Bill (September 25, 2013). "'Breaking Bad' Creator Gilligan in Deal for CBS Show, 'Battle Creek'". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved October 2, 2013.
- Kondolojy, Amanda (December 5, 2014). "CBS Announces March Premiere Dates for 'Battle Creek' and 'CSI: Cyber'". Retrieved December 5, 2014.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Vince Gilligan.|
- Vince Gilligan at the Internet Movie Database
- Vince Gilligan at AllMovie
- Vince Gilligan at amctv.com
- Interview with Vince Gilligan