Giancarlo Esposito took role as Gus Fring for a very respectable reason

James Hilsum

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Giancarlo Esposito took role as Gus Fring for a very respectable reason

Featured Image Credit: Sony

Giancarlo Esposito plays one of the most iconic characters from Breaking Bad, and latterly Better Call Saul – the Chilean drug kingpin Gus Fring.

Fring’s status is cemented in Breaking Bad when Walter White (played by Bryan Cranston) and Jessie Pinkman (Aaron Paul) work for him and produce crystal meth before things turned sour very quickly in the hit Netflix series.

Now, in a fascinating interview on the Rich Eisen Show, Esposito has spoken about why he took the role in the first place and what made the character such a huge success.

Gus was first introduced in Breaking Bad. Credit: AMC
Gus was first introduced in Breaking Bad. Credit: AMC

He explained: “The only reason I did this show is that during this particular period of time when they asked me to come and do a guest spot, it was the beginning of this scourge of crystal meth.

“I read a story about two young Mormon guys from Utah, who did their mission and disappeared. They wound up being found months later selling and using crystal meth. I thought this is powerful, and awareness had to be brought to the subject.

“So, yes, I decided to play a drug kingpin to bring some awareness to this subject through this show. It was one of the commitments I made to myself.

“People needed to know about this so we can become more savvy about what our kids might be experimenting with.”

Fring met his demise in Breaking Bad, after being killed by White with the help of Hector Salamanca.

Breaking Bad characters Walter White and Jesse Pinkman. Credit: AMC
Breaking Bad characters Walter White and Jesse Pinkman. Credit: AMC

The character's death is arguably one of the most iconic scenes in the series, and incorporated the use of some outstanding make-up to portray the fact that half of his face had been blown off.

Describing the scene, he added: “It is me it was extremely disturbing. Vince [Gilligan, Breaking Bad creator] checked in with me, we talked about it, and I said I didn't want this death to come into sci-fi land.

“It had to be real, we had to believe it. It was very disturbing because it was a four-and-a-half hour make-up. I sat for a bust for an hour and a half. They made that bust and did some digital stuff afterwards.

“On the day they did that make-up, I insisted on not looking in the mirror while it was being done. When they turned me around, I was shocked at the artistry of what was applied to my face.”

Better Call Saul season six is airing now on Netflix, and the final episode is scheduled to be aired next week.

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Topics: Film & TV, Film and TV

James Hilsum
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