Skip to main content

Giancarlo Esposito portrayed Gustavo “Gus” Fring in the award-winning TV series Breaking Bad for multiple seasons and reprised the role for the spinoff Better Call Saul. But in a recent interview, the actor revealed why he was initially reluctant to do it. 

Giancarlo Esposito joined the ‘Breaking Bad’ cast in 2009

Giancarlo Esposito poses for a photo at the Critics Choice Awards
Giancarlo Esposito poses for a photo at the Critics Choice Awards I Matt Winkelmeyer via Getty Images

Breaking Bad is an acclaimed AMC series that aired for five seasons from 2008 to 2013. The drama follows Walter White (Bryan Cranston), a chemistry teacher who begins selling drugs with his student Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul). 

It also introduces Jimmy McGill, aka Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk) — Walt and Jesse’s conman lawyer. And in season 2, Giancarlo Esposito joined the cast as Gus Fring, a Chilean drug kingpin working with them.

Esposito appeared in Breaking Bad Seasons 2, 3, and 4. In 2017, he reprised his role for Better Call Saul — a prequel that reveals Jimmy McGill’s backstory and how he became acquainted with Gus Fring’s cartel. He remained part of the main cast until the final season, which concluded in August 2022.

Giancarlo Esposito didn’t want to appear in ‘Better Call Saul’ 

Viewers and critics hailed Esposito’s return as Gus Fring in Better Call Saul. And it earned him two Primetime Emmy nominations. 

But in a recent interview with GQ, the actor revealed he was initially reluctant about reviving the part. He attributed his hesitation to fears he would mess up the character. 

“Big decision for me to make,” Esposito recalled. “I felt like I was going through the same dance — but I felt like I didn’t wanna go back. In my brain, I was like, ‘I can’t mess with that guy. That guy is done, man. He’s history. He’s iconic. I don’t wanna mess with him anymore.’

“I went, ‘No, don’t choose that. Choose to surpass that. So, what are your obstacles?'” he continued. “All of this was in my decision-making process. What can you do differently? How can you create a different Gus? It is before the time period of Breaking Bad. OK, so he’s more volatile; he’s less controlled. All these things went into the basket, and I said yes.”

The actor currently appears in ‘The Mandalorian’ and ‘The Boys’ 

Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul may be over, but Esposito has moved on to new blockbuster projects. 

He currently stars in The Mandalorian as the Imperial villain Moff Gideon. He’s expected to return for season 3. 

Esposito also appears in the Amazon Prime Video series The Boys as company man Stan Edgar. He’ll likely reprise the role for season 4. 

The actor also stars in Netflix’s 2023 heist drama, Kaleidoscope. His upcoming projects include Parish, The Gentleman, Perdition, The Long Home, and Megalopolis