The return of Gus Fring in Better Call Saul, after Breaking Bad fans saw him meet an explosive end in the season four finale, is a huge deal.
After a tour of Fring’s infamous Los Pollos Hermanos office, built in one of the vast Albuquerque Studios lots in the New Mexico mountains, Giancarlo Esposito who plays the ruthless super-villain, crime kingpin and fried chicken entrepreneur grants a rare interview to The Big Issue. Unlike Odenkirk, he reveals, he required some persuasion to resurrect his character…
“I turned this show down three times,” Esposito reveals. “I wasn’t motivated by money. I wasn’t going to hold [creator Vince Gilligan] over a barrel. But I didn’t want to be a guest spot. If they wanted me to come for just one or two episodes, I was unwilling. I wanted to be part of a troupe. I also felt like it would be giving the audience the short shrift if I came in for one or two as just a tease.
“I’m a team player who loves the show and loves the character. I’m motivated by gratitude. Vince allowed me to become this iconic character. I love to be able to find something new in the character in my performance. Now, you’re going to see Gus in a very different way moving toward the guy we left behind at the end of Breaking Bad. It’s nice to be wanted and loved, and nice to meet opportunity when it comes.
You’re going to see Gus moving toward the guy we left behind in Breaking Bad
“If I was to sum-up the return of Gus in Better Call Saul, I would say: cordial. Intelligent. Respectful. But the first thing that comes into my brain? Fierce.”