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19th Apr 2024

Giancarlo Esposito was so poor before Breaking Bad he almost arranged his own murder

Joseph Loftus

Instantly recognisable for his role as the terrifying Gus Fring in Breaking Bad, things weren’t always looking so bright for Giancarlo Esposito.

Born in Denmark in 1958, the son of an Italian father and an African-American mother, Esposito moved to Manhattan when he was six years old.

After starting out in acting when he was just a child, Esposito went onto star in a series of films and television shows, slowly making a name for himself.

However before being cast as Gus Fring, the psychopathic burger flipping entrepreneur of Los Pollos Hermanos, Giancarlo Esposito found himself so broke that he considered arranging his own murder so that his children could get his life insurance.

Speaking on a recent episode of SiriusXM’s Jim & Sam show while promoting his upcoming series Parish, Esposito revealed that before Breaking Bad he was bankrupt and broke.

He explained: “My way out in my brain was: ‘How do you get life insurance if someone commits suicide? Do they get the bread?’

“My wife had no idea why I was asking this stuff. I started scheming. If I got somebody to knock me off, death by misadventure, my kids would get the insurance. I had four kids. I wanted them to have a life. It was a hard moment in time. I literally thought of self-annihilation so they could survive. That’s how low I was.”

He added: “That was the first inkling that there was a way out, but I wouldn’t be here to be available to my kids.

“Then I started to think that’s not viable because the pain I would cause them would be lifelong, and there’d be lifelong trauma that would just extend the generational trauma I’m trying to move away from. The light at the end of the tunnel was ‘Breaking Bad.’”

So it really was Breaking Bad that saved Giancarlo Esposito and since, there has been nothing but glitz and glamour.

Asked if he’d consider reprising the role in the future, Esposito said a resounding yes.

“Yes I would like that”, he said. “My backstory is he was a military guy who worked his way up through the ranks and could have become president, even possibly the dictator and have taken over.

“But he wanted to do something that could not be controlled by others, and he wanted to control his own destiny. And so he took off to create a new life for himself in America and become a meth dealer, a businessman.”

Esposito added: “I think, in his younger years, he was someone who could have been more Tony Montana. But he worked his way into becoming level enough to listen, hear, and see through his emotional state. We would hope that it might be ‘The Rise of Gus’.”

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