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Giancarlo Esposito on Gus' role in the third season of Better Call Saul

04.17.2017

Giancarlo Esposito Better Call Saul

His return was teased last season, but in tonight's episode of Better Call Saul, Giancarlo Esposito will be making his much anticipated return to the role of Gustavo Fring. Given the bang with which he exited Breaking Bad, Esposito told Entertainment Weekly that his first reaction upon being offered the chance to reprise the role was to say "no." At first he didn't know how Gus would fit into the world of Saul Goodman, but after a conversation with creator Vince Gilligan, the actor agreed to return.

I said I’d be willing predicated on a conversation with Vince [Gilligan, Breaking Bad‘s creator who created Saul with Peter Gould]. Then another six or eight months passed, and Vince and I had a terrific conversation where he just asked me if I’d come back and recreate the character I’d created in the show. And I said, “Vince, you created the character, I interpreted it and brought it to life. I breathed life into Gus.” And he insisted, “No, you created this character because you embodied who this guy is and inspired us.” So I said, “Okay, fine,” because I respect Vince very, very deeply as I do Peter Gould and all the writers who helped to make Saul a hit in and of itself, outside of Breaking Bad. He assured me that they were going to find the way that would be intriguing and interesting, and I said if that could happen I would come back. It had to be for more than one episode. I’m imagining what Vince was thinking is to take it up to where we begin in Breaking Bad — possibly.

Giancarlo Esposito and Better Call Saul creators Vince Gilligan & Peter Gould first had to agree on several things which Esposito thought where important, such as letting the mystery surrounding Gus "unfold in a slow-burn manner." The actor acknowledges that people want to know more about Gus, but that those reveals have to be balanced with Saul (Bob Odenkirk), which Esposito says that they've done "brilliantly." As for what excited him about revisiting the character, Giancarlo Esposito said that he was curious about the possibility of exploring Gus as a "more vulnerable" and "less maniacal" man.

What excited me specifically was my own imagination about who Gus was six years prior to us meeting him. Who is that guy? I want to chart his rise in a specific way. In other words, maybe the possibility of having him be more vulnerable and less maniacal and obviously in control but also very scheduled out. He has a very big brain. It’s the big brain that creates the business, or several businesses like this. So that’s what intrigued me — that I could find some other delicate areas of Gus to unveil to the public, and people would go, “Oh, yeah! Right! He’s younger, he’s more brash. There’s a different kind of balance in a younger man and a man who’s also in the prime of charting his plan.

Esposito will have plenty of time to dive back into Gus' shoes as the actor says that he has a "multi-season commitment" to Better Call Saul. The actor wouldn't give much of a hint as to what Gus Fring will get up to during Better Call Saul's third season, other than to tease that he is "very, very compassionate to his enemies."

But behind that compassion, through an incident that takes place this season, you see his bigger plan for this particular character…. I think it’s a fascinating moment for the audience and for Gus. He’s so self-assured that that moment will come that he takes an action to not have that moment happen now. (Laughs) Pretty brilliant to me.

The third season of Better Call Saul is now airing on AMC.

Source: EW

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