Why Breaking Bad's Giancarlo Esposito Once Contemplated Arranging His Own Murder

Breaking Bad's Giancarlo Esposito explained why he considered arranging his own murder shortly before booking his Gus Fring role in 2009.

By Olivia Evans Apr 19, 2024 4:52 PMTags
Watch: Why Breaking Bad’s Giancarlo Esposito Contemplated Arranging His Own Murder

Before a high school teacher turned to meth dealing on TV for extra cash, Giancarlo Esposito considered a much more drastic approach.

The Breaking Bad alum recently shared that prior to scoring his role as Gus Fring on the hit AMC show, and after filing for bankruptcy in 2008, he felt so desperate for cash that he considered arranging his own murder. 

"My way out in my brain was: ‘Hey, do you get life insurance if someone commits suicide? Do they get the bread?'" Giancarlo explained on an April 12 episode of Sirius XM's Jim and Sam Show. "My wife had no idea why I was asking this stuff. I started scheming."

As he considered his children's livelihoods he thought, "‘If I got somebody to knock me off—death through misadventure—they would get the insurance.' I had four kids. I wanted them to have a life. It was a hard time in life. I literally thought of self-annihilation so that they could survive. That's how low I was."

Breaking Bad: Behind the Scenes

Thankfully, the Do the Right Thing star—who shares daughters Shayne, Ruby, Kale and Syrlucia, all now in their 20s, with ex-wife Joy McManigal—didn't consider this proposal for long. 

"That was the first inkling to me that there was a way out, but I wouldn't be here to be available to it, or be there for my kids," he added, postulating what would be gained from his passing. "I started to think, ‘That's not viable,' because of the pain I would cause them, and it would be lifelong—and lifelong trauma that would just extend the generational trauma which I'm trying to move away from."

Steve Granitz/FilmMagic

Luckily, Giancarlo's golden opportunity was just around the corner. Breaking Bad premiered in 2008, and Giancarlo signed on in the series' second season a year later to play the antagonist drug lord. His work in the series—as well as its spinoff Better Call Saul—earned him buzz during award seasons, including several Emmy nominations, and a win for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series at the 2012 Critics' Choice TV Awards. 

And since Breaking Bad wrapped in 2013, he's stayed booked and busy—moving onto roles in The Mandalorian and Parish

As he put it, "The light at the end of the tunnel was Breaking Bad."

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