If you need a menacing and malevolent villain for further seasons of your acclaimed TV show, then look no further than Giancarlo Esposito, who appears to be the name at the top of everyone’s list. The 62 year-old took a much bigger role in the second run of The Mandalorian as the nefarious Moff Gideon, just weeks after shady businessman Stan Edgar played a more substantial part in the sophomore outing of Amazon’s subversive superhero hit The Boys.
The third season of Better Call Saul, meanwhile, also saw him make a welcome return as Gus Fring, the iconic small screen bad guy he first tackled in season 2 of Breaking Bad almost a decade previously. Esposito clearly has no issues running the risk of being typecast, then, and the head honcho of Los Pollos Hermanos remains the defining role of a lengthy career that began over 40 years ago. In fact, in a recent interview, he revealed that he’s got an entire backstory for Gus built up in his mind, one that sounds like it could make for an engaging prequel in its own right.
“I have this whole storyline in the back of my head that he came from political royalty. I feel like Gus came from the world of order. And that his order came. He was a military man. Out of the military, he gained the ability to observe. You can’t lead unless you can follow. In my brain, he was high up in a military government. He could have stayed there and ran the country. It was handed to him. But he chose a different path to be his own man and to find his own power, regardless of what he was handed. This is what he chose.”
Esposito has racked up three Emmy and two Screen Actors Guild nominations for playing Gus Fring in both Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, and the terrifying drug lord quietly became one of the most popular figures in Vince Gilligan’s expanded universe thanks to the actor’s intensely commanding performance.
There are arguably far too many prequels, reboots and spinoffs on the small screen as it is, but most people would no doubt be on board with an exploration of what made Walter White’s future archenemy tick when he was first rising up the ranks of the organized crime business.