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‘Breaking Bad’ Stopped Giancarlo Esposito From Arranging His Own Murder For Insurance Money

Giancarlo Esposito reveals how his role in "Breaking Bad" saved his life.

Actor Giancarlo Esposito is opening up about the “self-annihilation” he contemplated before landing his award-winning role on the hot television show Breaking Bad.

Esposito’s ascent to new heights in his seasoned acting career with the role of Gus Fring in AMC’s Breaking Bad marked a long-awaited milestone. Before this breakout role, he was a familiar presence in early Spike Lee films such as School Daze, Do The Right Thing, and Malcolm X. His exceptional performances in movies like Fresh and The Usual Suspects underscored his versatility and talent as an actor.

However, despite having over 100 acting credits to his name dating back to the early ’80s, Esposito still found himself down and out in 2008 and contemplating gruesome ways he could help his family. The Parish star was so broke, that he considered arranging his own murder so that his four children could receive his life insurance money.

“My way out in my brain was: ‘Hey, 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,” Esposito revealed on SiriusXM’s Jim & Sam show.

“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.”

Esposito credited this idea as his first thought of having “a way out” of being broke and depressed after decades in Hollywood. Thankfully, he opted out of the decision due to the “trauma” he didn’t want to inflict on his family. He also got the break he needed when he landed his iconic role on Breaking Bad, which ultimately changed his career and opened the door for roles in The Mandalorian, The Boys, and more.

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

Esposito appeared in 26 episodes of Breaking Bad as Gus Fring and reprised the role for the prequel series Better Call Saul. The role landed him a Critics’ Choice Television Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series. He told British GQ earlier this year he would be open to playing Fring again in a prequel series on the villain’s life.

“Yeah, I would love 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.”

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