Giancarlo Esposito is going into his third season of playing “Breaking Bad” villain Gus Fring on the AMC series’ prequel “Better Call Saul,” which takes place well before he comes into Walter White’s orbit.
While Fring primarily lurks in the background, away from the main story of Jimmy McGill’s (Bob Odenkirk) descent into Saul Goodman, the series gives viewers a chance to see how Gus Fring becomes the feared drug kingpin of Albuquerque. And for Esposito, that meant one very important cosmetic change to Fring’s appearance in “Better Call Saul.”
We’ll let him explain:
“I was convinced that my hairstyle should be a certain way for ‘Better Call Saul.’ It should not be that very — what I look at as a very strident hair cut — the ‘Caesar’ cut that Gus had in ‘Breaking Bad,'” Esposito told TheWrap in the video above. Specifically, Esposito wanted to comb Fring’s hair back. “He’s younger. He’s more vulnerable. He’s less brutal; less ruthless. We want to see him get there. We don’t want to see that hard hair cut… that’s what I felt.”
Esposito continued that the change in hairstyle was partially for the crew members too: “Everyone knows Gus as being a badass…. people are afraid of me that I work with. I wanted to sort of dissipate some of that and have a Gus be on that journey to the one you eventually meet in ‘Breaking Bad.'”
Season 5 of “Better Call Saul” sees Fring and Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks), his right-hand man in “Breaking Bad,” go through some relationship troubles of their own. For those that don’t remember, Mike was forced to executive Werner Ziegler (Rainer Bock), the head of the German construction crew that was building Gus’s superlab, at the end of Season 4 after Ziegler had unknowingly revealed the lab’s existence to Lalo Salamanca (Tony Dalton).
Watch the video above for more from Esposito, including why Fring wasn’t among the many “Breaking Bad” callbacks in Vince Gilligan’s sequel film on Netflix, “El Camino.”
“Better Call Saul” returns for Season 5 on Sunday, Feb. 24 at 10 p.m. ET/PT.