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‘Better Call Saul’: Giancarlo Esposito “Honored To Be Back” As Gus Fring – TCA

Deadline logo Deadline 1/15/2017 Lisa de Moraes
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As foretold by that recently released new promo for Season 3 of Better Call Saul masqueraded as a TV ad for Los Pollos Hermanos – the fast-food place Breaking Bad fans remember was run by chicken king/drug lord Gus Fring – Giancarlo Esposito made a Loretta Young entrance during today’s TCA panel for Saul.

“It’s great to be back with the family of filmmakers,” Esposito enthused after entering from the wings, and handing out boxes of Los Pollos Hermandos chicken to TV critics.

“I’m honored to be asked back. I had to remind myself to be very present in the character” who, in the prequel is more “immature than when we left off,” still finding his way to where he was at the cartel. “I”m excited to be back. Gus is a cagey character. I’m going back to the original stage direction that was really inspiring to me, which was ‘Hiding in plain sight.’ You’re not who you think you are. Sometimes you have different agendas and go about achieving things in different ways.” He described Gus as a guy who “wanted revenge, and to create a business but also was very caring about his family of business people. I’m looking forward to where we go with it.”

In the BCS spot, Gus is back as the smiling restaurant owner who — clad in mustard shirt and brown tie — promises  that if customers don’t like his eatery’s curly fries, “They’re on me.”

The ad, which really did air in late night TV, in Albuquerque, was Esposito’s idea, co-creator/EP Vince Gilligan said, thanking AMC for buying into the idea of making a fake ad/promo. 

Esposito said he agreed to come back without hesitation, which co-creator Peter Gould said was a good thing because they had no Plan B. “So that it has served us well,” Gould said of that strategy.

Esposito scooped a 2012 Emmy nom for playing the Breaking Bad baddie who bought a million dollars of meth from Walter White (Bryan Cranston), then saved him from the cartels and ultimately set up his superlab, before the pair turned on one another ruthlessly.

Starring Bob Odenkirk as Jimmy McGill — and, presumably, Saul Goodman down the road — Better Call Saul was renewed in March and went on to score 4.4M viewers for its Season 2 finale in April and rack a up a second consecutive Emmy nom for Best Drama Series.

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