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Giancarlo Esposito found fame on Breaking Bad, but before he made his way onto the beloved series, he was struggling to stay afloat, financially and was willing to take desperate measures to care for his family.

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The actor recently stopped by SiriusXM’s Jim & Sam show to promote his new AMC series, Parish, opening up about how his life changed thanks to his role as Gus Fring.

During the interview, the 65-year-old revealed that he was in such financial trouble before landing Breaking Bad that he contemplated arranging for his own murder so that his kids could get his life insurance money.

In 2008, just one year before landing the role that opened so many doors for him, Esposito began asking his wife about different ways to die to make sure his kids could collect his life insurance.

“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,” he explained on the podcast.

“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.”

Eventually, Esposito decided that planning his own murder wasn’t the way to go, realizing the financial freedom his kids would gain from the life insurance wouldn’t replace them actually having a father in their lives.

“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,” he recalled. “The light at the end of the tunnel was Breaking Bad.”

Not long after contemplating his own death, Giancarlo played the role of Gus Fring on 26 episodes of Breaking Bad, later reprising his role on the prequel series Better Call Saul. He has since appeared in The Boys, Godfather of Harlem, The Mandalorian, and more.


We’re so glad he’s still here.

Watch Giancarlo Esposito’s full conversation on SiriusXM’s Jim & Sam below:



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