gustavo fring

Gustavo Fring comes to Better Call Saul

Los Pollos Hermanos is open for business. Producers of “Better Call Saul” had a treat for reporters Saturday evening as AMC wrapped up its Television Critics Association presentation with a panel on the show’s third season, which bows April 10.

The surprise guest at the panel was Giancarlo Esposito, who played a key role in “Breaking Bad” as the meth supplier Gustavo Fring, who also runs a local fast-food chicken joint. Esposito got a round of applause as he walked on the TCA stage in Pasadena, Calif., confirming his involvement in the prequel series starring Bob Odenkirk.

Returning to the character was exciting for Esposito as an actor. But it’s a different Fring than the coolly efficient drug distribution middleman that he played on “Breaking Bad.” For one thing, he’s less experienced.

“We are at a time when he is a little more immature,” Esposito said. “He’s still finding his way. Gus is a very cagey character.”

Esposito is enjoying the challenge. “Sometimes it’s more exciting to have a character that’s a little bit more mysterious. We’re left wanting to know more,” he said.

 Esposito is expected to make his appearance in the second episode of the new season. Co-creator Vince Gilligan directed the first two episodes.

The camaraderie of the “Breaking Bad” alums was on display when Esposito was asked if he had any reservations about coming back to the role. As Esposito began to offer a very actorly answer, co-star Jonathan Banks interjected: “How much are you making?” Esposito shot back: “Not as much as you.”

Credit: Variety