Actor Giancarlo Esposito, who portrayed drug kingpin Gus Fring on Breaking Bad, kept the gory face prosthetic he wore during his character’s remarkable death scene. Breaking Bad hasn’t been on the air in almost a decade, wrapping up its fifth and final season in 2013. However, the show has remained one of the most popular and critically-acclaimed dramas, partly due to its complex characters. Esposito’s Gus is one of Breaking Bad‘s most memorable and bone-chilling villains. Gus appeared on the show from season 2 to season 4. He was known for using his fried chicken restaurant chain as a front to distribute methamphetamine and had the uncanny ability to trick everyone, including DEA officers, into thinking he was a harmless, regular guy.
At the end of season 4, Gus met his Breaking Bad demise in a truly memorable scene. Bryan Cranston’s Walt made a deal with Hector Salamanca (Mark Margolis), where Hector would act as a suicide bomber when Gus went into his hospital room to confront him about being a rat. Hector used a bell on his wheelchair to detonate a bomb, killing both Gus and himself. However, Gus, with half his face blown off, was able to walk out of the room before dropping dead.
While appearing on The Chazz Palminteri Show (via LAD Bible), Esposito revealed it took “four-and-a-half-hours of application” for him to wear the prosthetic used in the scene. He also shared he still has the cast of himself that was utilized to make the impressive piece. Esposito said:
It was make-up, it was a prosthetic, so I have a bust of myself. It used to be in my daughter Ruby’s room for a long, long time and then she walked in and went, ‘Aarggh!’ She was so freaking scared, so I boxed it up and put it away.
The cast is apparently of his head and shoulders. Esposito admits the editors did use CGI to make his mouth move, but everything else was makeup and prosthetics. It’s clearly a moment most Breaking Bad viewers have been unable to forget since the gruesome scene. It also served as a fitting end for one of the darkest villains the show ever introduced.
The scene is widely considered one of the show’s most surprising and iconic moments, so it makes sense Esposito wanted to keep that particular piece of memorabilia. The actor has really experienced the best of both worlds with his character; he got to have an iconic death scene in Breaking Bad but still continues to play Gus on its prequel series Better Call Saul. It’s likely the actor won’t have another scene in his career quite like Gus’ demise, but at least he has a good way of remembering it.