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Bryan Cranston Says Breaking Bad's Giancarlo Esposito Is The Total Opposite Of His Character Gus Fring

"Breaking Bad" brought us several characters that have been woven into the fabric of our culture. There's Walter White (Bryan Cranston) and Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul), and Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk) was a big enough hit with viewers that his transformation into his smarmy and egotistical self merited making him the protagonist of his own hit spin-off.

But on the antagonists' side, nobody sticks in your memory quite like Gustavo Fring (Giancarlo Esposito). Everything about him was chillingly intimidating, from his stoic, unwavering and freakishly patient demeanor to his tragic backstory, and even the fact that his front business was a fast food chicken chain. At the center of all of these was the knowledge that this was a businessman willing to resort to brutal violence to maintain dominance.

Thankfully, Giancarlo Esposito is nothing like Fring. This was confirmed by none other than Bryan Cranston himself. During a 2012 Reddit AMA, a fan asked Cranston what it was like working with Giancarlo Esposito, commenting in particular about how peaceful Esposito seems to be in interviews and real life.

"Giancarlo is such the antithesis of his character Gus," wrote Cranston. "Gus was calculating and always had an agenda to advance himself personally. And Giancarlo is an open, warm, loving, caring man."

Nice people playing good villains

It's not like Bryan Cranston's character in "Breaking Bad" ended up being too much better than Gus Fring. The whole point of the show, after all, was to show how a decent man might become "the one who knocks." And given that Walter White ends up being the one who finally takes out the calculating Fring, he's clearly the better businessman.

And while Cranston may in fact be a businessman — as his successful foray into mezcal with Aaron Paul shows (via CNBC) — the goofiness and good humor he's been shown to possess over the years have even earned him his own reputation as one of Hollywood's good guys (via The Independent).

For his part, Giancarlo Esposito is open to reprising the role of Fring to show the world the character's origins. In fact, he has a whole backstory in mind for how the man became such a ruthless and cutthroat human being, going back way before the murder of his boyfriend by the Salamanca family.

Much as many of us would love to see that happen, it probably won't help Esposito's ability to walk down the street. During a 2018 appearance on "Conan," he mentioned that he wished people would remember him as the nice guy he is, before telling a story about a terrified woman on a plane who insisted he go ahead of her in the line for the bathroom.