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Breaking Bad: Gus' Blown-Up Face Reveal In Season 4 Took A Whopping 19 Takes

Though the series began with a truncated first season, "Breaking Bad" eventually went on to become a full-on cultural juggernaut. By the third season, the AMC crime thriller had been officially dubbed as appointment television, with viewers showing up in droves week after week to see how far down the criminal rabbit hole Walter White (Bryan Cranston) and Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) would truly go.

Of course, one of the most compelling characters to follow at this point in "Breaking Bad" was the criminal mastermind, Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito). Hiding his icy cold demeanor under the guise of a friendly restaurant manager, Fring was a creature of calculated menace who played a deadly game of chess with Walt before finally meeting his end in the final episode of Season 4.

While Gus' series exit after being blown up by Hector Salamanca (Mark Margolis) in the Season 4 finale of "Breaking Bad" is one of the show's most memorable moments, even superfans might be shocked by how much work went into getting it right. As series creator Vince Gilligan revealed in a behind-the-scenes look at the AMC hit, the shot actually took a mind-blowing 19 takes to get right.

A lot of work went into getting that grisly shot of Gus

In fact, to hear Vince Gilligan describe shooting this iconic "Breaking Bad" scene on set, it's clear that this was a particularly troubling sequence to get right. "I was pretty embarrassed and edgy that day we were shooting this particular gag," Gilligan recalled. "Typically you do — in TV especially — you do maybe one, two, maybe, three takes, four takes."

Unfortunately, that just wasn't cutting it for Gilligan when it came to Gus' death scene. "Once you get four or five, that's okay. Once you get to six, well, okay, you know, something special like this six, seven, eight, all right," Gilligan went on. "Once you get into the teens, you know something is not working right." Though the writer-director can be very fickle about details when it comes to shooting, this scene was extra challenging. Considering how pivotal it was to "Breaking Bad," it's easy to understand why he wanted to absolutely nail it.

Luckily, the cast and crew nailed the scene after 19 takes. Being that Gus constantly eludes death throughout Season 4 of "Breaking Bad," it was the perfect shocker to see him seemingly do it again, only to reveal that his character is in shock from the blast and has actually been fatally burned by the explosion. While it might have taken a lot of work, it's clear from the final results that the scene was well worth the effort.