Giancarlo Esposito Reveals Near-Bankruptcy Made Him Consider Plotting His Own Murder Prior to 'Breaking Bad'

One year after this low point in his life, the actor landed the role of Gus Fring in 'Breaking Bad.'

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Giancarlo Esposito was once so broke that he contemplated arranging his own murder in an effort to help his children financially.

Esposito recently appeared on SiriusXM’s Jim & Sam Show to promote the AMC show Parish, which he stars in and produces. The 65-year-old was drawn to play Gracián "Gray" Parish because he saw similarities between the character and himself, specifically the aspect of being a hard-working individual who cannot achieve a better life for himself and his family.

Esposito recalled a time around 2008 when he felt everything in his personal life was caving in on him and he started wondering if his kids could receive life insurance money from his death. He went on to propose scenarios to his then-wife Joy McManigal about insurance policies in the event of someone's death based on what she heard from her late father, who worked in the field.

"She had no idea why I was asking her this stuff," Esposito said. "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."

Esposito reconsidered going though with such a plan because of the long-term trauma he would inflict on his own children.

"That was the first inkling that there was a way out, but I wouldn’t be here to be available to my kids," he continued. "Then 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."

The following year, Esposito landed the role of Gus Fring in Breaking Bad, which he considered the light at the tunnel during a difficult time in his life. He's had steady work ever since, doing nearly 40 episodes of Better Call Saul and over 20 episodes of Dear White People and Godfather of Harlem, plus roles on The Boys, The Mandalorian, and Once Upon a Time. He's scored five Emmy nominations. This year he'll appear in Francis Ford Coppola's Megalopolis and Ti West's MaXXXine, among others.

The discussion starts at the 11:50 mark above.

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