BREAKING BAD, created by Vince Gilligan, introduced us to many great characters.
- Antihero Walter White (Brian Cranston), the cancer-diagnosed high school teacher who turns to making meth.
- Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul), his young sidekick, who was originally intended to die early on but proved a favourite.
- Hank Schrader (Dean Norris), Walt’s brother-in-law and DEA agent.
- Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk), the sleazy lawyer who now has his own spin-off show BETTER CALL SAUL.
And then there’s one of TV‘s greatest antagonists: Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito).
The owner and operator of a chicken fast food shop complete with goofy logo, his professional front is a mask for a vast drug-dealing empire.
Gradually, the show delves into his backstory and the violence he’s capable of inflicting on those who cross him.
But it’s clear from the moment he appears: Walt has met his match.
Check out the video below:
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5 thoughts on “VIDEO ESSAY: Creating the Fascinating Antagonist – Gus Fring”
So interesting for Gus to say “A man provides for his family” as a way to manipulate Walt. As we see in flashbacks, Gus doesn’t have an immediate family, and his love was murdered. So does he really believe this, or does he just know saying it will get Walt to do what he wants. Who would Gus consider family? His employees? Mike? So many layers!
Fring is a perfect example of a villain in disguise who blends in seamlessly with “normal” society. He tells Walter White that like himself, Gus “hides in plain sight”. He schmoozes with and makes generous financial contributions to his greatest, most dangerous opponent: the law-enforcement community. It’s the old “keep your friends close but your enemies closer”. The most dangerous foe is the one you least suspect to be your opponent. Kudos to Gilligan and Esposito for creating a truly riveting villain!
Great observations thanks Lee!
Breaking Bad is a powerful series with strong themes, characters and plots. It’s a work of genius. The acting reflects, in a powerful way, how great the screenwriting and directing is. Congrats on presenting a great example of characters.
Glad you liked it, Sean!