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Giancarlo Esposito was so broke before he got the job on Breaking Bad that he considered arranging his own murder for the insurance money.

We typically think of any actor who has appeared in movies and television as having it made, but that’s not the case for most working actors. In fact, before Giancarlo Esposito landed the role of Gus Fring on Breaking Bad, he was so broke that he was considering arranging his own murder for the life insurance money.

While speaking on Sirius XM’s Jim & Sam show, Giancarlo Esposito revealed that the year before Breaking Bad, he was in dire financial straits and desperately looking for a way out. “My way out in my brain was…’Hey, do you get life insurance if someone commits suicide? Do they get the bread?’” Esposito said. “My wife had no idea why I was asking this stuff. 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 was hardly an unknown actor at the time, having appeared in movies such as Do the Right Thing, King of New York, Malcolm X, The Usual Suspects, Ali, and much more, so it’s upsetting that he got to such a low point. “That was the first inkling that there was a way out, but I wouldn’t be here to be available to my kids,” Esposito said. “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 light at the end of the tunnel was ‘Breaking Bad.’

After Breaking Bad, the actor reprised the role of Gus Fring for the prequel series Better Call Saul and went on to have major roles in The Mandalorian, The Boys, and more. Esposito will next be seen in Abigail, which follows a group of kidnappers who capture the daughter of a powerful underworld figure and must watch over her while awaiting the ransom. Unfortunately, they get more than they bargain for when they realize she’s no ordinary little girl. You can check out a review from our own Michael Conway right here.

If you or anyone you know is having thoughts of suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988 or go to SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources. 

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