Gustavo Fring played by Giancarlo Esposito

Gustavo Fring played by Giancarlo Esposito

Gustavo “Gus” Fring, played by Giancarlo Esposito, is a Chilean-born Albuquerque restaurateur, business magnate and philanthropist. He is the respected proprietor of Los Pollos Hermanos, a highly successful fried chicken restaurant chain started in the late 1980s in Mexico with his partner, a gifted chemist named Maximino Arciniega. One of Gus’ defining characteristics is the friendly and low-key exterior he maintains, taking an active role in managing his front businesses and personally supervising employees and serving customers at his fast food restaurants. He is also a public booster for the DEA, making large donations to the agency’s Albuquerque office.

Gus lives in a typical suburban neighborhood, but despite outward appearances is also a major drug kingpin initially affiliated with the Mexican Juárez Cartel, secretly using his restaurant chain as a legitimate cover for methamphetamine distribution throughout the American southwest. Like Walter White, he is a criminal who hides in plain sight, using his anti-drug philanthropy to conceal his true nature and build his illicit drug empire step by step. Gustavo is ruthless and machiavellian in managing his vast drug empire, keeping the entire operation under his icy control. He admires professionalism and caution in his colleagues and is generally calm and calculated.

Little is known about Gustavo Fring’s past, except that he originally came from Chile. He emigrated to Mexico in 1986, the same year in which the Manuel Rodríguez Patriotic Front attempted to assassinate Pinochet, and in 1989, he was granted an entry visa into the United States. While Gus is a Chilean national, there are no records of him ever living there. Indeed, no records exist of his life prior to 1986. The only thing that is currently known about Gus’s backstory in Chile is that it has something to do with the Pinochet government. Gus also claims to have children, though they have never been seen nor anybody else in his family life has been revealed.


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