Giancarlo Esposito insisted that Tony Dalton kicked him in a crucial moment Better call Saul season 6. Although the Breaking Bad prequel focused mostly on Bob Odenkirk’s character as he evolved into the unscrupulous criminal attorney known as Saul Goodman, it also delved deeper into the underbelly of the Albuquerque cartel through the return of Los Pollos Hermanos owner and drug kingpin Gus Fring in season 3 . From Better call Saul season 4 onwards, the dominant cartel storyline is the conflict between Gus and Lalo Salamanca (Tony Dalton), a character only briefly mentioned by Saul in Breaking Bad.
The conflict between the two comes to a head during Better call Saul season 6 episode 8 when Lalo corners Gus in his laundry and forces him to reveal his planned underground meth lab. As they walk down the stairs to the construction site, Lalo kicks Gus in the back. During a recent appearance at AwardsWatch, Esposito revealed that the kick was actually his idea, which he thought would enhance the scene, and despite Dalton’s initial hesitation, he insisted that he kick him. Read what Esposito shared below:
When we came down the stairs, we shot it and Tony wants to be careful, no actor should ever get hurt. He’s really friendly and doesn’t lose it at all. I turned to him as we shoot it on the stairs and I said, “Kick me.” “Oh, what? Why? Really? Why?” “I said, “Kick me and kick me hard.” Vince kind of heard that and said, “Wait what?” and then the stunt guy… are we going to bring him in? Roll the camera, right? Because there’s dirt at the bottom and that was the whole point of Gus going down, his face is in the dirt that he digs up to make something in the dirt where his dream lies.
We did a take and it was from the fifth step and I said, “Put your boot in my back,” and he did. I came down the stairs with my face in the dirt, my glasses in the dirt. I really felt it. I was just so mad and not hurt because I know how to fall. We did it two or three times and Vince was like, “Oh my God, I can’t believe you’re doing this. Are you okay?” I said, “I’m great, you just have to wait. See what it does to me in the rest of the scene.”
The Kick added a nice touch to Gus & Lalo’s final showdown in Better Call Saul
Lalo kicking Gus down the stairs to the planned meth lab, which was Esposito’s own idea at the time, added a nice touch to the final showdown between the two in Better call Saul. The kick causes Gus to land face down in the dirt of the meth lab construction site, which, as Esposito explains, is where all his hopes and dreams lie. The final superlab is, of course, where Walt and Jesse would eventually cook the meth Breaking Badmaking Gus one of the most successful drug kingpins in history.
As Esposito goes on to explain, the kick also exacerbated Gus’ anger towards Lalo in the scene. This enhances the intensity of his eventual speech, in which he mercilessly insults Don Eladio and the Salamancas, which is really just a distraction for Gus to trigger a blackout and retrieve the gun he hid earlier episodes. The scene was a masterful culmination of the conflict between Gus and Lalo that had been building for several seasons Better call Saulwhich was all improved but a spontaneous idea that Esposito had at the moment.