Gus Fring was gay in Breaking Bad and its sequel, Better Call Saul. The first confirmatory evidence came in Better Call Saul Season 6 Episode 9, which aired in July 2022, more than a decade after the character first appeared in Breaking Bad.
The showrunner of the series, Peter Gould, subsequently confirmed it in discussions after the airing of that episode, putting to rest the questions that fans have long had over Gus’ sexuality.
Who is Gus Fring in Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul?
Gus Fring is one of the major characters in the American crime drama Breaking Bad (which aired from 2008 to 2013) and its sequel, Better Call Saul (which aired from 2015 to 2022). He is a South American drug dealer with Chilean origins and specializes in distributing meth. In the early stage of his business, he becomes entangled with a Mexican drug cartel and has to partner with them against his wishes.
His drug empire thrives, and he sets up two legitimate businesses as a front for distribution as well as an avenue for money laundering. One is a string of fried chicken restaurants, while another is an industrial laundry facility.
Gus Fring eventually goes into business with Walt and Jesse, the lead characters in Breaking Bad. But as things often go in the cutthroat drug business, they turn against each other, and he becomes one of their most fearsome adversaries.
How the Speculations About Gus Fring’s Sexuality Started
Gus Fring made his first appearance in Season 2, Episode 11 of Breaking Bad. The character quickly proved to be a worthy villain and thus became a fan favorite. This favorite status meant that fans dissected every aspect of the character, and one of them was his sexuality. Gus was advanced in age but didn’t have anything romantic to do with any person of the opposite sex.
This led to rumors that the character was gay, and soon enough, little tidbits seemingly confirming those rumors started emerging. For instance, it was always known that something quite traumatic had happened to Fring back in Mexico before he emigrated to the US, and we get a feel of this in a flashback scene in Breaking Bad Season 4 Episode 8 titled Hermanos.
It shows Gus Fring with a close business partner named Maximino. They approach a Mexican drug lord named Don Eladio and offer to sell meth for him. Eladio is, however, convinced that cocaine is the superior product and has Maximio killed in from of Gus. The incident devastated Gus and set him on a revenge path against the cartel. Such strong feelings made people suspect that Gus Fring and Maximino were not just only business partners but had something more going on between them.
The rest of Breaking Bad does not offer any more insight into Gus Fring’s sexuality, but we get more clarity in the prequel series Better Call Saul, which came after. In Season 3 Episode 4 of Better Call Saul titled Sabrosito, Hector Salamanca, a cartel lord who is sworn enemies with Gus, suggests that Gus’ restaurant, known as the chicken brothers, should really be named the butt brothers.
By Season 5 Episode 1 of Better Call Saul titled Magic Man, two drug cartel figureheads, Lalo and Bolsa, discuss Gus and refer to Maximino as Gus’ boyfriend. In Season 5 Episode 5, Dedicado a Max, Gus has acquired a villa that has a fountain dedicated to Maximino.
All these little snippets convinced fans of Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul that Gus must have been gay, and the shows’ creator, Vince Gilligan, stated in a 2020 interview that he believed that Max and Gus were more than friends and rather lovers. This was strong evidence of the character’s sexuality, but they still remained some doubts.
Is Gus Fring Gay?
All the doubts about Gus Fring’s sexuality were finally rested in Episode 9 of Season 6 of Better Call Saul, titled Fun and Games, which aired in 2022. After discussing with a drug lord named Eladio, Gus stays back in the bar and momentarily flirts with a sommelier named David. He later realizes that he has let his guard down and quickly exits the establishment. This episode confirmed that Gus Fring was gay in Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul.
Furthermore, the showrunner of the two TV shows, Peter Gould, gave credence to this fact in a podcast interview. He stated that something terrible had happened to Gus in the past and made him embark on a quest for revenge. He also stated that Gus was holding onto the romance that he had with his boyfriend Maximino, and the whole thing hollowed him out.
The confirmation of Gus Fring’s gay sexuality was a significant development that set fans of the two series abuzz and inspired multiple news articles. One pointed out that the fearsome villainous Gus being gay challenged stereotypes about gay men being sissies. The article also pointed out that it was perfect that it was Gus Fring’s sexuality that motivated his quest for revenge over the course of several years.
Does Gus Fring Have a Boyfriend?
Gus Fring had a boyfriend named Maximino Arciniega. Gus Fring paid for Max’s college studies, and he studied biochemistry and chemical engineering. When he got out of school, they went into the drug business together, with Max cooking the meth. They made good money and set up some businesses, including fried chicken restaurants known as The Chicken Brothers.
Gus and Max later reach out to cartel boss Don Eladio for partnership, but Eladio had Max killed in front of Gus. Max’s death was one that Gus never truly recovered from. He dedicated his life to exacting revenge. He also set up a scholarship to benefit college students in Max’s honor.
Is Gus Fring Married?
Gus Fring was not married in either Breaking Bad or Better Call Saul. His failure to get married may be entangled with his sexuality. He lived in an era as well as a world where it was quite difficult to be gay, and as such, he kept what he had with Max under wraps.
Of cause, there are gay people who repress their sexuality and force themselves to marry members of the opposite sex, but Gus Fring never did that. He never got married nor had kids before he was killed off by Hector Salamanca.
Is Gus Fring Gay in Real Life?
Giancarlo Esposito plays Gus Fring in Breaking Bad, and he is not gay in real life. Esposito, an American actor with Italian and African American heritage, was previously married to a lady named Joy Madrigal. They had four daughters together before they divorced. They remain on good terms, though. Gus has previously spoken about his experience of portraying a gay man on screens and isn’t perturbed by it.
According to him, his experience of having an Italian father and growing up in Europe meant that he grew up in a place where men kiss each other on the lips and can hold hands and walk down the street without attracting any negative connotations. It was, therefore, not a big deal for him to play a gay man.