It’s hard to forget the death of Giancarlo Esposito‘s Gus Fring in Breaking Bad. But one of the things the actor clearly remembers about shooting his character’s gruesome demise was meeting makeup effects master Greg Nicotero, who has now cast Esposito in Shudder’s horror anthology show Creepshow, on which Nicotero serves as showrunner.
“Greg designed my season 4 half-face,” Esposito said at the show’s Comic-Con panel on Saturday night. “Greg took me for a tour of his whole complex. I met this artist. I met a man who created real things, that represented real life, that were really horrific and horrible. I met this artist. I was begging for a moment in time when I could be directed by this man. And now I get there, and we have four days, and I’m like, ‘O-kay, this takes me back thirty years, guerrilla filmmaking, baby!’ You commit, you get in there, and you do it. And I had so much fun I can’t even tell you.”
Esposito was joined onstage by Nicotero, writer Joe Hill — who appeared as a child in George A. Romero’s original 1982 movie, which was written by his father, Stephen King — and actors Tricia Helfer and DJ Qualls. Also present was Adrienne Barbeau, who in addition to appearing on the show, also starred in Romero’s movie, but had to be convinced by her then-husband, Halloween filmmaker John Carpenter, and actor friend Tom Atkins, to do so.
“This woman, when she read Steve King’s script, said, I’m not doing this,'” Barbeau said. “‘Oh, wow, this is gory, and violent, and gross.’…I don’t know who George Romero is, I don’t watch horror films, and John is saying, ‘Are you kidding me? You’re going to turn down an opportunity to work with George Romero, the master of horror?’ Tom Atkins had been cast in the show, and Tom is a close friend, so I called Tommy and I said, ‘Tommy, you’re doing this?’ And he said, Adrienne, ‘You don’t get it at all. It’s going to be a comic book, it’s going to be funny, and you’ve got to do it.'”
Reminded by Hill that she had already starred in Carpenter’s film The Fog at that point in her career, Barbeau responded that she didn’t want to appear in that horror classic either. “Truthfully, when John handed me the screenplay of The Fog, [I thought] it’s not China Syndrome, it’s not Coming Home. I mean it’s not anything socially significant. What is this? But I’m happy I did it!”
Creepshow premieres on Shudder, Sept. 26. Watch the show’s trailer above.