Better Call Saul’s Tony Dalton Is Still Smiling Over Lalo’s “Beautiful” Moment
Was there something extra special in the fact that Vince Gilligan was the one directing your swan song?
In my mind—and don’t take my word for it, because it’s only in my mind—I figured that when they threw out all the episodes of the last season, Vince said, “I want to direct the one where Lalo dies.” [Laughs] I don’t know, maybe it’s just random. But I can picture Vince going, “No, no, no, I want to kill Tony!”
Taking a step back, what was your reaction to learning Lalo was going to kill Howard? I talked to Peter, who said that he had always expected that Howard would make it to the end. The writers themselves were shocked that they arrived at Lalo killing Howard. Was it the same for you?
Yeah. I remember just before we started filming, Vince and Peter called me and they were so excited about that. They were like, “Tony, you don’t know what you’re gonna do, it’s crazy!” And I was like, “Tell me,” and they’re like, “We can’t tell you, but you are going to shit in your pants!” And I was like, “What are you guys talking about?” And so I always kept reading the episodes going, Well, which one is it that they were talking about? And then when I kill Howard, I go, Oh, this is it! I can picture those guys in the writers room ending up with Lalo and Howard in the same place and saying, “Let’s just shoot him in the head!”
When I read it, I just started jumping up and down. For me to show up and just shoot Howard in the head was like, What the hell? These guys are crazy, man.
Do you think Lalo’s obsession with the Chicken Man blinded him and put him in a vulnerable position?
It reminded me of Heat—when Robert De Niro can leave, but he’s like, No, I gotta go get this guy. Lalo shoots all these bodyguards. He’s got his gun to Gus’s face and he’s like, I could just shoot this guy right this second. But he wants to show off, and his ego gets the better of him.
You mentioned that a villain has to die, but is there some honor in knowing you were killed by another legendary villain in Gus Fring?
I wouldn’t have it any other way. If it would’ve been a henchman, I would’ve been like, You motherfuckers, you killed me with a henchman?! But it was Gus Fring, man. Also, Giancarlo is one of the greatest guys, and I love him. So when we did that scene and I’m dying and covered in blood, Vince kept saying, “More blood, more blood,” and I remember turning around like, Vince Gilligan, you are a sick man. This is way too much blood. And Giancarlo went, “This is so cool and it’s such an honor to do this with you.” I was like, “Are you kidding me, man? It’s an honor to do this with you!”