Surprisingly, Margolis’ makeup process for Breaking Bad was more intense than for Better Call Saul. In an interview with AMC, Margolis explained, “On ‘Breaking Bad,’ they literally pulled my skin back with a rubber band to tighten my face. It’s actually $29 plastic surgery without being cut up.”
Conversely, Margolis told Better Call Saul, “It was a more subtle thing and they darkened my hair and removed some of my lines.” He also added that they dressed Hector in very nice, elegant clothes for the younger role. This likely allowed viewers to juxtapose the “younger” Hector with the “older” character from Breaking Bad, who typically wore a hospital gown.
Finally, Margolis’ mannerisms make a big difference in how audiences perceive his age. In both shows, he appears much older in today’s scenes than in flashback scenes, largely due to his stature, body movements, and of course his speech. In an interview with Vulture about the chance to play a younger, less ailing Salamanca in Better Call Saul, Margolis said, “I kind of liked that Hector had some brawn and vibrancy. It got me excited.” Margolis certainly portrayed a very convincing Hector, both younger and older.