|Intro||American film and television actor|
|Is||Actor Film producer Television actor Film actor Film director Stage actor|
|From||United States of America Italy|
|Type||Film, TV, Stage & Radio|
|Birth||26 April 1958, Copenhagen, Capital Region of Denmark, Denmark|
Giancarlo Giuseppe Alessandro Esposito ([dʒaŋˈkarlo dʒuˈzɛppe alesˈsandro eˈspɔːzito]; born April 26, 1958) is a Danish-born American actor and director. He has played Gus Fring on the AMC show Breaking Bad and also plays the character on Better Call Saul, a role for which he won the Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Award at the 2012 Critics' Choice Television Awards and was nominated for an Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series at the 2012 Primetime Emmy Awards and again at the 2019 Primetime Emmy Awards. He appeared as Moff Gideon in the live-action Star Wars series The Mandalorian on Disney+ which premiered in 2019.
He has appeared in Spike Lee films such as Do the Right Thing, School Daze, Malcolm X, and Mo' Better Blues. His feature film appearances include Fresh, Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man, The Usual Suspects, and King of New York. He has played Tom Neville in the NBC series Revolution and Sidney Glass / Magic Mirror on ABC's Once Upon a Time. He has had roles in two Netflix original series: The Get Down, wherein he portrays Pastor Ramon Cruz, and Dear White People, which he narrates. He voiced and portrayed "The Dentist" in the video game Payday 2 and will voice the main antagonist Anton Castillo in the upcoming video game Far Cry 6.
Giancarlo Giuseppe Alessandro Esposito was born in Copenhagen, the son of Giovanni Esposito aka John C. Esposito (1931–2002), an Italian stagehand and carpenter from Naples, and Elizabeth Foster aka Leesa Foster (1926–2017), an African-American opera and nightclub singer from Alabama.
When Esposito was six, his family moved from Copenhagen, Denmark to Manhattan, New York. He attended Elizabeth Seton College in New York and earned a two-year degree in radio and television communications.
Esposito made his Broadway debut at age eight, playing a slave child opposite Shirley Jones in the short-lived musical Maggie Flynn (1968), set during the New York Draft Riots of 1863. He was also a member of the youthful cast of the Stephen Sondheim-Harold Prince collaboration Merrily We Roll Along, which closed with 16 performances and 56 previews in 1981.
During the 1980s, Esposito appeared in films such as Taps, Maximum Overdrive, King of New York, and Trading Places. He also performed in TV shows such as Miami Vice and Spenser: For Hire. He played J. C. Pierce, a cadet in the 1981 movie Taps.
In 1988 he landed his breakout role as the leader ("Dean Big Brother Almighty") of the black fraternity "Gamma Phi Gamma" in director Spike Lee's film School Daze, exploring color relations at black colleges. Over the next four years, Esposito and Lee collaborated on three other movies: Do the Right Thing, Mo' Better Blues, and Malcolm X. During the 1990s Esposito appeared in the acclaimed indie films Night on Earth, Fresh and Smoke, as well as its sequel Blue in the Face. He also appeared in the mainstream film Reckless with Mia Farrow, and Waiting to Exhale starring Whitney Houston and Angela Bassett. In 1995 Esposito was featured in a music video "California" by French superstar Mylene Farmer, directed by Abel Ferrara.
Esposito played FBI agent Mike Giardello on the TV crime drama Homicide: Life on the Street. That role drew from both his African American and Italian ancestry. He played this character during the show's seventh and final season. Mike's estranged father, shift lieutenant Al Giardello, is portrayed as subject to racism, something Esposito's character practiced in School Daze. Another multiracial role was as Sergeant Paul Gigante in the television comedy, Bakersfield P.D.
In 1997 Esposito played the film roles of Darryl in Trouble on the Corner and Charlie Dunt in Nothing to Lose. Other TV credits include NYPD Blue, Law & Order, The Practice, New York Undercover, and Fallen Angels: Fearless.
Esposito has portrayed drug dealers (Fresh, Breaking Bad, King of New York, Better Call Saul), policemen (The Usual Suspects, Derailed), political radicals (Bob Roberts, Do the Right Thing), and a demonic version of the Greek God of Sleep Hypnos from another dimension (Monkeybone). In 2001, he played Cassius Marcellus Clay, Sr. in Ali, and Miguel Algarín, friend and collaborator of Nuyorican poet Miguel Piñero, in Piñero.
In 2006 Esposito starred in Last Holiday as Senator Dillings, alongside Queen Latifah and Timothy Hutton. Also in 2006, he played an unsympathetic detective named Esposito in the 2005 film Hate Crime. The film explores homophobia.
Esposito played Robert Fuentes, a Miami businessman with shady connections, on the UPN television series South Beach. He has appeared in New Amsterdam and CSI: Miami. In Feel the Noise (2007), he played ex-musician Roberto, the Puerto Rican father of Omarion Grandberry's character, aspiring rap star "Rob".
He made his directorial debut with Gospel Hill (2008); he also produced the film and starred in it.
New York theater credits for Esposito include The Me Nobody Knows, Lost in the Stars, Seesaw, and Merrily We Roll Along. In 2008 he appeared on Broadway as Gooper in an African American production of Tennessee Williams' Pulitzer Prize-winning drama Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, directed by Debbie Allen and starring James Earl Jones, Phylicia Rashad, Anika Noni Rose, and Terrence Howard.
From 2009 to 2011, Esposito appeared in seasons 2 through 4 of the AMC drama Breaking Bad, as Gus Fring, the head of a New Mexico-based methamphetamine drug ring. In the fourth season, he was the show's primary antagonist. He received critical acclaim for this role. He won the Best Supporting Actor in a Drama award at the 2012 Critics' Choice Television Awards and was nominated for an Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series award at the 2012 Primetime Emmy Awards, but lost to co-star Aaron Paul.
He appeared in the film Rabbit Hole (2010).
Esposito appeared in the first season of the ABC program Once Upon a Time, which debuted in October 2011. He portrayed the split role of Sidney, a reporter for The Daily Mirror in the town of Storybrooke, Maine, who is the Magic Mirror, possessed by The Evil Queen in a parallel fairy tale world.
Esposito appeared in Revolution as Major Tom Neville, a central character who kills Ben Matheson in the pilot. He escorts a captured Danny to the capital Philadelphia of the Monroe Republic.
Esposito also appeared in Community as a guest star for the episode entitled "Digital Estate Planning". He performed again in the fourth season, in the episode titled "Paranormal Parentage". Esposito has additionally appeared in a video of the action role-playing sci-fi first-person shooter game Destiny, as well as plays The Dentist, a non-playable story character, in the game Payday 2.
He has joined the DC Universe Animated Original Movies series. He played Ra's al Ghul in Son of Batman and Black Spider in Batman: Assault on Arkham. He had a recurring role in the first season of The Get Down on Netflix. In 2017, Esposito reprised his role as Gus Fring in the Breaking Bad prequel series, Better Call Saul. In 2019, he appeared in the first season finale of The Boys as Stan Edgar; he will reprise the character, in a more prominent role, in the second season.
In 2016, Esposito voiced Akela in the film The Jungle Book, which was directed by Jon Favreau. Esposito and Favreau would work together once again in the web series The Mandalorian in which Esposito appears in a starring role, while Favreau acts as an executive producer for the series and as its writer. He plays the role of NY congressman Adam Clayton Powell Jr. in the 2019 Epix series Godfather of Harlem.
On early July 2020, Esposito began teasing his role in "A huge video game". His role was later revealed as the main antagonist of Ubisoft's Far Cry 6 in which he would portray and voice Anton Castillo, the dictatorial ruler of Yara in the game.
Esposito married Joy McManigal in 1995; they later divorced. He has four daughters.
Awards and nominations
|1995||Independent Spirit Awards||Best Supporting Male||Fresh||Nominated|
|1995||National Board of Review||Best Cast||The Usual Suspects||Won|
|1999||NAACP Image Awards||Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series||Homicide: Life on the Street||Nominated|
|2011||Saturn Awards||Best Guest Starring Role on Television||Nominated|
|2012||Critics' Choice Television Awards||Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series||Won|
|2012||Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series||Nominated|
|2012||Satellite Awards||Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film||Nominated|
|2012||Saturn Awards||Best Supporting Actor on Television||Nominated|
|2012||Screen Actors Guild Awards||Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series||Nominated|
|2013||Saturn Awards||Best Supporting Actor on Television||Revolution||Nominated|
|2019||Screen Actors Guild Awards||Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series||Better Call Saul||Nominated|
|2019||Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series||Nominated|