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"To be a character actor is to be open, to be a chameleon."
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Giancarlo Giuseppe Alessandro Esposito (born April 26, 1958) is an Americannote  actor of part Italian, part African-American descent active in film and television since the age of six. He's been seen in films such as Do the Right Thing, The Usual Suspects, Malcolm X, Maximum Overdrive, Trading Places and King of New York. He is also a familar face on television with regular and recurring roles on Homicide: Life on the Street, Once Upon a Time and Revolution. He is perhaps best known for his critically acclaimed portrayal of Chilean-American drug kingpin Gustavo 'Gus' Fring on the hit series Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul. He has four daughters with his ex-wife, Joy McManigal.


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Film Roles

Television Roles

Video Game Roles

  • 2014 PAYDAY 2 as The Dentist, a contractor for the gang.
  • 2021 Far Cry 6 as "El Presidente" Anton Castillo, dictator of the island country of Yara.

Tropes, or Lies?

  • Irony as She Is Cast: Esposito, who is half-Italian, plays characters in Do the Right Thing and Godfather of Harlem who are incredibly hostile towards Italians.
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor: Esposito plays some the most ruthless and memorable villains in modern media, but he's a genuinely nice person, and an Otaku in his own right who fully embraces the pop culture scene.
  • Plays Great Ethnics: His earlier roles has him usually playing Black guys, while his later ones (especially after Breaking Bad) are usually Hispanic. He is half-Black and half-Italian.
  • "Sesame Street" Cred: By way of Retroactive Recognition.
  • Star-Making Role: His role as Gustavo Fring, the terrifyingly cold and efficient leader of a drug smuggling operation from Breaking Bad more or less made him a household name, and he has reappeared in similar roles since.
  • The Stoic: His intense, ominous, blank stare is famous for being able to terrify other characters and the audience. It's practically his signature move (one Far Cry 6 used in its advertising)
  • Tranquil Fury: The unflappability of his characters is practically a trademark in itself, with many of his characters becoming calmer the angrier they get. And, in the event that he does snap, then you know that the feces has officially impacted the air circulator.
  • Typecasting: Ever since Breaking Bad he seems to take a lot of roles where he's some sort of stoic criminal mastermind or Evil Overlord. And if it's a work with superpowers involved, he'll almost always play the Badass Normal.
    • In PAYDAY 2 his role is literally just an Expy of Gus Fring, only he runs a legitimate dentist business as his front for criminal activity, instead of being a fast food chain owner.
    • The Mandalorian has him basically playing Gus Fring as an Expy of Grand Moff Tarkin, albeit more unhinged and with a little Darth Vader thrown in for good measure.
    • In Far Cry 6 his role as Anton Castillo, "El Presidente" of a Cuba Expy, the tropical island of Yara. He evokes Gus Fring as he seeks to cement "paradise" in his country via a brutal dictatorship involving creating and selling an anti-cancer drug on the global market and using the enslaved population to help create it, naturally inviting resistance from local guerilla forces. Even the advertisements of Far Cry 6 lampshaded this, by making note of his long list of villains that he portrayed and centering the entire appeal of the game around fighting him.
    • Giancarlo voices Lex Luthor in Harley Quinn (2019), though unlike the other roles above, he's more Affably Evil with a cool demeanor, rather than outright calm and calculating at all times.
    • Definitely plays an evil live-action Expy of Lex Luthor in The Boys (2019), who can intimidate the Superman expy and his superteam like children.
    • In DuckTales (2017), he voices the Phantom Blot.
    • A variant in Okja: he's an intelligent and suave Corrupt Corporate Executive, but as The Dragon to Nancy Mirando, quietly working against her sister Lucy.
    • The corpo Faraday in Cyberpunk: Edgerunners is a fixer who hands out jobs to various gangs across Night City who are willing to make some cash, but everything he does is to climb his way up the corporate ladder. He's as much of a greedy backstabbing Big Bad as you would expect in a series that hammers home the troubles of runaway capitalism.
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