Giancarlo Esposito

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Giancarlo Esposito
Giancarlo Esposito - Monte-Carlo Television Festival.jpg
Esposito at the 2013 Monte-Carlo Television Festival
Born Giancarlo Giuseppe Alessandro Esposito
(1958-04-26) April 26, 1958 (age 56)
Copenhagen, Denmark
Occupation Actor, film director, film producer
Years active 1966–present
Spouse(s) Joy McManigal (1995–?; divorced)

Giancarlo Giuseppe Alessandro Esposito (born April 26, 1958) is an American actor, director, and producer. He is best known for his portrayal of Gustavo "Gus" Fring on the AMC series Breaking Bad, for which 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. He is well known for his roles in Spike Lee films such as Do the Right Thing, School Daze, and Mo' Better Blues. Other notable films include The Usual Suspects and King of New York. He has portrayed Sidney Glass/Magic Mirror on ABC's Once Upon a Time and Major Tom Neville in the NBC series Revolution.

Early life[edit]

Esposito was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, the son of an Italian father and an African-American mother. His mother was an opera and nightclub singer from Alabama, and his father was a stagehand and carpenter from Naples.[1][2][3] Esposito lived in Europe until the family settled in Manhattan when he was six.

Career[edit]

Esposito made his Broadway debut (1966) at age eight playing a slave child opposite Shirley Jones in the short-lived Maggie Flynn.[4]

During the 1980s, Esposito appeared in films such as Maximum Overdrive, King of New York, and Trading Places, and 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. 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.

Esposito is known for his portrayal of FBI agent Mike Giardello on the TV crime drama Homicide: Life on the Street. That role reflected both his black and Italian heritage; he portrayed the 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 biracial role was Sergeant Paul Gigante in the television comedy series, Bakersfield P.D. (Fox Broadcasting Company, 1993–94).

In 1997, Esposito played the role 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), cops (The Usual Suspects, Derailed), political radicals (Bob Roberts, Do the Right Thing) and even a demonic version of the Greek God of Sleep Hypnos from another dimension (Monkeybone). He played Cassius Marcellus Clay, Sr. in Ali and Nuyorican poet Miguel Piñero's friend and collaborator Miguel Algarín in Piñero, both released in 2001.

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 2006 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. He recorded a public service announcement for Deejay Ra's hip hop literacy campaign to encourage reading about Muhammad Ali. In Feel the Noise (2007), he played ex-musician Roberto, the Puerto Rican father of Omarion Grandberry's character, aspiring rap star "Rob".

Gospel Hill (2008) was Esposito's directorial debut; he also produced the film and starred in it. New York theatre 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 and the show's primary antagonist in the fourth season. Esposito received critical acclaim for this role. As noted above, 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. Esposito appears in Rabbit Hole (2010), with Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart. He also appeared in an episode of the series Leverage, reuniting with his Taps co-star Hutton.

Esposito appeared in the first season of the ABC program Once Upon a Time that debuted in the fall of 2011. He portrayed the split role of Sidney, a reporter for The Daily Mirror in the town of Storybrooke, Maine, who in actuality is the Magic Mirror, possessed by The Evil Queen in a parallel fairy tale world.[5] Esposito currently appears in Revolution as Major Tom Neville, a central character who kills Ben Matheson in the pilot and escorts a captured Danny back to the capital of the Monroe Militia in Philadelphia.[6]

Esposito has also appeared in Community as a guest star for an episode entitled "Digital Estate Planning". He then reappeared in the fourth season, in the episode titled "Paranormal Parentage".[7] Esposito has additionally appeared in an video of the action role-playing sci-fi first-person shooter Destiny, as well as playing 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 is set to portray Black Spider in the upcoming Batman: Assault on Arkham.

Personal life[edit]

Esposito married Joy McManigal in 1995; they later divorced.[8]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1979 Running Puerto Rican Teenager
1981 The Gentleman Bandit Jamie Television film
1981 Taps Cadet Captain JC Pierce
1983 Trading Places Cellmate
1983 Enormous Changes at the Last Minute Julio
1984 Go Tell it on the Mountain Julio
1984 The Cotton Club Bumpy Hood
1985 Desperately Seeking Susan Street Vendor
1986 Maximum Overdrive Videoplayer
1986 Rockabye Marcus Television film
1987 Sweet Lorraine Howie
1988 School Daze Julian
1989 Do the Right Thing Buggin' Out
1990 Mo' Better Blues Left Hand Lacey
1990 King of New York Lance
1991 Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man Jimmy Jiles
1991 Night on Earth YoYo
1992 Bob Roberts John Alijah "Bugs" Raplin
1992 Malcolm X Thomas Hayer
1994 Fresh Esteban
1995 The Usual Suspects Jack Baer
1995 Blue in the Face Tommy
1995 Waiting to Exhale David Matthews Uncredited
1997 Nothing to Lose Charlie Dunt
1997 Big City Blues Georgie
1998 Stardust Mr. Peavy Television film
1998 Twilight Reuben Escobar
1998 Creature Lt. Thomas Peniston Television film
1998 Phoenix Louie
1998 Thirst Dr. Lawrence Carver Television film
1998 Naked City: Justice with a Bullet Chaz Villanueva Television film
2000 Homicide: The Movie Officer Mike Giardello Television film
2001 Josephine Spike
2001 Monkeybone Hypnos
2001 Ali Cassius Marcellus Clay, Sr.
2001 Piñero Miguel Algarín
2003 Ash Tuesday Karl
2003 Blind Horizon JC Reynolds
2004 Noise Hank
2004 Doing Hard Time Captain Pierce
2004 A Killer Within Vargas
2005 Hate Crime Det. Esposito
2005 Chupacabra: Dark Seas Dr. Peña
2005 I Will Avenge You, Iago! Director
2005 Back in the Day Benson Copper
2005 Carlito's Way: Rise to Power Little Jeff
2005 Derailed Detective Franklin Church
2006 Last Holiday Senator Dillings
2006 Sherrybaby Parole Officer Hernandez
2006 Rain Ken Arnold
2007 Racing Daylight Fred / Drifter
2007 The Box Detective Dwayne Burkhalter
2007 Mano Nino Short film
2007 Feel the Noise Roberto
2008 Gospel Hill Dr. Palmer Director
2008 Xenophobia Young Television film
2010 Rabbit Hole Auggie
2011 S.W.A.T.: Firefight Inspector Hollander
2011 Certainty Father Heery
2012 Alex Cross Daramus Holiday
2012 Dreaming American Daytona LeMans Short film
2013 Over / Under Oliver Ohrt Television film
2014 Requiem for the Big East Narrator [9]
2014 Son of Batman Ra's al Ghul (voice)
2014 Batman: Assault on Arkham Black Spider (voice)
2015 Stuck Lloyd
2015 The Jungle Book Akela [10]
2015 The Scorch Trials Jorge Pre-Production

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1982 Sesame Street Mickey 5 episodes
1984 Miami Vice Luther Episode: "Little Prince"
1985 Finnegan Begin Again Intruder Made-for-TV movie
1985 Miami Vice Ricky Episode: "Nobody Lives Forever"
1985 Miami Vice Adonis Jackson Episode: "The Dutch Oven
1985 American Playhouse Elisha Episode: "Go Tell it on the Mountain"
1986 American Playhouse Simon Fernandes Episode: "Roanoak"
1986 The Equalizer Jumpin' Jack Episode: "The Line"
1987 Spenser: For Hire Ramos Episode: "On the Night He Was Betrayed"
1987 Leg Work Tyson Episode: "Blind Trust"
1990 Lifestories Julio Episode: "Jerry Forchette"
1993 The American Experience Dr. Kenneth Clark Episode: "Simple Justice"
1993–94 Bakersfield P.D. Detective Paul Gigante 17 episodes
1995 New York Undercover Adolfo Guzman 3 episodes
1995 Fallen Angels Paris Minton Episode: "Fearless"
1996 Chicago Hope Cherchez LaFemme Episode: "Right to Life"
1996 Swift Justice Andrew Coffin 3 episodes
1996 NYPD Blue Ferdinand Hollie Episode: "Hollie and the Blowfish"
1996 Living Single Jackson Turner Episode: "Kiss of the Spider Man"
1996 Law & Order Mr. Baylor Episode: "Good Girl"
1998 The Hunger Vampire Episode: "Fly-By-Night"
1998 NYPD Blue Jamaal 2 episodes
1998–99 Homicide: Life on the Street Federal Agent Mike Giardello 22 episodes
2000 Touched by an Angel Antonio Episode: "Here I Am"
2000–01 The $treet Tom Divack 12 episodes
2001 Strong Medicine James Bell Episode: "Mortality"
2001 100 Centre Street Jacob Lenz Episode: "Andromeda and the Monster"
2002 The Practice Ray McMurphy Episode: "Pro Se"
2002 Third Watch Father Romero Episode: "The Unforgiven"
2002 Girl Club Nicholas Hahn 9 episodes
2004 5ive Days to Midnight Tim Sanders
2005 Law & Order: Trial by Jury Orlando Ramirez Episode: "Boys Will Be Boys"
2005 Law & Order Rodney Fallon 2 episodes
2006 South Beach Robert Fuentes 5 episodes
2006 Ghost Whisperer Ely Episode: "Fury"
2006 Bones Richard Benoit Episode: "The Man in the Morgue
2006 Las Vegas Reggie Archibald Episode: "White Christmas"
2006–08 CSI: Miami Chief Braga 2 episodes
2007 Kidnapped Vance 2 episodes
2008 New Amsterdam Special Agent James Lawson Episode: "Legacy"
2009–11 Breaking Bad Gustavo "Gus" Fring 24 episodes
2010 Leverage Alexander Moto Episode: "The Scheherazade Job"
2010 Lie to Me Beau Hackman Episode: "Black and White"
2010 Detroit 1-8-7 Eddie Henderson Episode: "Shelter"
2011 Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior Gordon Ramirez Episode: "The Time is Now"
2011–14 Once Upon a Time Sidney Glass/Magic Mirror 11 episodes
2012–13 Community Gilbert Lawson 2 episodes
2012 NYC 22 Harvey Williams 2 episodes
2012–14 Revolution Tom Neville 42 episodes
2013 Timms Valley Pruit Normings (voice) Pilot
2013 Axe Cop Army Chihuahua (voice) 2 episodes

Video Games[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2014 Payday 2 The Dentist Voice & likeness in trailers
2014 Destiny Father Trailer

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Association Category Nominated work Result
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 NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Breaking Bad Nominated
2011 Saturn Awards Best Guest Starring Role on Television Breaking Bad Nominated
2012 Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Breaking Bad Won
2012 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Breaking Bad Nominated
2012 Satellite Awards Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film Breaking Bad Nominated
2012 Saturn Awards Best Supporting Actor on Television Breaking Bad Nominated
2012 Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Breaking Bad Nominated
2013 Saturn Awards Best Supporting Actor on Television Revolution Nominated

References[edit]

  1. ^ LeVasseur, Andrea (c:a 2003). "Giancarlo Esposito Pictures, Biography, Filmography, News, Videos". All Movie Guide. Starpulse. Retrieved 2009-04-10.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  2. ^ "Giancarlo Esposito Biography (1958–)". Film Reference. NetIndustries, LLC. Retrieved 2009-04-10. "Giancarlo Giuseppi Alessandro Esposito; born April 26, 1958, in Copenhagen, Denmark; raised in New York, NY; father, a stagehand and carpenter; mother, an opera and nightclub singer; married Joy McManigal (a producer), June 1995; children: Shayne Lyra, Kale Lyn" 
  3. ^ "Giancarlo Esposito and confrontation". Los Angeles Times. 
  4. ^ http://www.starpulse.com/Actors/Esposito,_Giancarlo/Biography/ Starpulse.com
  5. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (July 18, 2011). "TV BITS: Giancarlo Esposito To Join ABC Series, Howie Mandel To Produce Reality Format, Ben Silveran To Publish Comic". Deadline. Mail.com Media Corp. Retrieved July 18, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Major Tom Neville". IMDB. Retrieved 9 April 2013. 
  7. ^ Kronke, David (February 17, 2012). "Exclusive: Giancarlo Esposito Talks About His Community Guest Shot". TV Guide. Retrieved February 18, 2012. 
  8. ^ Heisler, Steve (7 October 2011). "Giancarlo Esposito". AV Club. Retrieved 8 October 2011. 
  9. ^ http://frontrow.espn.go.com/2014/03/icymi-week-front-row-plus-inside-new-big-east-30-30-film/
  10. ^ "Disney’s ‘Jungle Book’ Adds Christopher Walken & Giancarlo Esposito". deadline.com. July 28, 2014. Retrieved July 28, 2014. 

External links[edit]