Giancarlo Esposito is known and loved by millions thanks to the extensive and varied work of his 6-decade career. In the 1980s and 1990s, he starred in several notable films and received critical acclaim for his stage work. More recently, he has achieved a new level of success with the role of himself as drug dealer Gus Fring on AMC's hugely popular shows Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul. With new projects like The Mandalorian and Harley Quinn in the works, there's never been a better time to find out 20 Things You Didn't Know About Giancarlo Esposito.
1. He is Danish by birth.
Giancarlo Esposito (or, to give him his full name, Giancarlo Giuseppe Alessandro Esposito) was born on April 26, 1958 in Copenhagen, Denmark, the son of Giovanni Esposito, an Italian carpenter/stagehand, and mother Elizabeth Foster, an African-American singer. alabama opera. Esposito was raised in Copenhagen (along with his older brother Vincent) until he was six years old. At that point, his parents decided to leave Denmark for the Big Apple, and Esposito spent the rest of his formative years in Manhattan, New York.
2. His mother acted alongside Josephine Baker.
According to IMDB, Esposito's mother, Elizabeth, was performing at a nightclub with legendary entertainer, Josephine Baker, at the time of his birth. The French-born singer, dancer and actress was celebrated in her homeland for her daring performances and her signature outfit of an artificial banana belt. Along with her skills as an artist, Baker was also known for her contributions to the war effort: her work with the French Renaissance was rewarded with a Croix de Guerre by the French Army, while her title of Chevalier of the Légion d'Honneur was rewarded. Awarded by the French President, General Charles de Gaulle.
3. He was a child actor
Esposito comes from a talented family. His parents are in the entertainment business, so it's no surprise that Esposito decided to pursue a career in the industry. His stage career began when he was a child, when he appeared opposite Shirley Jones as an orphan in the 1968 Broadway production of Maggie Flynn. He then followed that up a few years later with a role in The Electric Company's Children's Chorus, an early 1970s educational show that aimed to teach children to use songs, animations, and action skits in alive.
4. He was inspired by the applause of the public
Esposito's decision to pursue an acting career came after an appearance on Seesaw at the age of 13. Esposito says it was walking offstage and hearing the sound of applause from the audience that ignited his passion: "I walked offstage and heard the applause from the theater audience and felt a sense of accomplishment."the actor revealed.
5. Your childhood hero was Burt Lancaster
As a child, Esposito's hero was Burt Lancaster, the legendary actor who gained worldwide recognition (and multiple Oscar and Golden Globe nominations) for his appearances in such classics as Elmer Gantry, Atlantic City, and Zulu Dawn. However, the young Esposito didn't just admire Lancaster for his acting skills: During the 1950s, Lancaster made a series of highly acclaimed films (including Sweet Smell of Success (1957) and Separate Tables (1958) with his Hectare production company). Hill - Lancaster, proving a success both behind and in front of the camera. It was this entrepreneurial spirit that so appealed to Esposito, who notes, "He was one of the first actors in Hollywood to start his own production company, and I respected him because he created something he believed in.”
6. His first success was as a stage actor
Before the television siren hit, Esposito was building a successful career as a stage actor. Despite making a name for himself as an acclaimed TV and movie star, Esposito hasn't turned his back on the theater. To this day he is still activemember of Atlantic Theater Company, a non-profit off-Broadway theater whose mission is to "empower simple, honest storytelling that promotes a greater understanding of our shared world." The company was founded in 1985 by playwright David Mamet, fellow actor and Shameless star William H Macy, and 30 New York University students.
7. He has a degree in Radio and Television
Her decision to pursue acting as a career clearly paid off, but as a teenager, Esposito had some doubts. Worried that his acting ambitions would not pay off, he made sure he had the education to fall back on. As a result, he can now boast a two-year degree in radio and television from Elizabeth Seton College in Yonkers, New York.Of his decision, Esposito says“I thought if I had never done it as an actor, I could go to Alaska and be a cameraman and get a paycheck. It would be something to fall back on, but something he still enjoyed.
8. He collaborated on 4 movies with Spike Lee
Esposito first worked with acclaimed director Spike Lee on the filmmaker's second feature, School Daze. The 1988 musical comedy-drama, which also starred Laurence Fishburne and Tisha Campbell-Martin, provided an overview of race relations and tensions at one of the country's historically black colleges. The director and actor clearly enjoyed a mutual admiration, and over the next four years they collaborated on three more projects: 1989's Do the Right Thing, an account of racial tensions in Brooklyn, Mo' Better Blues, Lee's musical drama in the 1990s. and Malcolm X, the epic biographical drama about black activist Malcolm X.
9. He is a devotee of yoga.
All the work and no play may have made Jack a dull guy, but Esposito is in no danger of following suit. Between projects, Esposito makes sure to set aside plenty of time for some much-needed rest and relaxation. Some of his favorite activities include practicing downward-facing dog in yoga class, singing a song on his trusty saxophone, and soaking up the LA sun as he cruises around town on his motorcycle.
10. He is a philanthropist
Nowadays, it's not enough for an actor to just make good movies. If they want the respect of their peers and the love of their fans, they also need to do good deeds. More and more actors are diving into philanthropy, and Esposito is no different. Over the years, he has lent his name, face, and money to numerous charities, most of which have had some affiliation with the environment, the arts, and education. In recent years, Waterkeeper Alliance, an environmental organization that aims to protect water resources, Kids for Peace, a nonprofit youth organization that supports and empowers the next generation, and World Merit USA, an organization that improves youth perspectives. by increasing social mobility, everyone benefited from the actor's benevolence.
11. He has a net worth of $8 million
Esposito has an impressive career spanning nearly 6 decades in film, television, and stage credits (not to mention his numerous award nominations and nominations, including a Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Supporting Actor in 2012 and a National Board of Review Award in 1995). So it's no surprise that he has a net worth of $8 million.
Thanks to the innovative success ofBreaking Bad, better call Saul, mandaloriano,and nowKaleidoscope, the talented actor has not less a penny or two.According to the CNW, Esposito was taking home around $65,000 per episode when he filmed Better Call Saul. He adds that to what he gets from other projects (especially the latest hits likemandalorianomiKaleidoscope), and we're looking at a very respectable net worth of $8 million.
12. He appeared in the Muppets
Fans flipping through Esposito's back catalog may be surprised by one particular back credit. In 1982, the actor played the role of Mickey, Big Bird's camp counselor, in 4 episodes of everyone's favorite children's TV show, Sesame Street. Of course, Esposito isn't just the big name to appear on the show over the years. Since its inception in 1969, a number of stars have lent their talents to the production, including Amy Adams, Alec Baldwin, Garth Brooks, Cher and, perhaps most surprising of all, former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
13. He is a guest speaker
Fans who can't get enough of the actor's famously sweet tones will be pleased to know that Esposito is known for making occasional guest speaking appearances. The crowd pleaser routinely draws large crowds to his performances, where he offers his take on the state of race relations, art, entertainment and culture in America. He is also known for sharing behind-the-scenes anecdotes, inspiring stories about his journey in show business, and more personal stories about his experiences as a biracial actor in the industry.
14. I almost lost the role of Gustavo Fring
Credit: Breaking Bad
Esposito is known for playing villainous bosses, but believe it or not, he almost didn't get the biggest role of his life: Gustavo Fring. Because itBreaking Badcreator Vince Gilligan didn't think he could get Esposito, he didn't even think to ask him to. But when he saw Esposito's past performances, he was determined to cast him in this iconic role.
Another interesting fact is that even though Esposito was cast in the show, he was not supposed to be the main antagonist. Salamanca, on the other hand, should be the main villain. However, Esposito's performance left everyone on set speechless, so they decided to rewrite the story of his character and the rest is history.
15. He got the role inmandalorianodue to his long association with John Favreau
Esposito and Favreau had previously worked together on the television show.Revolutionand the movieThe jungle book.When Favreau was thinking about who would be good to play Moff Gideon inmandaloriano, Esposito was the first actor that came to mind. According to him, Esposito was the natural choice for the role.
16. He lent his voice to video games.
In recent years, Esposito has branched out into voice-over work. Gaming fans will know him as the voice of "The Dentist" in Payday 2, the action-packed four-person shooter from Overkill Software. The game was released in 2013 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360. In 2016, he also voiced Akela in Jon Favreau's The Jungle Book. The film was a critical and commercial success, grossing over $966 million worldwide to become the 42nd highest-grossing film of all time. A sequel is in the works, though whether or not Esposito will reprise the role of him has yet to be confirmed.
17. He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
Esposito has received critical acclaim throughout his career, but perhaps his greatest accolade came on April 26, 2014, when he received the award2,523rd star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The award was announced by Hollywood Chamber of Commerce President Leron Gubler, who said: “We are thrilled to have this triple threat on our Walk of Fame. This talented actor, director and producer continues to entertain fans and his talents are a perfect fit for our sidewalk of immortalized stars."
18. He owns a production company.
Esposito is as talented behind the camera as he is in front of it. Under his production company, Quiet Hand Productions, Esposito made his directorial debut with Gospel Hill. The film starred Esposito alongside Danny Glover, Angela Basset and Samuel. L. Jackson was released to critical acclaim in 2008 and won an impressive 9 awards at film festivals that year. Inspired by the success of Gospel Hill, Esposito went on to direct a second feature, The Show, which tells the story of a reality television show in which contestants commit suicide for the entertainment of viewers. The film premiered at the 2017 SXSW Festival and was released in theaters that same year.
19. He is fluent in Italian and Spanish.
Given his European background, it may not come as a surprise to learn that the talented actor knows a thing or two about languages. As he was raised in Copenhagen, you could be forgiven for thinking he would be fluent in Danish, but no... In fact, Esposito is fluent in Spanish and Italian (although the latter is perhaps less surprising given that his father was Spanish by birth). .
20. He is a member of the DC Extended Universe
While Esposito may not be a physical presence in the DC superhero movie series, he is at least vocal. Esposito joined the DC Universe Animated Original Movie series casting himself as Ra's al Ghul in Son of Batman and Black Spider in Batman: Assault on Arkham. Other notable actors who have lent their voices to the series include Rosario Dawson, Rainn Wilson, Christian Slater, and Jennifer Hale.
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