Giancarlo Esposito (Revolution Cast)
Giancarlo Esposito stars as Captain Tom Neville, a cultured former insurance adjuster turned militia leader in NBC’s “Revolution.”
Life and career
Giancarlo Giuseppe Alessandro Esposito (born April 26, 1958) is an Italian/ American film and television actor and director best known for his roles in such films as The Usual Suspects and School Daze and as Gus Fring on the AMC series Breaking Bad. He currently appears in the ABC series Once Upon a Time, as the Evil Queen’s magic mirror and “Daily Mirror” reporter Sidney.
During the 1980s Esposito appeared in small roles 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 played this role from 1998 until the series’ cancellation. The character’s father Al is portrayed as subject to colorism, 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, 1993–1994).
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), cops (The Usual Suspects, Derailed), political radicals (Bob Roberts) and even a demonic version of the Greek God of Sleep Hypnos from another dimension (Monkeybone). He played Cassius 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, written and directed by first-time director/writer Tommy Stovall and starring Seth Peterson, Bruce Davison, Chad Donella, Cindy Pickett, and Brian J. Smith. 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. He is currently producing his next film Diamond District, set in New York, with Matt Damon rumored to be starring.
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, Esposito appeared in the AMC drama Breaking Bad, as Gus Fring, the head of a New Mexico-based methamphetamine drug ring, and the primary antagonist of the show’s fourth season.
Esposito is in talks with Breaking Bad creator/writer/director/executive producer Vince Gilligan to direct an episode of Breaking Bad’s fifth and final season.
Esposito appears in Rabbit Hole (2010), with Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart.
Esposito appears in the ABC program Once Upon a Time that debuted in the Fall of 2011. He portrays 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.
Esposito has also appeared in Community as a guest star for an episode entitled “Digital Estate Planning”.
- 2012 Revolution (TV series) (post-production)
- 2012 They Die by Dawn (post-production)
- 2012 Alex Cross (completed)
- 2012 Community (TV series)
- 2011-2012 Once Upon a Time (TV series)
- 2009-2011 Breaking Bad (TV series)
- 2011 Certainty
- 2011 Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior (TV series)
- 2011 S.W.A.T.: Firefight (video)
- 2011 Dreaming American (short)
- 2010 Detroit 1-8-7 (TV series)
- 2010 Lie to Me (TV series)
- 2010 Rabbit Hole
- 2010 Leverage (TV series)
- 2008 New Amsterdam (TV series)
- 2006-2008 CSI: Miami (TV series)
- 2008 Gospel Hill
- 2008 Xenophobia (TV movie)
- 2007 Mano (short)
- 2007 Feel the Noise
- 2007/II The Box
- 2007 Racing Daylight
- 2007 Kidnapped (TV series)
- 2006 Las Vegas (TV series)
- 2006 Dr. Vegas (TV series)
- 2006 Rain
- 2006 Bones (TV series)
- 2006 Ghost Whisperer (TV series)
- 2006 South Beach (TV series)
- 2006 Sherrybaby
- 2006 Last Holiday
- 2005/I Derailed
- 2005 Carlito’s Way: Rise to Power (video)
- 1996-2005 Law & Order (TV series)
- 2005 Law & Order: Trial by Jury (TV series)
- 2005 I Will Avenge You, Iago!
- 2005 Chupacabra Terror (video)
- 2005 Hate Crime
- 2005 Back in the Day
- 2004 Doing Hard Time (video)
- 2004 5ive Days to Midnight (TV mini-series)
- 2004 Soul Food (TV series)
- 2004 A Killer Within
- 2004 Half & Half (TV series)
- 2004 Noise
- 2004 NYPD 2069 (TV movie)
- 2003 Blind Horizon
- 2003 Street Time (TV series)
- 2003 Lucky (TV series)
- 2003 The Division (TV series)
- 2003 Ash Tuesday
- 2002 Girls Club (TV series)
- 2002 A Nero Wolfe Mystery (TV series)
- 2002 Third Watch (TV series)
- 2002 The Practice (TV series)
- 2001 100 Centre Street (TV series)
- 2001 Ali
- 2001 Piñero
- 2001 Strong Medicine (TV series)
- 2001 Monkeybone
- 2000-2001 The $treet (TV series)
- 2000 Touched by an Angel (TV series)
- 2000 Homicide: The Movie (TV movie)
- 2000 Josephine
- 1996-1999 Nash Bridges (TV series)
- 1998-1999 Homicide: Life on the Street (TV series)
- 1998 Thirst (TV movie)
- 1998 Naked City: Justice with a Bullet (TV movie)
- 1998 Where’s Marlowe?
- 1998 Lulu on the Bridge
- 1998 Phoenix
- 1998 Creature (TV movie)
- 1996-1998 NYPD Blue (TV series)
- 1998 Twilight
- 1998 The Hunger (TV series)
- 1998 Stardust
- 1997 Big City Blues
- 1997 Trouble on the Corner
- 1997 Five Desperate Hours (TV movie)
- 1997 Nothing to Lose
- 1997 Loose Women
- 1997 The People
- 1997 The Maze
- 1996 The Tomorrow Man (TV movie)
- 1996 Living Single (TV series)
- 1996 Swift Justice (TV series)
- 1996 California (short)
- 1996 Chicago Hope (TV series)
- 1995 Waiting to Exhale
- 1995 Fallen Angels (TV series)
- 1995 New York Undercover (TV series)
- 1995 The Keeper
- 1995 Reckless
- 1995 Smoke
- 1995 Blue in the Face
- 1995 The Usual Suspects
- 1995 Kla$h
- 1993-1994 Bakersfield P.D. (TV series)
- 1994 Benders
- 1994 Fresh
- 1993 Seven Songs for Malcolm X (documentary)
- 1993 Amos & Andrew
- 1993 The American Experience (TV series documentary)
- 1993 Relentless: Mind of a Killer (TV movie)
- 1992 Malcolm X
- 1992 Bob Roberts
- 1991 Night on Earth
- 1991 Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man
- 1990 Lifestories (TV series)
- 1990 Mo’ Better Blues
- 1990 King of New York
- 1989 Do the Right Thing
- 1988 School Daze
- 1987 Leg Work (TV series)
- 1987 Spenser: For Hire (TV series)
- 1987 Heartbeat (video)
- 1987 Sweet Lorraine
- 1986 The Equalizer (TV series)
- 1986 Maximum Overdrive
- 1985-1986 American Playhouse (TV series)
- 1986 Rockabye (TV movie)
- 1984-1985 Miami Vice (TV series)
- 1985 Desperately Seeking Susan
- 1985 Finnegan Begin Again (TV movie)
- 1985 CBS Schoolbreak Special (TV series)
- 1984 The Cotton Club
- 1984 The Brother from Another Planet
- 1984 Go Tell It on the Mountain
- 1983 Enormous Changes at the Last Minute
- 1983 Trading Places
- 1982-1983 The Guiding Light (TV series)
- 1982 Sesame Street (TV series)
- 1981 Taps
- 1981 The Gentleman Bandit (TV movie)
- 1979 Running
- 1979 Tutti a squola
- 1970 Et Salammbo? (short) (voice)