Giancarlo Esposito talks about fitting in as a Black Italian man and getting his start in acting.
Publish Date: Jan 14, 2021
Giancarlo Esposito talks about fitting in as a Black Italian man and getting his start in acting. Since then he's been featured in hit shows like The Mandalorian, Breaking Bad, and Better Call Saul.
my my discipline in my life came from understanding that if I was disciplined, I would be able to do something Mawr with my life. And being a creative artist was a difficult thing back in the day when I was in New York. Because, see, I'm when I shave all this off, you know I am. I'm fairly light skinned. My brother's a little lighter than I am, but my name Giancarlo I supposedto people wonder. They always wanted to place me is being Spanish and not Sicilian, not Sicilian, they but that was acceptable to them. A black Italian wasn't really known. We had, like, what? Franco Harris, football player who was mixed. So I had to find my place. Outside of all that, and I literally learned how to act black. I learned how to do the shuck and jibe so I could get work until I realized Well, what about who I really am? Where does where does that play into what I do and who I am in this business? I remember shunning playing hoodlums for a long time. In the beginning, that's how I got work. I play. I could pick up a Spanish accent and be, You know, that was before Spanish actors were allowed to play themselves. Andi. So that's how I picked up the Spanish and played into it. Learn some Spanish, picked up some Spanish because I could play that character well. And I could play it in a threatening or non threatening way. So I had Thio shoehorn myself into the business. I was on Broadway Young Age Mark. I did let me see 13 Broadway musicals back to back when you were a kid when I was a kid. Did your I guess Because your mother was a mentor. Tainer at one point. So the support was there. How do you get from you know your childhood into Broadway? How? How did what was that? You know, I went to audition for Agent Earnestine McClendon. My mother wasn't getting any support financially from my father. There was pressure to make money. I was sitting home watching Gigantor. You may remember that show, right? I'm watching Gigantor and a commercial comes on and my brother and I scratched our heads and went, Wow, I I when I could do that and I was a little white kid on the on the commercial on my mother took her student agent, who then recommended we do voiceovers so that we couldn't be seen that it wouldn't because I had very good diction. So she the agent thought, Oh, what a great opportunity They won't know whether you're black or white or what color you are. That was fortunate because you were having a hard time with it. That's exactly right.