Giancarlo Esposito visits university to discuss his acting career, following passions and more 

Staff Reporter

Students filled Trabant University Center this past Monday to get into “An Evening with Giancarlo Esposito,” one of the university’s “Geek Week” events. The line wrapped from the Trabant multipurpose rooms all the way down to the East Delaware Avenue side of the building, with some students arriving two hours before doors opened. 

“I’m geeked for Geek Week,” Annabel Joice, a freshman fashion merchandising major, said.

“Geek Week” is a week-long celebration encouraging students to “find their inner geek.” Every day features a new activity, speaker or potential prize. 

Esposito, who is most known for his roles as Gustavo Fring in “Breaking Bad” and “Better Call Saul,” and Moff Gideon in “The Mandalorian,” visited the university for an hour-long Q&A session about his lifelong career in show business. 

“He was one of my favorite characters in ‘Breaking Bad,’ and he plays such serious characters, but he seems really chill and down to earth in reality,” Joice said. 

Esposito has appeared in a plethora of movies, television shows, video games and theater productions. 

Nya Wynn/THE REVIEW. The line of students waiting to get into the event.

“I am just excited to see him because I’ve seen him in a lot of stuff,” JP Cambell, a freshman cybersecurity engineering major, said. “He is also so much more than his role as Gus Fring, there’s ‘Far Cry 6,’ ‘The Boys,’ ‘Kaleidoscope’ and so many more.” 

“I love ‘The Mandalorian,’ and his comeback in season three was great,” freshman visual communications major Nick Barbato said. “I would love to know if he will come back and be Moff Gideon in ‘The Mandalorian & Grogu’ movie.”

Esposito touched on this topic during his talk, saying that he would love to return to his role as Moff Gideon if he was asked, but he has yet to hear any news regarding that topic.

Although much of the audience seemed to be interested in Esposito’s most famous roles, he also touched on some of his smaller roles where he felt he learned so much about himself and about life in general. 

“It’s the smaller films that I’ve done that have really moved me,” Esposito said when discussing his role in “Go Tell It on the Mountain.”

Esposito explained that he grew up going to church and resonated with some of the thoughts and feelings of his character, Elisha. 

“‘Go Tell It on the Mountain’ connected me to a healing of my life through the experience of playing this character,” Esposito said. “But each role I play does something different for my spirit.” 

In addition to some of his smaller films, Esposito reflected on his time working on the set of Sesame Street, where he played camp counselor to the famous Big Bird, portrayed by Caroll Spinney. 

“I had to babysit a big bird with a human being inside of it,” Esposito said. “It sounds silly, but I had no idea the human being inside that bird was so insightful.

“I really got along with Caroll Spinney. He taught me a little bit about life, and I eventually left that shoot of 14 days looking up to a person that I never knew existed.” 

Esposito explained that he originally pursued an acting career because the big screens lacked representation, which also spurred on the creation of his own production company in 2007, Quiet Hand Productions.

“I was looking at the entertainment images, and I didn’t see images of myself,” Esposito said. “So that’s how I went from musical comedy to straight drama, and finally to television, where I reached more people.” 

Esposito explained that Quiet Hand Productions will focus on raising awareness of different cultures in society through the telling of historical stories. He emphasized that he wants to highlight things that deal with unsolved challenges in our society and with cultures that the general population may not be privy to. 

“There is the popular, iconic stuff that I’ve done and I’ve loved, but there’s also the undercurrent of people’s stories that are important to many individuals and that could help us transform the world into a better place,” Esposito said. 

Although audiences may not have known what to expect of the event, “An Evening with Giancarlo Esposito” proved to be heartfelt and encouraging to those in the crowd, with hints of Esposito’s new projects sprinkled throughout. 

“If you dedicate yourself to something you really love, everything falls into place after that,” Esposito said.