|Character||Sidney Glass/Magic Mirror |
|Season(s)||S1 - |
|Date of Birth||April 25, 1958|
Giancarlo Giuseppe Alessandro Esposito was born on April 26, 1958, in Copenhagen, Denmark, to an Italian father and an African-American mother. His mother was an opera and nightclub singer from Alabama, who once appeared on the same bill as Josephine Baker. His father was from Naples, and worked as a stagehand and carpenter. Because Italian citizenship is based upon the principle of jus sanguinis, Esposito is an Italian citizen. Esposito lived in Europe until the family settled in Manhattan when he was 6 years old.
Esposito made his Broadway debut in 1966, at age 8, playing a slave child opposite Shirley Jones in the short-lived Maggie Flynn. He did not take offense at the play's racial politics then; he was thrilled. "I had a solo and everything." 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 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, 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. 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. The film explores homophobia. In Feel the Noise, he played ex-musician Roberto. Gospel Hill, in 2008, was Esposito's directorial debut; he also produced the film and starred in it. He is also a successful Broadway actor. Between 2009 and 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 third and fourth seasons. 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 has been nominated for an Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series award at the 2012 Primetime Emmy Awards. Esposito appears in Rabbit Hole (2010), with Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart. Starting in 2011, Giancarlo portrayed the split role of reporter Sidney Glass and the Genie of Agrabah (Magic Mirror) on the ABC fantasy-drama series Once Upon a Time. In 2012, Esposito landed a starring role in NBC's Revolution as Tom Neville, a ruthless general of the Monroe militia, within the series.
Gallery of behind the scene stills released to promote the actor.