Giancarlo Esposito on Motion Capture Acting and the Secret to Playing a Good Villain

“A good villain is a human being. As an actor, if I have an opportunity to portray a real human being, then you’ll see all the black and the white of that personality.” –

In addition to his stellar film and television work, Emmy Award-nominated actor Giancarlo Esposito has, like many other professional actors, lent his voice and appearance to a character in a video game. Esposito did it first in the 2014 game Payday 2, and he takes a starring role as a Caribbean island dictator in Far Cry 6, which is set for a February 2021 release. Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, Esposito reveals how he felt about acting in a motion capture suit for the game and shares his thoughts on portraying villains.

Esposito recalls spending a week and a half acting in a motion capture suit and likens it to theater, saying, “I found it challenging, but it introduced me to this whole world… To use just your physicality and face and emotions, it reminded me a bit of doing a stage play. I come from theater, so it was a way for me to explore this new world and get back to my roots, as well.”

Of course, Esposito has had plenty of experience portraying a villain as Gus Fring on both Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, so he’s something of an expert when it comes to on-screen villainy. Regarding how to portray a villain, Esposito says, “A good villain is a human being. As an actor, if I have an opportunity to portray a real human being, then you’ll see all the black and the white of that personality. For years, we see villains and we’re afraid of them and normally hate them. What makes a good villain is to make the audience love and hate them.”

About Author

In college, overachiever Christopher McKittrick double-majored in Film and English because he loves to read, write, and watch movies. Since then Chris – who was born and raised on Long Island, New York and currently lives in Queens – has become a published author of fiction and non-fiction, a contributor to entertainment websites, and has spoken about literature, film, and comic books at various conferences across the country when he’s not getting into trouble in New York City (apparently it’s illegal to sleep on street corners...) For more information about Chris, visit his website here!

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