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

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“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.” – Giancarlo Esposito

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.”

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