Sundays 8pm to 11pm on Radio 2
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Breaking Bad’s Gus Fring was an unforgettable villain, a drug kingpin who could slit a throat without blinking an eye. Giancarlo Esposito, the actor that played him, couldn’t be more distant from icy Fring, though he still deals with fans who cower when they see him on the street.
Born in Copenhagen, Esposito came to America and took the stage as a kid actor before he ended up being part of Spike Lee’s crew (remember Buggin’ Out in Do the Right Thing?). But he grew uncomfortable with the stereotypical roles given to African-American actors (Esposito, by the way, is also half-Italian) and for a long time had to say no to playing the drug dealer, the gangster, the thief. The turning point for Esposito was Law and Order, where he played a lawyer, and ever since, his career’s been on his own terms.
Now, Esposito’s playing Major Tom Neville on Revolution, the tense vision of a world where the light’s gone out and people have to learn how to survive. And he’s directing Patriotic Treason, the important story of John Brown, the abolitionist movement and slavery in America.