Giancarlo Esposito Teases His Secret to Playing Villains

Though a notable character actor for years, Star Wars: The Mandalorian and The Boys actor Giancarlo Esposito has had a heel turn over the past decade. After terrifying everyone as Gus Fring on Breaking Bad, the Do The Right Thing star went on a tear playing antagonists, appearing as Moff Gideon in Star Wars: The Mandalorian and then as Stan Edgar in The Boys (plus a return to Fring on the prequel series Better Call Saul. Speaking in one of GQ's trademark "_____ Breaks Down His Most Iconic Characters" videos, Esposito opened up about what it takes to play a great villain, and frankly it's great acting advice.

"You see someone you emulate, you see someone who's really in their own skin I always observe older people who have nothing to prove. They're living their life, they're comfortable in their own skin, and that's what I want," Esposito revealed. "Moff Gideon is a very complicated guy and I love playing him for a number of reasons...So I play him in the first two seasons as if maybe he is trying to write all the wrongs of the universe and the galaxy, and the world that he's in, by being in charge. But he knows everything and no one knows how. So he has a particularly strong network of intel, which is great, but what does he really want? You don't really know, except for the child. I think that part of my success is to play villainous characters with a human touch, who are very astute and very aware of themselves and the world around them."

Regarding his character on The Boys, who faces the deadly Homelander face-to-face more than once, he added, "I mean, we think what makes a good villain is he wants to take over the world. And I have some of those in my Star Wars Moff Gideon life. But when you have a guy who is a company man, it's scary. And so Stan Edgar frightened me a little bit because he has no fear."

Esposito's character in The Boys was side-lined somewhat in the show's third season but the man himself previously teased he'd be back for the upcoming fourth season of the series. We also know that Gideon will be back in season three of The Mandalorian too. Both of those shows will be back this year with The Mandalorian returning on Disney+ on Wednesday, March 1.