When I first learned that Giancarlo Esposito was going to be one of the guests at Wizard World Austin Comic Con and that he was going to have a one on one panel on Sunday, I immediately started to think of questions that I might want to ask him. Well yesterday morning, I had that opportunity as I attended the Esposito panel. The panel was scheduled to begin at 11:30AM, and I arrived an hour early. Being the first one there, I grabbed the best seat in the house, front row center which was the closest to where Esposito would be seated.
Some of the topics discussed were as follows:
Esposito talked in-depth about his past roles on Homicide: Life on the Street and being brought in to replace Andre Braugher.
He talked about his current role as Tom Neville on Revolution and what he would do in a real life survival situation.
He chatted about filming and being on location in Austin, TX and the economic significance to both Austin and the surrounding areas.
His early days in theater and his transformation and evolution as an actor.
His role in Do The Right Thing, and his friendship with Spike Lee.
Of course his role as Gustavo “Gus” Fring on Breaking Bad and his conversation with Vince Gilligan on the decision to kill off his iconic character.
Near the end of the panel, I asked Esposito about his upcoming directorial project, Patriotic Treason in which he will also be playing the role of Frederick Douglass along side Ed Harris who stars as abolitionist John Brown.
The panel was about forty-five minutes long and Esposito was unbelievable. His stage presence was almost hypnotic as he completely had the audience zoned in on every answer he gave and every story he told. I am eagerly anticipating the outcome and his decision on possibly reprising his role as “Gus” on Better Call Saul. I look forward to seeing his Tom Neville character continue to evolve on Revolution. Most of all, I absolutely cannot wait until his next Wizard World appearance so that I can meet him again. It would be hard to find another actor with the charisma, intellect and kindness that Esposito displayed. Esposito talked about how his character of Gus had become more popular than Esposito himself. That may be true, but those who attended the panel as well as myself received something special and unique that morning, a rare glimpse in to not just a revolutionary actor, but an extraordinary man.