Giancarlo Esposito, perhaps best known for his role as the villainous Gus Fring on Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, is playing the villain in Far Cry 6. The first trailer introduces his character, Anton Castillo, and gives us a look at how his relationship with his son will play into the game’s plot.
In an interview with Variety, below, Esposito (sporting an excellent, scraggly beard) dives into the character of Anton Castillo, and what makes him tick. He talks about the character’s past, and how he’s trying to prove that he’s a better leader than his father, a previous president of the game’s fictional setting of Yara, was. “He may not be the dictator his father was,” Esposito says.
He reveals that the character is a former child soldier, who was “born with a silver spoon in his mouth” but was unable to ascend as a ruler until his father was unseated by revolutionaries. He talks about his beliefs, and there’s some clear parallels between Castillo and the former leader of Cuba, Fidel Castro. “When you get in bed with America, things change,” Esposito says. “But does Anton want that for his own country? I don’t think so.”
The actor also talks about working in mocap, as this is his first all-digital performance, saying that he would be happy to do it again. He also opens up about what it’s like to play a character in a video game, and how the presence of a player alters the thought process behind his performance.
Esposito also spoke with Entertainment Tonight about the role, and gets more into the details of the game’s plot, and also says that he played the game, but was “so bad” at it. He says that he wants to play the game and “learn how to be a gamer” with a title that he features in.
This interview is a bit more conversational, and doesn’t have any grand reveals in it, but it’s worth a watch just to see how different the jovial Esposito is from the characters he’s best known for playing.
The Hollywood Reporter also has a written interview with Esposito, where he talks about Far Cry 6 is relation to his previous turn as a villain in a game, Payday 2 (which was an FMV performance rather than motion capture). “To use just your physicality and face and emotions, it reminded me a bit of doing a stage play,” the actor says. “I come from theater, so it was a way for me to explore this new world and get back to my roots, as well.”
He also says that he did not consult with Better Call Saul co-star Michael Mando, who played Vaas in Far Cry 3, before taking on the role, but discussed it briefly at the Better Call Saul Season 5 premiere. “I mentioned to him that I was doing this game and said I was going to ask Ubisoft to show me what you did,” he recalls. “He said he enjoyed his time working on Far Cry 3 and was excited I was going to be a star in Far Cry 6. He fell short of giving me any pointers.”
He also talks more about wanting to play more games now that he stars in one. “I find it fascinating that it all comes from coding and how it all blends to bring a game to life. In our case, we’re really making a movie that will have more resemblance to a real film than ever before.”
But his most interesting response comes from a question about which other real-world leaders influence his performance. He sites Mugabe and Castro as particular influences on the character, but also says he’s had real-life encounters that he is drawing from. “Because I’ve been to Burkina Faso, I’ve met a couple of dictators,” he explains. “What I get from them is an overwhelming sense that they’ve seized power and control but what’s lacking to me is their ability to translate that into caring and compassion for their people. There are some seeds there that I felt like I would like to cultivate in terms of seeing a different type of dictator.”
“I really like the story of King Solomon, someone who ruled with an iron hand but shared his wealth with the people and empowered them,” he continues. “We have an opportunity to tell a story that is a little larger than the particular dictator story that we’re privy to in our news and our history.”
On top of Far Cry 6 and the upcoming final season of Better Call Saul, Esposito will also appear in Season 2 of The Mandalorian as Moff Gideon, who appeared in the previous season finale.
Here’s everything we know about Far Cry 6 so far.
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