"I always look for a story that exemplifies the journey of a hero. With Moff Gideon I see it as being an anti-hero's story. What lies beneath the words and actions of the journey the character is on, a journey that we all take? Whether a hero realizes it or not, it encompasses courage or truth—that energy inside us that allows us to get to where we want to go. I'm committed to playing this guy who thinks he is the master of the universe and that he can run it better than anyone else. Who is willing to push everyone's buttons! However, I attest that often the villain, the anti-hero, is really a fallen hero. They have the same qualities as the hero, but are characters who missed the mark, who wanted to be seen but didn't feel heard, and overcoming that is, in its own way, a heroic journey."
―Giancarlo Esposito[3]

Giancarlo Giuseppe Alessandro Esposito (born April 26, 1958) is an American and Italian actor who portrayed Moff Gideon in the Disney+ live-action TV series The Mandalorian. He is best known for his role as Gustavo Fring in Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul. He is also co-stars with Samuel L. Jackson in several movies like Do the Right Thing and Fresh and TV shows like Once Upon A Time. He has also portrayed Anton Castillo in the video game Far Cry 6.


Giancarlo Esposito was born on April 26, 1958[1] in Copenhagen, Denmark.[2] He is a fan of the early Star Wars movies and the world they take place in. He was fascinated by Darth Vader because he thought that under his tough exterior was someone who could bring light to the galaxy.[4] The Mandalorian creator and executive producer[5] Jon Favreau called Esposito and asked if he wanted to be in the show. Favreau informed Esposito that he wrote the role of Moff Gideon for him in The Mandalorian. Favreau then told Esposito that all of the money would go into the Volume and explained the technical aspects and the show's story. Esposito's bottom line was that he wanted to work with people he liked. He loved the idea and his only request was to wear a cape which Favreau agreed to.[6] Esposito felt powerful the first time he wore his costume.[2]

He was strongly affected by Peter Cushing's performance[4] as Grand Moff Tarkin in Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope.[7] He tried to do research because he knew the fans knew more about Star Wars than him. On Esposito's first day of shooting, he landed in a TIE fighter and was ushered into a standoff with around 300 stormtroopers. He thought about how Gideon does not need to do or say much to get what he wants because he knows he will get it. This scene helped Esposito find the balance of who Gideon is.[4] For his role in The Mandalorian, Esposito was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series.[8]

During filming for "Chapter 16: The Rescue,", Esposito saw his stunt double and thought that his body was too different for the fight scene. He then told Favreau he was doing the fight scene. He then worked with[2] stunt double[5] Lateef Crowder to prepare for the fight scene between Gideon[2] and the Mandalorian Din Djarin,[9] which he thought went phenomenal. Esposito worked with different kinds of lightsaber props of varying sizes. He broke six broke lightsaber props when the fight scene was being filmed. After the fifth lightsaber broke, the prop guy told him to be careful because there was only one more.[2]



Year Title Series Contribution(s)
2019 "Chapter 7: The Reckoning" The Mandalorian Moff Gideon[10]
2019 "Chapter 8: Redemption" The Mandalorian Moff Gideon[11]
2020 "Chapter 11: The Heiress" The Mandalorian Moff Gideon[12]
2020 "Chapter 12: The Siege" The Mandalorian Moff Gideon[13]
2020 "Chapter 14: The Tragedy" The Mandalorian Moff Gideon[14]
2020 "Chapter 15: The Believer" The Mandalorian Moff Gideon[15]
2020 "Chapter 16: The Rescue" The Mandalorian Moff Gideon[9]
2023 "Chapter 23: The Spies" The Mandalorian Moff Gideon[16]
2023 "Chapter 24: The Return" The Mandalorian Moff Gideon[17]


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