By Will Gallagher
Fans of AMC’s popular and critically acclaimed series Breaking Bad are in for a treat on March 29 at 8 p.m. when Giancarlo Esposito visits the Yvonne Theater.
The Student Entertainment Council (SEC) is hosting the actor, who played Gus Fring, a crime lord and co-founder of the fictional Los Pollos Hermanos, a fried chicken restaurant chain.
Esposito, who portrayed Fring in seasons two through four of Breaking Bad, will be discussing his career as an actor and director.
“Giancarlo Esposito is one of the premier TV actors out there right now,” said Nick Barbati, assistant director of Campus Life. “He’s a fantastic performer who was on one of the hottest shows around.”
His résumé includes many appearances on stage and screen, including playing the Valedictorian in the original version of the musical Merrily We Roll Along, which Rider is doing its own production of this April.
Peter Petrino, a junior musical theater major, a member of SEC, and a huge fan of the show, will explore Esposito’s career as the moderator for the question-and-answer portion of event.
“The questions I ask Giancarlo will be about the show, but also about his entire career,” Petrino said. “I will ask questions and the audience’s questions will also be answered that have been pre-screened for the event. A survey was set up to be able to pre-screen questions for the event, and the students who have their questions selected will be able to ask their questions live at the event.”
Those who have watched the show may be surprised by Esposito’s demeanor in real life, as opposed to his cool, calculated presence on screen.
“He has a very vibrant personality,” Barbati said.
According to Petrino, many theater majors and fans of the series are expected to be in attendance.
“Giancarlo is an extremely successful actor and is someone who has worked in the theater and also on screen,” Petrino said. “Having him share his experiences and his journey to success will be something I’m sure everyone will take interest in.”
Carlee Augliera, senior English and secondary education major is excited about the actor’s appearance.
“I think he’s an incredible actor and his character, Gus Fring is probably my favorite bad guy character of a TV show,” Augliera said. “He was very convincing at being a seemingly nice, but evil and manipulative character. Breaking Bad is one of my favorite all time shows, too, and he also just seems like a great guy, so I’m excited to hear him speak.”
Typically, the SEC will host activities that are seen as more entertaining rather than informative, such as dances, comedians and concerts. In addition to those events, Barbati believes that “there is room for a meaningful, powerful, thoughtful lecture” that will be informative as well as entertaining.
“We saw the opportunity and knew that it would work really well with the students at Rider,” said Evan Gurman, junior accounting major and SEC president.
Esposito’s lecture will last about 45 minutes and will be followed by a question-and-answer panel. Students who wish to ask questions will have to submit them in advance via Surveymonkey. Tickets are required for admission and will be available for free in the SRC ticket booth every day from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., and 3-4:30 p.m.
To prepare students for the lecture, Barbati recommends that fans of the show take to Netflix and “rewatch his character’s swan song.”
Additional reporting by Nicole Cortese
Printed in the 3/26/14 edition.