With the imminent approach of The Boys Season Two approaching faster than a speeding A-Train, we had the chance to have a chat with the iconic Giancarlo Esposito (Stan Edgar) about what it’s like to have a lock on the evil CEO character and the impact of playing a pharmaceutical villain in 2020. Read the interview below and listen to the audio here! (Please note: the views expressed by Mr. Esposito in this interview are his alone and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs of Nerds and Beyond).
There may be spoilers for Season 2 below, here’s your warning!
Nerds and Beyond: Hi, I’m Brittany with NerdsandBeyond.com. You seem to be kind of leading a renaissance of playing these corporate or empire running villains or nefarious characters (ex: Gus Fring, Moff Gideon), but playing the head of the massive pharmaceutical company feels especially prescient or current for the certain sort of situation we find ourselves in. And I was wondering where or what you pulled from to go there for Stan Edgar.
Giancarlo Esposito: Well, for Stanley, he’s running a very, very big business. He tells Homeland you’re under the impression this is a superhero company. This is a pharmaceutical company. I love the science of it. I love the fact that he’s a company man. I really like the fact that corporate strategists and corporate leaders have that ultimately Stan encompasses and embodies is a great calm, because he sees the road. He sees where it’s going far beyond what anybody else sees. And so for me, to manipulate the characters I play, whether they be Stan Edgar or Gus Fring, their intentions have to be evident or clearly stated for me so that I know which way to go. Stan could be delightful and is delightful, at a dinner party. He is someone who also empowers people – in a way he’s empowering Homeland to see who he really is.
And he’s a great reader of people emotionally. So he knows that people and human beings struggle in essence sometimes with their own insecurities and their own idiosyncrasies. And that is a human trait. He also knows a lot of what we don’t know behind compound V. Where the heroes are starting to find out that maybe they weren’t naturally gifted and born this way. I love that Homeland’s ego is so big that he feels like this is how he came out. I love the way he talks to his son. It’s just so beautifully written and such a metaphor for our time.
But to link it up to what you said, yeah, “we” want you to spend your money on little pills that will make your headache, go away and make your cancer go away. And we are in that society. And so Eric, as a creator, has written this show of what we’re really living, is what truly fascinates me. Where we’re not pushing health, food, energy. We’re not pushing, “I don’t heal you. I just give your mind the cue so that you can heal yourself naturally.” No, we’re doing toxic stuff and giving toxic stuff to each other because that is money. Whether they get part of that money from the government and the rest of that money from you, it’s money. And this is very clearly and, unfortunately, a very, very clear depiction of where we’re going. And especially in our society today – especially since we’re all here virtually awaiting a vaccine so that we can go have contact with people. Again, just in case we “get” it, then we can take the vaccine and it’ll all be okay. Um, your body is vaccine enough. And Stan knows that, but knows that the dollars and the money are to keep the shareholders happy. But he knows there’s something else going on. Wait, and you’ll see.
*Remember to watch The Boys season two starting September 4 on Amazon Prime and stay tuned for interviews with the rest of the cast!*
(Interview has been edited for clarity.)