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Giancarlo Esposito’s Fresh Air interview

I appreciated Giancarlo Esposito’s recent interview on Fresh Air, in which he opens about what it was like to make a career in Hollywood while being a mixed race actor:

I had to make a choice, and I made this choice over and over and over again in my life. I walk into an audition and I’m “Giancarlo Esposito” and they thought I was a white guy. … I walk into the audition and it’s all white guys sitting out in the waiting room and they come out and they’re like, “We’re sorry. We had no idea … you were black, so this is only for white guys.” …

We still check those boxes, right? And it says “African-American,” “Spanish,” you know, “Indian?” And I, all my life, have checked the box that that said “other.” Now, there’ s a connotation to that, too. I’m an “other”? How did I get to be an “other”? …

I’ve had to revisit this often, and I’m getting a little choked up now, because I believe that we hold ourselves in a way that also projects who we are. And if I project my humanity and I’m a human being, that goes beyond any color. It goes to the soul. … I want to be judged for who I am organically. I want to have real interactions not based on my color.