Pasquale Esposito is a chameleon.
With each character, the Italian actor transforms the role into one of his own.
He’s currently in Croatia filming the second season of Masterpiece’s “Hotel Portofino.”
And the series “Gomorrah,” is also streaming on HBO Max.
Between the two series, there’s one commonality — Esposito plays bad guys.
“(Bad guys) are interesting human beings,” Esposito explains during an interview from Croatia. “The bad guy is never just a bad guy. With each role, the viewers are able to see what each person is covering up. I like finding their weaknesses and telling the story of how they got this way.”
In “Gomorrah,” Esposito plays Eduardo Arenella.
Meanwhile, in “Hotel Portofino,” he plays scheming politician Signor Vincenzo Danioni.
Esposito was drawn to the “Gomorrah” script because the series is based on a true story.
“Eduardo was a real man,” he says. “Once again, I was so interested in how come these people are so calm, especially in the moment with it’s about life or death. There’s some kind of awareness. As bad as they are, they are grounded in some way. I did research for the role and it really inspired me to take it to another level once I were on set.”
With “Hotel Portofino,” Esposito was drawn to the various layers of Danioni.
He also gets a chance to travel to 1920s Italy in the series, which he believes is an amazing time.
“This series is not so much a period drama,” he says. “But being on set on this series is really amazing. This was a time after the first World War and people just wanted to come back together and have fun. Of course, I throw in some wrenches.”
If that wasn’t enough, Esposito also has a role in HBO’s “Industry,” where he plays fashion designer and millionaire Enzo Rocco.
He’s also in preproduction for the series, “Ripley,” where he will work with Andrew Scott and Dakota Fanning.
The Showtime series tells the story of a grifter scraping by in early 1960s New York, who is hired by a wealthy man to travel to Italy to try to convince his vagabond son to return home.
Esposito will play Pucci, the manager of a hotel on the Amalfi Coast that Ripley, played by Scott use to frequent. They build up a friendship and eventually have some business together.
Esposito says with each role, he tries to bring a little of himself to it.
“I really enjoy the transformation of it all,” he says. “That’s the challenge is to make each role believable. You take the writing and make it the best you can make it.”