The Gentlemen's Giancarlo Esposito says character was based on real person

Breaking Bad and The Mandalorian actor Giancarlo Esposito has explained that his character in The Gentlemen is actually based on a real person.

Esposito plays wine aristocrat Stanley Johnston in Guy Ritchie's TV spin-off of his 2019 movie, and his character has his eyes on buying Halstead Manor from Theo James's Eddie.

Speaking exclusively to Digital Spy, Esposito spoke about the "backbone" of his role.

giancarlo esposito as stanley johnston, the gentlemen
Kevin Baker/Netflix

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"It was the stories behind Guy Ritchie telling me that he was familiar with someone who is the real life Stanley Johnston," the actor said. "And I was fascinated with that.

"And so I wondered what were the qualities of me that drew Guy to wanting me to do this part. And I think those qualities were the way I carry myself and how I'm comported and how I speak and if I'm polite or kind, all those very proper ways to address someone, literally.

"And I think that's very important for this movie being called The Gentlemen. And it's important for Stanley to be at ease with all of his wealth, and that money is a tool to get what he wants in his life. And that money for him is no object.

giancarlo esposito in the gentlemen, a man with greying hair and glasses sits in an armchair inside a room with books lining the wall, another man walks up to him holding two glasses of wine

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"So that was very freeing too, to think about not having to be a slave to needing the economics to make my life work.

"In our story, you know, Eddie is now all of a sudden looking for money to save the mansion and bail his brother out. Stanley doesn't have to worry about any of that. He can pay way over market value for whatever he needs to have."

The Gentlemen is available to stream now for Netflix subscribers.

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