Giancarlo Esposito says being human ‘deepened’ his relationship with his four daughters

Acclaimed actor Giancarlo Esposito opened up about how his fatherhood journey has evolved through vulnerability.

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Giancarlo Esposito attends the AMC Networks 2024 Upfront at Chelsea Factory on April 10, 2024 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for AMC)

Fatherhood for Giancarlo Esposito, beloved actor and father of four adult daughters, looks different these days.

During an appearance on “The Jennifer Hudson Show” on Tuesday, “The Gentleman” star said his journey as a father has evolved over the years — especially as his daughters Kale, Ruby, Shayne, and Syrlucia, whom he shares with ex-wife Joy McManigal, are now all in their 20s. 

“I realized that I was still looking at them as if they were three, four or five years old,” he said. “And I started to listen to who they really are. And I would always tell them to ask for what [they] want in life. And then I had to realize that they’re asking me to be present for them.”

In embracing the ways his girls have grown up, Esposito has also come to realize he can be more human around them.

“Sometimes we shield our children from who we’ve been,” he explained.

He added, “We change as human beings from day to day and from year to year, and hopefully we grow. If we have shame surrounding any part of who we have been and don’t want to talk about it, then that’s a little bit of a problem because you’re still wearing a mask, and you’re still hiding.”

In fact, the “Breaking Bad” actor said, dropping the mask and showing his daughters his vulnerability has “deepened” their relationship.

“I have a great relationship with my four daughters. I always have,” he said. “But now it’s deepening because I’m not afraid to show them who I really am.”

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This latest appearance comes days after the actor revealed a bit of his human side to the public. While appearing on Sirius XM’s “Jim & Sam Show,” Esposito revealed that before he landed his breakout role as Gus Fring on “Breaking Bad,” severe financial struggles led him to dark thoughts — including orchestrating his own death by hire. He had hoped if his death looked like a murder his daughters would reap the financial benefits of his life insurance.

While Hudson praised Esposito for his fatherhood journey during his appearance on her show, he admitted he couldn’t take all of the credit.

“I would say I’m a single dad but I’m not really because they have a great Mama Joy,” he said.

He noted how she’s shown up for them over the years and added, “In so many ways we raised them together, but I say she’s put in the time.”

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