Giancarlo Esposito says his Far Cry 6 dictator ‘is not a villain’

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Like the rest of the Far Cry 6 development team, Esposito said his inspiration for Castillo is drawn largely from Cuban ruler Fidel Castro. “[Cuba] had so many resources, but really the dream, the ability of the dictator to cultivate those resources, something got in the way there,” perhaps obliquely referencing the longstanding US embargo of the island following Castro’s takeover. “Hopefully that can change in the years go come.” “I’m not a villain … This guy loves his country. He wants to empower you, Keighley. He wants to empower you to stand up and speak your truth.”

Balancing that, however, he also referenced Nicolae Ceaușescu and Adolf Hitler, and “the mindset that has you wanting to have power over others. For each dictator, it’s different.” Far Cry 6 is set to come out on October 7.

Esposito undoubtedly has the chops to pull it off—the big question is whether Ubisoft’s writers will give him enough to work with to enable him to make it happen. Either way, it remains very interesting to me that Ubisoft remains willing to acknowledge the overtly political aspects of the game, something it’s famously shied away from in just about every other game it’s made. • What’s up next? Here’s the full E3 2021 schedule• Check out our list of every game at E3 so far

“I do agree that there’s good and bad about all people,” he said. “But this guy, out of his love and passion for his people—even if they’re faceless to him at certain points in time—allow him to be an absolute hero.” Regardless of whether Castillo isn’t actually the obvious villain he’s been portrayed as so far, or if Esposito is simply having a bit of fun, it’s clear that he wants to emphasize the complexity of the character—”a renegade within reason,” as he put it.

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