Photo: Jacopo M. Raule/Getty Images for Prada
The last time Adam DiMarco traveled to Italy, the Disney Channel boy turned HBO star was filming a movie White lotus, in which the actor played the highly conniving and somewhat toxic Albie Di Grasso, who was last seen sending €50,000 of his (daddy’s) money to “save” his lover, Lucia, from sex work. The older Di Grassos are outspoken skirt hunters and serial cheaters; in contrast, DiMarco played the quintessential “good guy” with a smattering of soft-core red flags, eg his penchant for “pretty wounded birds.” You could argue that all the Di Grasso men deserve artichokes on their heads, but did the youngest of the triad deserve to be played? Well yes. Could be. DiMarco, who is currently in Milan for Prada’s men’s show, thinks the delicious con was an opportunity for young Albie to learn, grow and “develop some healthy trust issues.”
Prada is DiMarco’s first major fashion show. “I’ve been a fan of Prada for a while now, so I’m honored to be the first,” says the actor, who caught up with me on the phone Saturday before the event. “But maybe because I’m Italian I’m biased.” DiMarco is tied up in flight time when we speak, having only recently arrived in Milan, but while he’s there, he’s excited to reunite with another White lotus stars, see the sights and upgrade your look by shopping. (He feels “like a bum” in modern Milan.) The Cut spoke with DiMarco about his return to Italy, Albie’s pure heart and what it’s like to be on the other side of the iconic Debby Ryan meme.
You are currently in Milan at Prada’s men’s fashion show. How are you feeling?
I have no idea what to expect, but I’m very excited. I’ve always been into fashion and have been curious about the fashion world, so I’m looking forward to peeking behind the curtain. But my luggage hasn’t arrived, so I’m hoping to get some clothes before the show. Always keep going, you know? I’m learning lessons left and right. But I track my luggage on Apple AirTag and see that it is here in Milan. So I think everything will work out.
You talked about recently obtaining Italian citizenship. What things do you like to do in Milan?
I got mine Passport, as they call it, a few years ago. My dad got his and encouraged me to get mine. I’m glad I did, because I was able to use it last year while filming in Sicily. It’s great to have two passports. You feel like you’re Jason Bourne. I’m excited to go to the Duomo di Milano — I think I’ll see it today. I went on a tour of the Fondazione Prada, which was really cool. Enough of the cast from The White lotus here, so I’m excited to see people, go out to dinners and reminisce. This is my first trip to Italy since filming last summer and it brings back a lot of memories — mostly about how I wish I could speak Italian so I could communicate better. And everyone here is so well dressed and so well behaved. It’s kind of scary. I feel a bit like a vagabond with my own personal playstyle. So I’m excited to make the purchase as well.
Just wait until your luggage arrives. Then it’s game over for everyone else.
Photo: Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images for Prada
Let’s talk White lotus and the many poisonous prongs of the Di Grasso family’s masculinity. Do you believe Albie deserved to be played by Lucia?
I think Albie goes into situations with as pure a heart as he can, and when you do that, you leave yourself open to people taking advantage of you. So I think it’s a good lesson for him going forward in life: to learn to take things slowly and watch your back.
You said that while you were shooting the series in Sicily, Jennifer Coolidge dragged you into the wine. What did she teach you, and what does a wine lesson with Jennifer entail?
We went out to this nice restaurant and she ordered a bottle of Sicilian red wine from Etna. The year was 2016 or 2014 and it was the best glass of wine I’ve ever had. It opened my eyes. She tried to take a photo of the sticker to remember it, but she moved the camera too fast and the flash went off, so all you saw was a blurry photo. I’m still new to wine, and drinking in general, so I’m still learning. I’d say just try a bunch. See what you like; see what you don’t like. There are no wrong answers.
Although they went to dinner with the Italian actors in LA for the premiere, it was very difficult for them to find a bottle of wine. You know how they give you a sample at a restaurant to try and then you say, “Okay, go ahead – pour it”? They were just kind of, Not, on everything. I said: “Sabrina, I’m sorry. This is not Italy; this is LA. You have to control your expectations a little bit.”
You grew a mustache. Tell me about it.
Is it worth talking about?
I think so.
I usually just grow facial hair between auditions while I’m working, because if I come into an audition and I want the character to look a certain way, I can’t grow facial hair overnight — but you can always shave to look like the character overnight. So it’s mostly just for that purpose. A bit of a boring answer, I guess.
No no. I’m glad to know. Long before White lotusyou were on Disney Channel and your clips with Radio Rebel circulating on the internet. What was the journey from Disney Channel to HBO?
Fortunately, I haven’t been tied to a show for many years. I’ve done two movies on the Disney Channel, so I kind of came in and out relatively unscathed. But both were really good, positive work environments and experiences where I met some of my best friends to this day. I met my friend Atticus Mitchell at the Radio Rebel, and he’s actually here with me as my guest in Milan right now. Yeah, I’m really happy I made them. Don’t get me wrong though — I’m much happier to be a part of it The White lotus.
Are you aware that you are on the other side of the iconic Debby Ryan meme?
It will never die. I remember 2020. Radio Rebel became a meme on TikTok and experienced this whole revival. And now it’s happening again because people realized that I was in it with Debby and on the other side of her celebrity – I think people called it the “Kubrick look” or something.
We’ll be having fun with that meme forever.
I’ll say Debby.
One last thing: what do you like to eat in Milan?
I try to be gluten free normally. In Italy, there are different rules and regulations for growing wheat. I’m not celiac, but I can tolerate the pasta and bread here, so I’m excited to do it. I’m a little bit pasta, term for someone who enjoys pasta.
And I would qualify myself as one of them.
You are pasta also?
I’m from Jersey after all.