Adler’s controversial methods didn’t work for the young actor, but “The Sopranos” ended well.
Few topics of conversation excite actors more than “method acting.” The phrase, which originally referred to a specific style of theatrical preparation as pioneered by Konstantin Stanislavsky, is now used as a catch-all term to describe actors who go to extreme lengths to penetrate their characters’ minds. Some of Hollywood’s most well-known actors have defended this practice, while others dismiss it as a waste of time that makes everyone on set (and, if done particularly badly, in the audience) uncomfortable.
Regardless of where you land on the merits of the approach, renewed interest in the sometimes intense techniques actors employ to act isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. In a new interview with The New York Times, “The Sopranos” and soon-to-be “White Lotus” star Michael Imperioli reflected on some of his early years as an aspiring artist seeking guidance from the greats.
At 19, Imperioli took classes at the legendary Actors Studio in New York City and enrolled in a class with industry titan and drama teacher Stella Adler. While many actors and actresses would have done anything to successfully study under the woman who was training Marlon Brando, Imperioli was not impressed by Adler’s notoriously rough style and brusquely dismissive approach to her students. When Adler looked around the classroom and told each of her students that they were “boring,” Imperioli decided to part ways with the supposed acting guru.
“I just couldn’t believe I was boring,” he said, recalling that his actual thoughts at the time were the complete opposite of what Adler said. “No, I’m not boring. It will be interesting to see who I am and whether I can bring that with me and express it through something completely imaginary.”
Imperioli may have had his disagreements with Adler’s methods, but he certainly found an approach to the artists’ collaborative craft that worked for him. The actor’s role in the upcoming second season of The White Lotus puts him back in the spotlight, and Imperioli will soon be collaborating again with The Sopranos creator David Chase. The Times profile revealed that Chase is writing a mysterious new project that will see Imperioli reunite with “Sopranos” Bobby Bacala himself, aka actor Steve Schirripa.
https://www.indiewire.com/2022/10/michael-imperioli-quit-stella-adler-acting-class-1234772865/ Michael Imperioli left Stella Adler’s acting class