This season of Mike White’s The White Lotus has delved into the way gender dynamics play themselves out in our modern world, as the vacationers come into interpersonal romantic and sexual battles over the course of the week. One of these visitors is Adam DiMarco’s Albie, who finds himself stuck on a nice guy loop with fellow American, Portia (Haley Lu Richardson).
In a new interview with GQ, DiMarco talks about Albie’s overcorrection when it comes to righting the wrongs of his cheating father (Michael Imperioli) and his misogynistic grandfather (F. Murray Abraham).
“He’s almost overcorrected things or tried to overcompensate in a certain direction. I think he sees his father and his grandfather as the other side of a pendulum and he’s trying to swing it back in a big way,” DiMarco says. “It’s just made him extremely in his head and he overthinks a lot of things as a result. We’re all like our parents more than we realize, too, so I think he’s fighting against his nature in a way, which must cause some anxiety.”
This anxiety manifests itself in Albie’s interactions with Portia, who’s really just looking for a fun fling while stuck in Sicily with her boss, Jennifer Coolidge’s Tanya McQuoid. He’s trepidatious and stammering, seeking approval before every move he makes, but DiMarco says Albie isn’t totally hopeless when it comes to dating.
“He has some game. His game is just being the only option. Like Portia says, he just ‘doesn’t get the heart rate up,’” DiMarco says. “Portia just wants to be, as she says, thrown around by some hot Italian guy. And sometimes it’s okay to do that without tip-toeing around it first. Which maybe he’ll realize at the end of this trip as well, who knows.”
When it comes to Albie and Portia’s dynamic, DiMarco knows Albie is missing the “spice,” or the certain je ne sais quoi that determines attraction.
“He’s missing that X factor. He’s missing that spice,” DiMarco says. “Especially when you’re on vacation. It’s not necessarily what you want in the real world, it’s what you want at that moment. And if you’re in Italy, you want that hot, hot heat. They might have made a better pair stateside, but what she’s looking for is clearly out of his depth at that moment.”
Poor Albie, maybe he’ll figure it out by the end of the trip. The second season of The White Lotus is currently airing on HBO and HBO Max.