Working With F. Murray Abraham On The White Lotus Was A 'Profound' Experience For Michael Imperioli

The second season of Mike White's award-winning series "The White Lotus" is bigger, stranger, and bolder in every way possible. The anthology series has tackled multiple themes, such as power dynamics, infidelity, class divide, and misogyny, with a focus on its rich characters and how they're more than often drowning in a sea of their privilege — seriously, nothing good ever happens to them.

This season, like the last, features excellent chemistry between its characters. Michael Imperioli (who you know from "The Sopranos") plays Dominic Di Grasso, a sex-addicted Hollywood producer who travels to Sicily for a vacation with his father and son. Veteran actor F. Murray Abraham ("Scarface") portrays Imperioli's father, Bert, and while his life isn't as dramatic or scandalous as that of his son and grandson, he's a casual spectator of his family's antics. Imperioli and Murray had a great time working together on set, with Imperioli describing the experience as "profound."

'He brings a certain theatricality to his work'

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Imperioli discussed the on-screen father-and-son dynamic he shared with Abraham and how they became "really good friends" since they had a "shared appreciation" for their craft. They're very different actors, said Imperioli, adding that Abraham had a certain "theatricality" about his performance, which made working together a profound experience.

"He brings a certain theatricality to his work, yet it's grounded in so much truth that there's magic that happens. It's hard really to explain, but it's very profound to work opposite of him. And by 'theatricality,' I don't mean 'artificial' or anything. If you do a lot of film and good television acting, you really get used to keeping things very contained."

Murray's dedication to art is unparalleled

Imperioli further detailed that he heard Murray practicing vocal exercises every day — even when he had COVID-19. The actor has dedicated his life to art, which translates through his efforts every day.

"The eyes are the most important thing at the end of the day, especially on television because there are always going to be close-ups, more so than filmmaking. Whereas theater acting is so much about the whole instrument. And with Murray, my hotel room was underneath his, and I could hear him doing vocal exercises every single day. Even when he had COVID. We both had it at the same time, and I was dying with a sore throat. I couldn't even speak. And I hear Murray singing. He's 82 years old, doing it every day while he's got COVID. He just really embodies someone who has dedicated his life to the art and loves it and respects it."

The actors have starkly different roles in the season: while Imperioli's character often voluntarily finds himself in messy situations, Abraham's serves as comic relief and eases the tenser moments caused by his family. The White Lotus" season 2 is an intricate web of privileged sophistication that is worth watching when unraveled, and the intriguing dynamic between Abraham and Imperioli adds to the viewing experience.