He sits behind the wheel of a silver convertible sports car, dressed in a dark blazer, his black, wavy hair slightly mussed from the wind. His round sunglasses perfectly in place. He drives the city streets listening to an upbeat tune, not a care in the world. The sleek car pulls to a stop and the sunglasses come off revealing a most intriguing smirk. The sunglasses are then discarded carelessly into a pile of cds...When the man faces the camera, the look on his smug face is priceless. It says it all without ever saying a word.
That is the true essence of any great actor.
You’ve got to hand it to Adam Storke, the man makes one hell of an entrance.
Any real actor worth his salt can slip the audience all the information it needs to know about where their character is emotionally, physically, even spiritually at this very precise moment in time with a look, a certain expression or a smile. Not just any simulated reaction, but the right one. The one we can identify with. That one look can scream volumes of facts and figures about the history of this character we are watching, if done correctly. It is an art. A true gift. This, ladies and gentlemen, is acting.
From the moment Larry Underwood emerged from his silver convertible sports car in Stephen King's The Stand miniseries back in 1994 and made that fateful walk up to ring his mother's doorbell, just a few small steps that would jump-start this whole crazy freight-train of events to unfold, something remarkable happened. The editors of this magazine were first introduced to the magic that is Adam Storke. It was a defining moment to be able to witness, the definition of art in motion. We just knew that something special was going on here. This particular role, actor and performance seemed to reach out, take hold and shake us to take notice. And take notice, we did.
Larry Underwood is one roller coaster ride of a character. A complex, self-centered, sleazy and yet somehow lovable musician made famous by iconic author Stephen King in his mega 1,152 page apocalyptic novel, The Stand. This character is a classic in the King genre and has been around for decades. Yet you will find that most of the readers, even today will say that Adam had somehow perfectly embodied the spirit of the text that King has superbly written. Why is that? King has said that he goes out of his way to never fully describe the appearance of any of his characters while writing. He lets the reader supply the faces. “Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s.” King stated. And yet strangely, so many of the book's admirers still admit that to them Adam Storke is Larry Underwood. There can never be another actor to replace him in their opinion. There is no separation of the two. That is really the ultimate compliment for any actor playing a legendary character such as this.
The reason behind this is not luck, or being in the right place at the right time, or who you know, it is pure talent, mixed with hard work and creativity. A passion for the nature of the character and the love of acting itself as a profession. This is why Adam Storke is a gem of an actor. A diamond in the rough, if you will. The moment Larry breaks into the film, he enters the scene like a pure undiluted shot of caffeine energy. There’s just something that makes you want to go along for the ride with this guy. He's a guilty pleasure in a world that's full of disease and chaos. He's fun --- But that's not all. This particular character goes through a complete transformation of self. That's what makes the character so complex. It is a journey of self-discovery. Good over evil. And while Adam starts Larry off selfish and even ironically witty at times, the transformation of Larry into the paranoid, eyes pleading with fear stricken vulnerability that is later revealed in the film, is something to behold. You really start to feel for this guy. It is clear that Adam must have done his homework and dove into King's epic novel head first for the essence of this character, to be able to capture Larry and perfect the role so flawlessly.
But what makes this actor so interesting is that he brings this type of commitment and professionalism to each and every role he has done. The more you look into his work, the more impressed you become.
In almost every role Mr. Storke takes on, he continues to tell us the story within the story of his characters, using all of his finely honed, perfectly sharpened acting tools, that help Mr. Storke to elevate the viewer to a new height with all sorts of characters. From drama to comedy, to downright menacing, he has shown the audience time and time again his acting expertise and the real love and respect he has for his craft throughout the span of his career.
Chances are you have seen this talented actor in something. He has accomplished a wide range of both film and television performances over the past few decades. Adam has worked right alongside some of the biggest, best and the brightest names in the industry. With Meryl Streep in the Robert Zemeckis film Death Becomes Her, with Burt Lancaster in Phantom of the Opera, and Julia Roberts in Mystic Pizza just to name a few.
Zeroing in on Adam's character in the 1988 coming of age drama Mystic Pizza, it was certainly a break out role for the actor. He plays the rebellious Charles Gordon Windsor, Jr., the upper-class, golden boy who has recently been kicked out of law school and immediately catches the eye of Julia Roberts' character Daisy Arujo in the film. Daisy is a free spirit, voluptuous and sassy and looking for a way out of Mystic by any means necessary. So when "Charlie" shows up at a local bar, Daisy can’t help but take notice. The two then embark on a whirlwind romance, despite the hindrance of their economic and class differences. The relationship is a far more convincing portrayal of cross-class love than has been explored in other films. To this very day, the first scene that Storke and Roberts share on screen is on point. The music, the eye contact, the atmosphere. It still exudes more class and talent probably more than most other 'coming of age' movies of that time era and possibly even right up until now. You can literally feel the chemistry between Charlie and Daisy, and that is owed to the phenomenal work that both Julia and Adam put into these two characters that make them both stand the test of time.
Another prominent role that stands out from Mr. Storke's career would have to be his character in the 1992 Robert Zemeckis' outrageously entertaining comedy, Death Becomes Her where he played the mischievous bad-boy Dakota to Meryl Streep's vain, aging beauty queen, Madeline. Death Becomes Her is a strange, fascinating ride about the obsession of how far someone would go to be able to obtain eternal youth and beauty. In the film, we have Streep's Madeline. She is married, but having an affair on the side with Dakota, (Storke) a man many years her junior. But the movie takes a turn when Madeline discovers that Dakota is cheating on her with a young woman. She is spurned as an old lady as her hunky, young lover tells her to find someone her own age because they look ridiculous together. This is one of the driving forces in the movie that sends Streep's character frantically over the edge to discover a strange fountain of youth magic potion that guarantees eternal youth. Meryl Streep's performance is flawless and though Adam is only on screen for a limited time, there is no denying that he certainly makes his presence strongly felt in this film. The way Storke delivers his lines, the precise comedic timing that is essential to some of those iconic lines is priceless, and would certainly be lost by any amateur. It takes that special brand of acting that only Adam Storke can bring to the table. That perfect, powerful shot that hits the bullseye mark every time.
Mr. Storke is a born and bred New Yorker, the backdrop for making pure acting legends like De Niro and Pacino. And just like his predecessors before him, he has a natural talent, an effervescent charm that just flows freely from him and translates magnificently onto film. But also, like De Niro and Pacino, he adds an edge to the darker, more shadier characters he has masterfully played. There are intricate layers to his villains. Whether in the subtle nuances of his expressions or the slight vocal inflections that Adam uses to make these performances extremely believable to witness. These performances in our opinion, define Storke’s career and stand as testaments to the power of his acting.
In the 1995 fact-based television drama, Escape From Terror: The Teresa Stamper Story, Adam takes on the role of real life convicted felon, the smooth-talking mechanic Paul Stamper as is told by his ex-wife, Teresa, played by the expressive and emotional actress, Maria Pitillo. The story starts off as a naive country girl becomes romantically involved with her charming boss. Teresa's fairytale marriage to Paul Stamper is short lived as he changes into a relentless stalker and killer. There were so many facets to the character of Paul Stamper. Even though the character was very violent, Adam still played the part with enough sensitivity to make the viewer feel some compassion for Paul. Storke shines as he expresses a full spectrum of emotions in this dramatic character, through the adoration and love he has for his wife, to the violent anger, then remorse and even repentance and tears, and then back again to more evil obsession and disdain. Very few actors can successfully pull off that sort of emotional range and make it believable, but Adam achieves this to perfection. He keeps you completely absorbed in his Paul Stamper until the final credits roll.
We would also be remiss if we didn't acknowledge Mr. Storke in his brilliantly mad and most unusual role in the 1991 Fantasy/Thriller Highway to Hell. The story is one man's rescue mission into the desert wastelands of Hell to save his girlfriend. It's a crazy ride to say the least. The film is chock full of some extreme characters. The cast has some surprisingly well-known talent. But once Adam's character, the mysterious Royce, the wild-eyed and half-crazed-leader of an infernal hellish motorcycle gang enters the picture, you can't help but sit up and take notice. Royce is a complete psycho. He plays him almost humorous and it pays off in a big way. It's all played out in Mr. Storke’s piercing, blinkless stares. His unpredictable sudden movements and a voice that knows no limits in volume. Royce has so much put into him, such a fierce character that seemed to scream a backstory on his own. As usual with Adam's characters, we wanted to know more about Royce, but we are left with only just a delicious biteful.
recently had the profound privilege of speaking with this exceptionally talented actor, who has also been a true, personal favorite for years.
Read on for a glimpse into the mindset of just what makes
This actor has even guest starred on some of the biggest television shows --- having guest roles in Law & Order, Tales from the Crypt, and a Cool Magazine favorite, Miami Vice. He has even had his hand at writing, directing and starring in his own short film titled, Wipeout. His work in the 2010 film short, The Paper Doll directed by Adrian Correia is also some highly impressive work.
We also need to give a shout out to Adam's work in the 1998 stylish sci-fi television series, Prey. With this series, Adam's character is the mysterious Tom Daniels, who introduces himself as an FBI agent but turns out to be of a different species altogether. The show had a very original concept and there was definitely an X-files 'Mulder and Scully' vibe between Adam and his leading lady, Debra Messing of Will & Grace fame. Fans from all over were half in love with Storke's character, Tom Daniels, so much so that when the show was pulled way too soon from its network in mid-season, the fans went into a frenzy and started an actual campaign titled "Prey For Us". These die hard fans of the show banded together on message boards and started putting together a movement to get the remaining five filmed episodes officially broadcast to the public. That movement was a success. The final episodes did actually receive airtime. Though Prey was not renewed for another season, that certainly didn't stop the devoted TV series fans from giving up. They continued to fight for the show they adored and campaigned for the next five years to try and convince any other network to take on the show; or at least get closure with an answer to Prey's cliffhanger ending of the final episode. Prey, unfortunately did not return, but it was the Sci-Fi Channel that gave the fans a resolution of sorts. In the final scene of Prey, Tom Daniels was captured by a secret branch of the government, being trapped inside a small cage. The campaign was asking for someone to please get Adam's character Tom out of that cage. The Sci-Fi Channel gave Prey’s fans a particular nod, with the series The Invisible Man, when the show’s lead actor, Vincent Ventresca (who also co-starred in Prey), rescued a mysterious man (portrayed by Adam Storke) from behind a locked door in an episode. Ventresca’s character swore he recognized the man from “somewhere.” Prey’s fans received a sliver of satisfaction with that moment in time. But one thing’s for sure, they loved the show and were certainly completely captivated by Adam Storke. That's loyalty.
But It wasn't until 2012, when Adam returned to film with the movie Broadway's Finest and dazzled us with what we feel is quite possibly his best performance to date. In Broadway's Finest, Adam Storke simply steals the show. The film has a particularly remarkable plot, revealing the story of three struggling actors who decide to create their own cutting edge police drama by going undercover and actually impersonating New York City cops. Then, as if that’s not enough, they take it all one step too far by chasing down a real notorious drug dealer so they can get some raw material to write their new theatrical play. What we really loved about this jewel of a movie, is that while it has drama and action, it’s the humor that really brings it together. It has some really laugh out loud moments. The characters in the film were quite enjoyable and all of the actors really did do an excellent job, but again, it was Storke as the troubled Lewis, a recovered drug addict, who steadily takes over the movie. While early Lewis gets you hooked with his own brand of humor, by keeping a skeptical eye on his two younger sidekicks, he later draws you in with this dark, intense energy. Throughout it all, Storke manages to convey a likeability that has audiences really rooting for Lewis. He gave a top-notch, particularly strong performance that made us realize all over again how much fun it is to watch Storke do, what only Storke can do. And while Broadway’s Finest was also well received on the festival circuit, Adam Storke was also nominated at the 2012 Hoboken International Film Festival for Best Supporting Actor and again in 2012 for Best Acting by New York VisionFest for his performance of Lewis. All in all, a really original, fun piece of filmmaking from beginning to end. We highly recommend this film to those who haven’t yet seen it.
Let's start from the beginning - What was it like growing up in such an entertainment influenced family? Your mother was an actress and your father a producer - Did this inspire you to make your decision to become an actor yourself?
"Well, yes… I can confidently say that both my parents being in the “entertainment” business - so to speak - certainly had an influence on me. Though, in two somewhat different fashions. On one hand, my mother, who came to America from Britain with Noel Coward, as his ingénue/protégé, had roots deeply planted in the theatre. Because of this, and her nature, she made sure her son was someone who respected that medium. I was exposed to her on stage at a very early age, from plays by Tennessee Williams to Joe Orton to Shakespeare. As a nine-year-old, I witnessed her playing Blanche DuBois for one week straight - by my own choice, I might add - I sat through all eight performances that week. Needless to say, it had an impact. I don’t recommend it for all nine-year-olds, but it certainly worked for me; as well as igniting a curious, creative spark (and a little fear). And because of her taste, and her history, Shakespeare was a playwright I could not escape. In fact, I had no choice. By the time I went to college, I had pretty much read all the Bard. And through her inspiration, I cultivated a deep appreciation for it. As far as my father… well, he worked for NBC, and his “artistic” inclination always leaned toward the classics. When I was very young, he was producing adaptations of Alexandre Dumas and Charlotte Bronte and Charles Dickens. As a young boy, I was lucky enough to be privy to various film sets all around the world, exposed to all sorts of productions from The Count of Monte Cristo (with Richard Chamberlain) to Jane Eyre (with George C. Scott), to name a few. I was very lucky, and I knew it. Between my Junior and Senior years in college, I spent a summer working as an assistant-to-the-director on a production of his, shooting in Portugal and Paris. Every day I had to be the first one on the set and the last to leave, usually working fourteen hour days. He wanted me to truly understand the work process. And by doing so, introduced me to the commitment and toil that goes into making a film… as well as the magic. So, yes… I’d have to say that both my parent’s integrity as well as their drive to inspire curiosity and intelligence – as I said earlier – most assuredly influenced my decision to seek a creative career."
We discovered you for the first time in the 1994 television miniseries Stephen King's The Stand. You had such an impact on us, with that role, it made us want to see more of you. What's the story of how you landed the iconic role of one of the coolest fictional musicians ever written - Larry Underwood?
"As for The Stand – how did I land the role? The usual way that actors get parts, by auditioning. I remember it being quite a bustling process. I believe certain roles were offered to actors, like Gary Sinese was offered Stu Redman. But there was a bit of a frenzy for those other great roles. Many actors were vying for parts. I recall going into the audition room; Stephen King was there, as well as Mick Garris (the director) and the producers. I felt quite inspired, because I had read the book years prior and “Larry Underwood” was the character I was most hooked on, and now here I was reading to play him. I did a heavy New York accent that first audition and they had me go out of the room, and wait. Then they called me back in and asked if I could read again but do it without the NY accent. I assured them that I could, and when I started the scene… I put on an Irish accent… I stopped - looked up at them with a wry smile, and they all started laughing. (Thank goodness) Needless to say, I read the way they wanted. And the result was me being lucky enough to be a part of that production."
Reading the book and watching the movie, in our opinion you encapsulated the essence of Larry to perfection. We couldn't imagine anyone else playing this role other than you. What was your method in bringing this character off the pages and onto the screen? And how much creative control or input did you have over the character?
"You’re very kind. So… what was the method in bringing Larry to life? Well, first off, he’s full of flaws, and those are always enjoyable to explore. He buried his insecurities with drugs and bravado, and that provided a starting off point toward his road to redemption. His relationship with his mother (though quickly shown) really informed me; his desire to impress her, as well as take advantage of her, was heartbreaking. And when she dies, it had a more profound impact on the character, allowing me into a more personal understanding of being alone in the world, which clearly was the place that the film was heading. But, he’s also written so fully in the novel, and that’s really what I used as the source material, more so than the script. Also, him being a New Yorker also was something I could latch onto. But I started seeing him in my mind’s eye, and a person started to form. I had seen these pictures of Bruce Springsteen (pre Nautilus machine) taken by Annie Leibovitz, where he’s just a skinny guy wearing a vest with no shirt and sporting scruffy dark hair - and a light went off in me. So, I dyed my hair black, and after showing those pictures to the costume department, we devised a look for Larry. Also, my ability with the guitar (however limited that may be) also informed the character. I played constantly prior to shooting, and all through the production. I had friends who were really good musicians, and they helped me in forming a sound for the guitar, as well as my voice… which leads us to your next question…"
We know that you also played guitar and sang the song "Eve Of Destruction" in the miniseries (which, by the way, you sang the vocals exactly like Barry McGuire's original recording. So cool!) What inspired you to first pick up the guitar in your life? Any particular musicians or bands you were into at that time?
"My influence to first pick up a guitar just stemmed from my being a teenager digging music, and being turned on by various musicians I knew, and didn’t know… it just seemed like such a cool way to express yourself. I would learn a few chords at a time and figure out simple songs. Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, Van Morrison, Richard Thompson, The Clash, John Prine… and, of course, Bruce Springsteen. As for the time of shooting The Stand, it was a mixture of it all. And by that time, I could fake it pretty well. Plus, I had friends who were really good guitarists, and, like I said, we worked on Larry’s sound. Also, all through the shoot there were a bunch of us playing guitar, inspired by “Larry” - I mean, Gary (Sinese) would bring his guitar to set, there might have been a few others, and throughout the day (especially when we were all walking to Las Vegas) we would all play together. And, you know, Stephen King is quite an accomplished rocker himself. It was actually a very musical set."
Mystic Pizza is an obvious 80's movie classic and Julia Roberts surely shines as the beautiful Daisy Araujo, but, right up until this very day, people are still talking about and falling in love with your character Charles Gordon Windsor, Jr. - What do you think makes this character so special to audiences after all these years?
"Julia was such a bolt of lightening in Mystic Pizza. At the time, we were all so young, we were simply attempting to create full and interesting characters, all distinct from each other. We all lived together in a hotel in Mystic, we were around each other all the time, and we formed this support group wherein we relied on each other for creative objectivity and inspiration. We probably looked to each other for “guidance” more so than the director. You ask what made “Charlie” so special after all these years, and I’m not sure how to answer that – except, probably, to say Julia is the reason. She was so magic as Daisy, and I think because she fell for Charlie, so did the audience."
In 1995, you played real life convicted felon Paul Stamper in the TV Drama, Escape From Terror: The Teresa Stamper Story. Paul Stamper was charged with kidnapping, attempted murder, and prison escape. Did you find yourself facing any challenges portraying an actual existing criminal? What sort of research did you do to play him?
"Paul Stamper was an intriguing character because there was an actual documented history of him. His crimes were all there to see, recorded in the system. The challenge wasn’t so much discovering how his drug addiction affected him, or that he was capable of real violence, the challenges arose from portraying him as a charming, gentle, caring guy, capable of love. The challenge existed in portraying those traits realistically when knowing the ugly side would soon be revealed, and you had to convince an audience that this woman, “Teresa,” would be able to fall for a guy like this. So, what we did - Maria Pitillo and I - was explore how these two people might be attracted to each other; we played with how they spoke to each other, how they moved around each other, what made the other one laugh, how they touched each other, and so on. This all created a wonderful chemistry between us, and it was necessary for the relationship. When it came time to shooting, I would focus on what side of Paul was exposed that day, whether he was wooing “Teresa,” or crying on her doorstep begging forgiveness, or dancing with her, or losing his temper in a drug induced haze… I just gave into the day’s side of him, and trusted the director would put it all together in a way that hopefully resulted in something truthful, and revealing."
A lot of actors say it's fun to play the "bad guy". You definitely have an interesting way of portraying characters that have that darker edge. Do playing these types of roles entertain you more?
"There’s a familiar attitude that it’s more “fun to play the ‘bad guy’” – as you say. And there is certainly something to that. I would say that it lies in the layers that come with such roles, and the allure they emit. Our eye tends to wander toward the villain rather than the “white hat.” But in playing such roles – say, Richard lll or Nurse Ratched – it is exploring what makes them that way which provides the creative enjoyment for an actor, why they make the choices they do. Their intent is grounded in their own understanding of right and wrong, their actions are executed through what they believe best serves their goals. One must be honest to that, and not judge those actions when playing such a role, one must embrace it and be truthful – it is the viewer who becomes entertained by such behavior, and makes up their mind that what the character is doing is immoral, or Machiavellian, or depraved."
Who are some of the greatest actors or filmmakers that have inspired you throughout your career?
"When asking who are some of the actors or filmmakers who have inspired me, well – you’re asking for a very long list. Being somewhat of a cinephile, the list goes way back in history… from say, Lon Cheney (an actor who changed an art form, and still informs today) to Charlie Chaplin. It’s a difficult list to compile because there are so many “great” artists, daring and innovative - invariably so many will be left off who should be on it. But, I’ll make a short compilation - let’s see – as far as directors – the one’s who had an immediate impact on me, and linger in my psyche – David Lean, Terrence Malick, Elia Kazan, Sidney Lumet, Stanley Kubrick, Billy Wilder, Francis Ford Coppola, Orson Welles, Alejandro Inarritu, Milos Foreman, Howard Hawks, Roman Polanski, Alfonso Cuaron, John Huston… to name just a few. As far as actors – well – Humphrey Bogart, Marlon Brando, Faye Dunaway, Jack Nicholson, Laurence Olivier, William Hurt, Frances McDormand, Robert DeNiro, Daniel Day Lewis, Paul Newman, Sissy Spacek, Al Pacino, Spencer Tracy, Peter Sellers, Meryl Streep… a most incomplete list, but a smattering, none the less. And the last name leads us to your next question…"
In the film Death Becomes Her you worked with the great Meryl Streep! What was that like? Also we heard that there might have been additional deleted scenes of you and Meryl? Do you recall what any of those might have been?
"What was it like working with “the great Meryl Streep?” Well, great is too diminutive a word to define her as an artist… the word important comes to mind. Because that’s what she is, an “important” artist. I first became aware of her in Kramer vs. Kramer, but it was Sophie’s Choice where her magic shot through my veins and caused my heart to palpitate. I clearly realized I was watching something/someone special. A once in a generation kind of special. That said, it would be an understatement to voice how much I was looking forward to working with her. I had just come off doing a theatrical production of Peter Schaffer’s Equus in NY, so I was coming into it full of creative mettle. My character in Death Becomes Her was Meryl’s lover; he was the roguish, vain, younger, untrustworthy boy- toy to her character. I remember the first day, we were filming in a beach house in Malibu; I recall getting into the make-up trailer very early in the morning, there was no one else inside besides the make-up department, and Meryl – she was sitting quietly on the other side of the trailer. I decided to let her have her space, and not bother her with introductions just yet. But, before I knew it, she snuck up behind me, put her head next to mine, both of us looking in the mirror, and she grinned and said, “I think we look good together.” An instant rapport was built, and that was just part of her “magic,” yet again. And that rapport was crucial, because the first scene we were shooting that day was the two of us in bed amidst the throes of a feral coital activity. It was a scene that was cut from the film, but shooting it had some of the most amusingly memorable moments for me. The movie was all about vanity, thus every character was obsessed with themselves somewhat. This particular scene had me fiercely “thrusting” Meryl’s character; when a “climax” was reached, I would slide off of her, stand up from the bed and do a “victory stretch.” Yes, indeed – that was my introduction to Meryl Streep! So… I had to be naked, and I had prepared for this, knowing what was in the scene, so I had gone to a tanning salon believing my vain, sleazy character would have Speedo tan lines. I had been given a “loin cloth” that was taped to my nether region in order to make sure nothing became awkward. When we started the scene, Robert Zemeckis (the director) had me on top of Meryl (who was always covered in a sheet and had another one between us to make sure she was comfortable), with the camera over us on a crane, me thrusting away - and when that point was reached, I rolled off of her, and did my stretch, the camera then panning down my naked back toward my tan lines. But the boisterous and energetic activity we were engaged in prior to my standing was causing me to perspire, and the more takes we did the more I perspired, which caused the tape on my loin cloth to lose its adhesive quality resulting in the cloth to fall half way off, revealing the cloth on camera and ruining shot after shot. Having this problem occur a few times, I simply took it off, looked at Meryl and asked if she minded… she looked back at me, laying in the bed, an impish smirk forming on her face, and said… “Anything for art, darling.”"
You have had many amazing moments in the span of your career. Has there been one particular shining moment that you’re most proud of? One that tops them all?
"It’s a difficult question to answer – what is a “particular shining moment” that I’m “most proud of.” I say that because every experience carried its own distinct currency. I tend to lean more toward what I learned the most from. And the people and experiences that shaped those lessons. For example, I shot a film in Paris for three months – and Burt Lancaster was in the film; he was older then and having some heart issues and known to be a bit cantankerous at this time in his life, but through the course of the first few weeks, he and I bonded. He was so open and thoughtful, and recognized in me a young actor who was reverent and hungry to shape his own creative identity. Now, for a young man who had a healthy cinema history addiction, this was special for me. We would talk for hours about everything from, like - how Montgomery Clift created the character in From Here to Eternity to what made up the perfect martini. He would come over to my hotel room to run lines and before I knew it - he would be acting out scenes he played in Visconti’s The Leopard, literally narrating in between movements as to how he got there - and then he’d voice Visconti’s reaction. Wow. I’ll never forget it. He was so generous to me – he’d get on the set and call out, “Where’s the kid?!” He taught me so much. He was such a brilliant artist, and an even better man. This isn’t necessarily so much something I’m proud of, as you’ve asked - it’s more something I am humbled by. The generosity of artists who came before, and their recognition of those of us eager and respectful enough to assimilate the lessons they offer."
Your performance in the film Broadway's Finest was so impressive. It seems that you have taken your acting to a even higher level after all these years. We just couldn't take our eyes off of Lewis! What interested you in this particular role?
"Again, you’re too kind. You ask me what interested me about the role “Lewis” in Broadway’s Finest … first of all, I was drawn to Stephen Marro’s script. I found the conceit of the story within the story alluring, how it resulted in the line becoming blurred between “art” and reality. It gave us as actors the challenge to create not only the character in the play being worked on, but then also the person separate from that character, the actor themselves, the person who goes home to their family, or whatever. And, for me, Lewis’s journey provided an interesting arc – an actor who had reached a certain amount of critical success, only to blow it up through addiction, and now is in a place where he has a second chance - how will he deal with that, is he strong enough to not succumb to his old demons, or has he actually bought into believing his own potential? That was all interesting to me. And, furthermore, we got to shoot it in NYC. That’s a real hook. It provides a whole other energy to the film. The city itself becomes a character."
It looks like you guys had a lot of fun on the Broadway's Finest set! Those scenes of Lewis, Willy & Goldstone in the car were hilarious! We wonder if some of these scenes were completely scripted or did you add your own improv to spice things up a bit?
"As far as improvising in Broadway’s Finest… I don’t remember us having that kind of experience in the car scenes. What I remember is having to shoot a majority of those scenes in a day, so they were all clumped together and we focused on giving each one its own “time” and “specificity.” Because of the nature of this type of independent film, time was of the essence and you had to work quickly. So, the three of us guys were contained in the car all day, just working out those scenes – prior to shooting them, we came up with “activities/stuff” our specific characters would do while waiting for hours during the “stake out.” That kind of behavior was woven into the dialogue of the scenes, and used for each of our particular defining nuances, as well as things we could react off of with each other."
What's next for you? Any projects or ideas in the works? We heard that you have been doing a lot of writing lately. Is there anything you have been working on currently that you would like to talk about?
"I have focused much energy into writing during the last few years, in an attempt to satisfy a broadening creative urge. My latest project that I’ve written is a seven-part limited-series revolving around the 1990 robbery of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, the greatest unsolved art heist in history. It takes place in the present day following a handful of narratives wherein an event occurs bringing the crime back into the forefront, and through flashbacks we revisit the heist itself, in an attempt to fill in the blanks of what is still a mystery to this day. I am now in the process of trying to set it up with a studio/network."
What's your definition of cool?
"What’s cool…? Owning who you are, and appreciating the differences in others. Ain’t nothing cooler than that."
And so, every once in a while, when all the right ingredients come together at just the right moment, magic happens. A perfect potion, if you will. An exquisitely sweet elixir that once you get a taste, keeps you coming back for more.
And that’s the genius of the talent of Adam Storke.
When he takes on a role, now matter how big or small, you can see he is committed to the character 100% every time. He is professionally precise in his methods. He is both charming and disarming. And that’s an extremely likeable quality that takes the viewer to the point where you feel like you really do know this guy. He has the ability to make it real for you, when he takes you along for the journey. He can take any moment and make it interesting. And whether it’s from past films like Mystic Pizza or The Stand, or to the more recent Broadway’s Finest, whenever Mr. Storke graces us with his presence, it just goes to show you one very important thing,
This man has certainly still got it. And then some.
- J & M Shepherd (2019)