Adam DiMarco may be known for playing a nice guy on The White Lotus – but you should know that he is actually really, really nice.
DiMarco is the star of Bumble’s new “Kindness is Sexy” campaign, which features a video following DiMarco throughout his day as he interacts with strangers offering various acts of kindness. He doles out compliments and favors like it’s his job, leaving a trail of swooning people in his wake. Anyone who has been on a dating app knows they are notoriously inhospitable places to find love or even find people who are nice, but the world of DiMarco’s Bumble campaign is a place where men smile, where they tell the truth, where they’re focused on other people besides themselves.
These are all qualities DiMarco seems to embody in his own life: He doesn’t have a go-to compliment because it should be individualized, though he’s not afraid to point out a solid outfit; he cheers on his buddies in golf even when he’s playing poorly; he finds self-love really sexy.
It’s a fitting campaign for DiMarco, who is not only intimately familiar with the perils of modern digital dating, but who is best known for playing Albie DiGrasso on Season 2 of The White Lotus, the son of Dominic DiGrasso (Michael Imperioli) and grandson of Bert (F. Murray Abraham). It’s a storyline that offered a generational look at various levels of toxic masculinity, with Albie representing the more evolved, younger generation. He’s the person in the family who wants to – gasp – respect women. Eventually, he gets scammed out of $50,000 by enterprising sex worker Lucia Greco (Simona Tabasco) in a scale-balancing final act.
NYLON caught up with DiMarco following the launch of the campaign to talk about what he finds sexy, his favorite compliments, and his favorite and least favorite things about dating.
What is your favorite compliment to give and receive?
I don't know if I have a favorite go-to compliment to give someone. I guess the easy answer would probably be if they had a cool fit or maybe acknowledging some kind of growth or improvement. Like when I was playing golf this morning, I played terribly. My friend was working on his chip and got back to back birdies and I was very happy for him even though I was playing terribly. I know he has been working hard at that, so just kind of seeing someone and the progress they're making or acknowledging you, like, “Hey, I see you.”
I'm not great at receiving compliments. But you know, it doesn't mean I don't want to hear them. I think if people compliment my taste in music, that's pretty big, because I think music is so subjective. Sending someone a playlist, it feels so vulnerable. And if people are like, “Hey, like, I ended up adding a bunch of these songs to my library,” you feel pretty good.
What’s sexy to you?
A sense of humor is important. Confidence. Kindness. Obviously passion. I feel like passion is sexy. Even if it's like someone's passionate about a video game, or it doesn't matter. Just passion in general I think is sexy. Self-love. Knowing who you are and what you want and being authentically yourself without being apologetic. I think I always am naturally drawn to those types of people who exude self-confidence and self-love in that way. What's sexy to you?
A lot of the same things. A sense of humor. Passion is a huge one, and it doesn’t have to be about work. What do you find difficult about dating? Or what is exciting about it?
I don't know if you're like this, but I go through phases where I'm like, “I'm gonna put myself out there, I’m gonna go on dates.” And then sometimes I'll be like, “Hey, you know what, I'm just gonna focus on myself for a bit and not force it.” I think when you're forcing it, that's when things can be difficult. It always comes back to: Don't force things; let things happen naturally and organically.
I mean what's exciting is obviously if you're single, making a new, true connection with someone. That's always very exciting and getting to experience those firsts with someone new It's always nostalgic to be like, ah, you know, first kiss, how cute, how awesome. And at any age it still makes you feel something.
What do you like about Bumble?
I remember when Bumble first came out and everyone was talking about it and how it felt different and safer. It explores putting women's experience and safety first, which is great. It’s always felt like one of the more wholesome dating apps, and they've definitely built their platform around that kind of wholesomeness and kindness and respect.
This Bumble campaign is about making kindness cool, and it’s addressing some of these stereotypes of toxic masculinity. Why do you think it's so difficult for people and men in particular to just be nice sometimes?
I think people in general tend to be unkind when they're a bit too self-centered. I think it's just effort; it's like a daily practice, almost like an intention and it starts within yourself. I think you have to start to get to know yourself better. Everyone fucks up and makes mistakes, right? We're only human, but I think it's important to kind of stop and try to learn from your mistakes and grow from them and get better.
I'm not on TikTok too much, but I feel like there's this trend going around about main character energy. It's like I'm the main character and everyone else is like an NPC and that’s a self-centered way of looking at things. I think that's definitely the wrong kind of approach. You don't know what the person behind you or in front of you in line is going through, what their day is looking like. You can genuinely turn someone's day around by the tiniest little act of kindness.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.