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Michael Imperioli Stays in Character to Stop Climate Protesters at Broadway Show

Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images
Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images

Actor Michael Imperioli didn’t break character when his performance on Broadway was interrupted by climate protesters on Thursday night.

The Sopranos and White Lotus actor plays the villainous Mayor Stockmann in a revived version of Henrik Ibsen’s “An Enemy of the People.” During a scene in which the mayor holds a town hall, climate protesters rose from their seats and began yelling, “There is no Broadway on a dead planet!”

The play centers on a good doctor who tries to alert the town to contaminated water in its spas. But authorities like the mayor, played by Imperioli, do everything in their power to stop him.

“In the play, Doctor Thomas Stockmann (Jeremy Strong) exposes the contamination of the town’s public bathwater, risking community health, and faces repercussions. Sadly, this mirrors reality,” the climate activism group Extinction Rebellion said in a statement. Protesters with the group raised concerns specifically about the oceans and water supply during the planned action.

“I object to the silencing of scientists,” one of the protesters said as he walked toward the stage. “Our water is poison, our oceans are acidifying.”

In video of the protest, Imperioli can be seen calling for the protesters’ removal, pointing fingers and yelling for them to get out—all of which is in character for the part he played.

But Imperioli later clarified his personal stance in a post on Instagram, saying that he as an actor was in support of the protesters.

“no hard feelings extinction rebellion crew. michael is on your side but mayor stockmann is not. much love,” he wrote, tagging the production’s official Instagram and Extinction Rebellion’s page.

Responding to a comment about his actions onstage—which included a physical confrontation with a protester as he shoved him toward the exit—the actor added, “that was NOT michael. that was mayor stockmann.”

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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