Adam Shapiro may not be as instantly recognizable as some of his fellow Philly-born thespians, but this Abington native is fast becoming one of this town’s most prolific film, TV and theater actors. Now residing in L.A. where he is the director of marketing for the IAMA Theatre Company, which he co-founded in 2007, Shapiro has graced the big and small screens in Steve Jobs, A Single Man, Now You See Me, Sense8 and The Affair. “I absolutely love playing the guy who’s a little out of place,” he says of his choice in roles. “The goofball in the serious drama. The maniac creepy guy in the light-hearted comedy. I love playing against the grain.”
And his star will surely keep rising this fall as he stars in a Showtime series alongside Ethan Hawke called The Good Lord Bird about the story of the abolitionist John Brown and his men. He’s also in a David Fincher film called Mank, which will be out on Netflix soon, and is filming season two of another Netflix show, Never Have I Ever, co-created by Mindy Kaling and Lang Fisher.
As for weaving Philly into his work, there’s no question of his hometown’s impact. “I don’t know if I can actually separate Philly from my work. It’s so ingrained. It’s in me, inside every character, every idea. And if I’m in a Sunday matinee, you can be sure I’m backstage, phone in my hand watching the Birds.” In fact, his pandemic side gig was starting a little passion business called Shappy Pretzel Co., which acts as a culinary homage to his fave Philly snack. “It’s been insane. You should see my kitchen. I’ve seen and met so many Philadelphians picking up pretzels that my accent has made a full return.”
Photography by: Jessie Giddings