JAMES LIPTON: We're back at the Actor's Studio with Italian striker Fabiano De Gunto. Take us through the next stage of your career. You finished summer school at Juilliard, and you wanted to sign with Palermo.
FABIANO DE GUNTO: Yes I did. But the manager didn't think I was ready. He said I had some work to do before I could fall into a place on the squad. So I joined an improv group.
LIPTON: Dadi Assalitti. (Audience applauds)
DE GUNTO: We had a very popular game where audience members would shout out a part of the leg, and the actors had to improvise a scene based on an injury to that part of the leg.
LIPTON: But you did more than that to prepare. You visited with war veterans. Amputees. Survivors of horrific automobile accidents.
DE GUNTO: From my time at Juilliard, I was familiar with the Stanislavsky Method. I shadowed these people for weeks, asking myself, "How does a man wince when his knee is dislocated?" "If I were truly hurt, what would my cries of pain sound like?" Eventually, even I began to believe my act. (Pause) I also grew a greasy ponytail.
LIPTON: And at the next transfer period, you were playing for Palermo. (Sustained applause.) Did your preparation pay off in Serie A?
DE GUNTO: Serie A has some of the most talented actors in the world. To play with thespians like that, you almost can't help but raise your game. Also, we all have to act like the games aren't fixed.
LIPTON: Tell me about the on-field medical treatment.
DE GUNTO: I like the stretcher because it's so theatrical. Even the most cynical fan has trouble doubting one's wounds when one is being carted off the field on a canvas litter from the 1920's.
LIPTON: And the so-called "magic spray" that trainers use?
DE GUNTO: That's just water. (Applause.)
LIPTON: You made an immediate impact on Palermo, drawing penalty kicks on runs to the box three times in your first five games. On one play, despite not being touched by a defender, you lay on the ground covering your face for over five minutes until the referee gave your opponent a red card. (Applause.) How soon did you leave the sidelines?
DE GUNTO: 45 seconds later. (Sustained applause.)
LIPTON: We have reached the lightning round. Who are your greatest influences?
DE GUNTO: All the legends. Baggio. De Niro. Reggie Miller. Vlade Divac.
LIPTON: What is your favorite part of a game of Texas Hold 'Em?
DE GUNTO: The flop.
LIPTON: What is your favorite Olympic event?
DE GUNTO: Diving.
LIPTON: What is your favorite four-letter word?
DE GUNTO: "Ouch". (Applause)
LIPTON: Now let's take questions from some of our students?
STUDENT #1: Yes, Mr. De Gunto. I was wondering if you feel that your team's style of constant flopping, pleading with referees, and faking injuries goes against the spirit of soccer? Aren't you a ashamed of yourself?
(DE GUNTO falls with an anguished cry, covering his face, rolling from side to side, and clutching his ankle. Lipton sends off the questioner, who will by rule be required to miss the next Inside the Actor's Studio episode.)