Jennifer Coolidge: The White Lotus finale was inspired by my mistakes

Warning: This article contains spoilers from The White Lotus Season 2 Finale.

Jennifer Coolidge has revealed how her role as fan favorite Tanya McQuiod in ‘White Lotus’ was inspired by her own life.

Tanya first appeared in season 1 of the HBO series and Returned in season 2 married to Greg Hunt (Jon Gris), whom she met in the first season. Season 2, set in Sicily, ended with the tragic death of a beloved character.

Coolidge, who won an Emmy for her portrayal of the endearingly flawed character in Season 1, admitted in a recent interview. Entertainment Weekly The creator of this show, Mike White, used his own personality traits to inspire the show’s character.

White, 52, and Coolidge, 61, have been friends since meeting at Gentleman Broncos in 2009, and Coolidge admits he knows her very well.

“Mike sits there, he’s incredibly smart, and he just watches people. He’s watched my naivety from a lot of my male relationships, and he’s seen that I trust people in a very naive way,” Coolidge explained.

“Sometimes it’s good because I don’t judge anyone, but I open the door and sometimes I understand who someone is and their intentions very slowly.”

The “American Pie” and “Legally Blonde” actress admitted that she took real-life situations in which Wyatt was with people she “shouldn’t have been around at all” and combined them to influence Tanya’s storyline. .

“I still want to say it’s simple – otherwise I’m an idiot,” he said with a laugh.

“It’s just people putting on a really good show, but they don’t really like you,” he added. “You know, I’m not one of those people who made millions and millions of dollars in our industry, but whenever I had a little something, they were there to take it.”

Jennifer Coolidge as Tanya McQuiod-Hunt in Season 2 of The White Lotus.
Mario Perez/HBO

In the season 2 finale of White Lotus, viewers echoed Coolidge’s sentiments when they learned that Tanya was being plotted against and was being used for her money.

He continued: “And my negligence, not seeing the writing on the wall and denying any signs that something was actually wrong, I denied it. I think that happens to a lot of people, but I think Mike observed that and created that part of the script.

Jennifer Coolidge in Season 1 of The White Lotus.
Jennifer Coolidge in Season 1 of The White Lotus.

But Coolidge believes that Tanya’s death has meaning for the character’s life.

“He was too weak for this part of the show. And sometimes it doesn’t work out so well for weak people in a world where there are really bad people,” he said. “Although Tanya is very flawed and in many ways, you see her as a good, self-centered person. you could say no, but some people in this life are surrounded by a group of people, and sometimes it’s hard to know. Who are the good and bad in this world? Poor Tanya, she made the wrong decision.”

In the end, Coolidge believed that Tanya White had to die in order to fit the story she wanted to tell.

“It was an episode about women and all the things they had to endure and all the survival techniques that were revealed in it,” she said. “But everyone is trying to survive while this nonsense is happening. What does it look like to deal with betrayal? “Betrayal is hard to deal with in a simple, well-adjusted way because it’s so hard to process.”

Jennifer Coolidge speaks while accepting the award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie for "White Lotus"
Jennifer Coolidge speaks while accepting the Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie for “White Lotus,” Sept. 12, 2022.
REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Coolidge also said there were a few people who didn’t think Tanya was really dead, and he had to deliver the disturbing news to them.

“They thought it was a dream, even though I was in a body bag. They somehow thought it was all in Tanya’s head or something. They did not understand that I was dead, dead forever. Dead in every sense,” he said. “And then I had to watch and listen to their reactions, ‘Oh, really? Oh no!’ I’m surprised they found out this morning that it was true.


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