Jennifer Coolidge (61) received an Emmy in September 2022 for her role in the series “The White Lotus”.
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She stands in front of the mirror in a negligee and makes up her cheeks with pursed lips. That looks like screaming Jennifer Coolidge (61). She then takes a sip of the champagne. She has to sip the liquid from the glass so as not to stain the lipstick. It’s the introduction to the first sex scene of the second season of The White Lotus, which just aired on Sky. It is set in Sicily and, like Part 1, addresses the needs of the guests and employees of a luxury resort. Jennifer Coolidge plays heiress Tanya McQuoid for the second time.
Coolidge proves she’s known for giving her all for a joke when she lets her husband ride her at the start of season two and squeals like a guinea pig. But actually it is enough to look at her in front of the mirror. The grimaces, snorts and sighs with which she embodies this uber-rich slumber earned Coolidge an Emmy for Best Supporting Actress this year. She didn’t look good for her career for a long time.
A mixture of shame and erotic fascination
Coolidge’s breakthrough role came in 1999 with her role as Stifler’s mom in American Pie. The cult comedy follows a group of young men who try to lose their virginity before graduating from high school. One of them, 18-year-old Finch, becomes involved with the mother of his friend Stifler. Coolidge, then in her mid-thirties, played this femme fatale with a fervor that evoked a mix of alien shame and erotic fascination in moviegoers.
In the movie, a guy refers to her as a milf (Mother I’d Like to Fuck). The term existed before “American Pie.” After that, it prevailed as a name for a porn genre. From today’s perspective, that’s disrespectful. And hardly anyone would laugh anymore at a buxom middle-aged blonde in the movies getting involved with a pale 18-year-old.
Subscribed to the role of the fool
The high trash factor of his debuts meant that Coolidge struggled to step out of the shadow of Stifler’s mom. She graduated from the renowned American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York and was a member of the California comedy troupe The Groundlings, where stars like Melissa McCarthy (52) and Will Ferrell (55) earned their spurs. Nevertheless, Coolidge signed up for the role of the fool. In 2003 she played a clumsy nail salon employee for the second time in “Legally Blonde 2” alongside Reese Witherspoon (46). The last important role of her for the moment.
He went to casting for ten years without getting a serious job, he said in an interview with Variety. The fact that this long dry spell ended with “The White Lotus” is thanks to series director Mike White (52). The former actor has been a Coolidge fan ever since he played her lover in the flop comedy Gentlemen Broncos. He wrote the role of Tanya McQuoid specifically for her.
She’s playing herself a bit now
It’s probably because Coolidge plays so convincingly. Because when McQuoid consoles himself with pills on the show about the death of his mother, who was also his best friend, she has parallels to Coolidge’s life. Her mother died of cancer when her daughter was celebrating her first successes as an actress. In interviews, she spoke openly about her former addiction to cocaine.
When White’s offer came in, she was in the middle of the pandemic, depressed and had to be persuaded to go, Coolidge told Variety. Now, apart from her husband from her series, she is the only one from the cast of the first season to appear in the second part of “The White Lotus.” Things are going well otherwise, too: She’s just been cast as a narcissistic runner in the hit horror series “The Watcher” on Netflix.
Today, Coolidge can laugh at the rejection he endured for years. When you are used to losing, at some point you are no longer afraid of it. “It gives a feeling of freedom.”