Jennifer Coolidge Discusses What It's Like Doing Sex Scenes During Pandemic
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The 59-year-old American Pie actor was chatting about her new role in the HBO drama, which will be available on Sky Atlantic from 16 August.
Speaking to The Guardian about the sex scenes she filmed, she said: "It's weird during a pandemic, that's for sure. 'Gee, I'm making out with someone. Hope I don't die afterwards.'
"I'm just glad Tanya [McQuoid, her character in The White Lotus] found somebody, for Christ's sake. It would've been a tragic journey if she hadn't. A lot of other people were getting some, why shouldn't she?"
Discussing her performance, which has been hailed as one of her best, she said: "Did I feel like I was nailing it on any level? No. Acting's so weird. You can never tell when you're in the midst of it.
"What helped is that my character, Tanya [a wealthy woman grieving her mother], had parallels to me personally.
"I'd been incredibly depressed during the pandemic. I lost my own mother at an early age. A family member passed away during Covid and we couldn't hold a proper memorial. So I had all that going for me."
Despite the positive reviews, Coolidge admits that she was reluctant to take on the role because she wasn't thinking about work. Why? Because she didn't think we'd make it out of the coronavirus pandemic.
She said: "I was really affected by the pandemic. It was an incredibly sad time. I was reading tragic news stories on a daily basis, had a fatalistic approach and assumed the virus was going to win. I knew people who lost their lives and was convinced we wouldn't make it through.
"But then [White Lotus creator] Mike White called. His show about rich people on vacation had been picked up by HBO and he'd written a role with me in mind.
"I said: 'OK, when are we doing it?' He said: 'What do you mean? We just got green-lit. We're doing it now. You need to get on a plane to Hawaii.'
"That was an impossibility to my mind. I'd been gorging and self-destructing at home for months, eating pizza all day. There was no way I wanted to be on film unless they shot me from the neck up. I'm sort of vain, so there was no f***ing way."
Nice to know someone else spent lockdown the same way we did.
She continued: "Mike texted me at 2am one night and it just said: 'Are you afraid?' It was like he could read my mind and sensed that I was trying to get out of it. Then a great friend of mine told me to own my mess and just do it.
"I can't tell you how close I came to ruining this whole thing for myself. It's such a great lesson in life. I'd never have forgiven myself. I would've sat down to watch The White Lotus and said: 'What the hell was I thinking? I'm an insane person.'
"A lot of us actors are so insecure and scared of failure, we blow our own chances."
The White Lotus will be available on Sky Atlantic from 16 August.