The White Lotus: Jennifer Coolidge Reveals Why She Almost Turned Down Fan-Favorite Role

The White Lotus went from a sleeper hit to a bonafide phenomenon for HBO, with audiences incredibly curious to see the exploits of its star-studded ensemble. One bright spot of the first two seasons of The White Lotus has been Tanya McQuoid-Hunt, portrayed by Jennifer Coolidge. While Coolidge has garnered a ton of praise and even an Emmy award for her performance, she apparently was hesitant to join the show at one point. During The Hollywood Reporter's drama actress roundtable, Coolidge revealed that she almost passed on playing Tanya in the first season of The White Lotus, after being overcome by "self-hate and not being prepared."

"[The White Lotus creator] Mike [White] and I were going to do another show, which had been turned down by a lot of people, and he mentioned he was going to write [his next] show about rich people on vacation, but I never heard anything more about it," Coolidge revealed. "We were like six months into COVID, and I'd been locked up in my house in New Orleans just pigging out on these vegan pizzas. A good friend and I were doing two at breakfast, two at lunch and two at dinner. We were in COVID, no one knew I'd be getting a call going, 'Hey Jennifer, my show got greenlit, let's go do it. And it's all going to be on a beach in bathing suits!' So, I was just like, 'No, I'm not doing this,' but I didn't tell Mike I wasn't doing it. I just said, 'Oh, that's so nice, Mike. God, congratulations.'"

"I think this happens to actresses a lot. You sit around and b**ch your whole life that you've never been given the role of your dreams, and then when it comes, you're like, 'Yeah, I can't do it. I ate a bunch of pizza.' You can ruin it," Coolidge said of that anxiety. "And thank God I have a bestie that just caught on to my bullcrap. She knew exactly what I was doing, and she was like, 'You are an idiot. I'm not going to let you do this.'"

Will There Be a Season 3 of The White Lotus?

The White Lotus has officially been renewed for a third season, with White teasing that the new batch of episodes would hypothetically tackle religion, as the previous seasons tackled money and sex. It has subsequently been confirmed that Season 3 of The White Lotus will be headed to Thailand. No cast members have been announced yet for the new season.

"The first season kind of highlighted money," White explained shortly after Season 2 ended. "And then, the second season is sex. And I think the third season would be maybe a kind of satirical and funny look at death and Eastern religion and spirituality. And it feels like it could be a rich tapestry to do another round at White Lotus." 

Who is Cast in The White Lotus Season 3?

At the moment, no new or returning cast members have been confirmed for The White Lotus Season 3. Actors have advocated for being in the project, however, with Jennifer Aniston revealing earlier this year that she is "obsessed with" the show, and seemed very on board with the idea of joining the show — and possibly playing Tanya's sister.

"Did you hear it, Mike White?" Aniston exclaimed, when the interviewer suggested she join the show. "I want Jennifer Coolidge. I love her... Remember when Mike said at the Golden Globes, 'I know you all passed on it!' I didn't! I didn't even get a call."

Are you excited for the next season of The White Lotus? How would you have felt if Jennifer Coolidge hadn't played Tanya? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!