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Jennifer Coolidge Wins for White Lotus  

Jennifer Coolidge did it again.

After memorably dancing her way off the 2022 Emmys stage following her win for the first season of The White Lotus, the iconic actress once again had a Hollywood awards crowd hanging at her every word when she took home the trophy for her role in the second season of the HBO series at the 2023 Golden Globes.

“Wow. I can put this down, right? I don’t work out, you know what I mean? I can’t hold it that long,” she said when placing her winning trophy, for best supporting actress in a limited series, onto the ceremony stage.

She then launched into a moving and funny speech that had White Lotus creator and friend Mike White in tears, and the room still cheering for Coolidge after the show cut to commercial break, according to   attendees. (The White Lotus would next go on to win best limited series.)

“I just want to say, some of the people who are in this room, you’re the five people that kept me going for 20 years with these little jobs,” the Best in Show and American Pie actress explained, in tears, of her Hollywood trajectory. “And Ryan Murphy, you were one of them. These little jobs that kept me going. It was you, Ryan, and let’s see, we got… well, who else was there? It was just you, Ryan.”

The line got laughs. She continued, “I didn’t know anybody, and it just was sort of this thing that wasn’t going anywhere,” she continued of her struggle to land roles in later years — and before she took on the White Lotus 2021 role, a part that White wrote for her when launching the hit series. That character catapulted her back into the recent Hollywood spotlight. Murphy’s hit Netflix series The Watcher, her first Emmy and other accolades, including this Globe trophy, soon followed.

“And then there were these people who would give me these cute little jobs, and it would just be enough to go to the next one and the next one,” she continued, mentioning Michael Patrick King for Sex and the City and Reese Witherspoon for Legally Blonde. “Some of these things would go five different episodes, five different sequels of American Pie — I milked that to the bone, I’m still going for six or seven, whatever they want.”

And that’s when she turned to her friend, White Lotus boss White.

“The hook came off and took me off the stage at the Emmys, and I didn’t get to say what I wanted to say which was: Mike White,” she said, “Truly I just want you all to know that I had such big dreams and expectations as a younger person, but what happened was, they get sort of fizzled by life. I thought I was going to be Queen of Monaco — I had these giant ideas, and then you get older [and realize], ‘Oh, shit, that’s not going to happen.’”

She continued, “Mike White, you have given me hope. Even if this is the end — because you did kill me off, but it doesn’t matter — because even if this is the end, you have changed my life in a million different ways.”

The second season of White Lotus — spoiler alert! — indeed saw White killing off his star with a perfectly “derpy death,” to quote the creator. He made the decision because he felt that she was the perfect “kind of diva, larger-than-life female archetype [where] we could devise our own operatic conclusion to Tanya’s life and her story” for the Sicily, Italy-set season.

And he was right. The unpredictable ending cemented Coolidge as the breakout star of White Lotus. And, as she revealed in her Globes speech, it also made her very popular: “My neighbors are speaking to me, things like that,” she said. “I was never invited to one party on my hill — and now everyone’s inviting me!”

She continued, “It’s to you, Mike White. If you don’t know Mike White, this is what you should know: He’s worried about the world, he’s worried about people, he’s worried about friends of his that aren’t doing well… he really is one of the greatest people. He gives me so much excitement. You make people want to live longer — and I didn’t,” she said, getting more laughs for her callback to the White Lotus kicker.

The show then bleeped her F-word signoff to White, which she delivered with a kiss, telling the audience, “This is a fun night. Thank you, thank you.”

When speaking about her tragic show ending to THR, the actress was despondent over the possibility of not returning to the HBO series (though she did suggest coming back in a prequel or as a relative of her character). “I’m just sad, you know, I’m just sad,” she said of her love for the show. “There was a very depressed Tanya in White Lotus 1 and then for White Lotus 2 Mike says, ‘She’s recovered from her mother’s death when we start White Lotus 2, Jennifer.’ But the most sort of continual emotion of Tanya was always grief. I’m sad I couldn’t have played a happier Tanya! Because there are so many possibilities when someone’s not depressed; when someone’s depressed, it’s hard to get through the day. Who knows what she could have done?”

When being honored last year by EW as one of their “Entertainers of the Year,” she said she felt like her Hollywood offers were “flatlining” before Ariana Grande put her in her Thank, U Next video in 2019. When discussing having such a moment at this point in her life, she added to THR: “I just like when life is unpredictable because it gives you hope, and I think it gives other people hope. It gives other actors hope. This moment is so unexpected. If you told me, ‘Sit down with a pad of paper and write down something you would expect to have happen in your life,’ the very last page — on page 50,000 — would be that this moment would happen. This moment is just the last thing I ever thought of. It wasn’t even a possibility. If you told me to list the possibility of things you wanted to have happen, I wouldn’t have even put this on my possibility list, because it’s so unlikely. So I’m just blown away. My mind is blown every day about this run. And I’m so grateful for all of it.”

The Golden Globes ceremony returned to NBC this year after a year off the air amid a scandal within the Globes’ parent organization following an exposé in the Los Angeles Times. The ceremony was hosted by comedian Jerrod Carmichael and aired live on NBC and Peacock.

The HFPA, which presents the Golden Globes, is owned by Eldridge Industries.   is owned by PME Holdings, LLC, a joint venture between Penske Media Corporation and Eldridge.

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