The critically acclaimed limited series last month won 10 Emmys for its premiere White lotus Season 2 returns tonight on HBO and HBO Max. Yes, it’s set in the same universe as its predecessor, but with a fresh plot, a fairly complex group of new characters, and a completely different continent this time in Italy, season two will be its own charming mess. and delivered in the best form.
After her stellar performance as Tanya McQuoid, her handsome, wealthy heiress in season one, recent Emmy winner Jennifer Coolidge is back for seconds! So what was the first conversation between Coolidge and his Emmy winner? White lotus Is creator/writer/director Mike White reprising his role for season two?
“Mike just said, ‘You know Jennifer, I want to continue the story with Tanya,'” Coolidge told me. She said, “I want you to know that you’ve gotten over your mother’s grief. You’ve made some progress and moved on, and I want to take the next step in my relationship with Greg (another John Gris performance) and see where that story goes.” ‘ I was like, ‘OK.’ He says, ‘We’re going to shoot in Sicily.’ I was excited to tell the story there.”
After Coolidge joined the second season, Grice had a similar conversation with White, saying, “I got a text from Mike saying, ‘Are you free in May?’ No, I’ll be anywhere, anytime, anywhere.’ He goes, ‘Okay, Mai – Sicily.’ I couldn’t answer. I didn’t know what to write back. I got excited!”
With season two set at the White Lotus resort in southern Italy (season one was another fictitious resort in Hawaii, the White Lotus), I wondered what Italian-born actors Sabrina Impacciatore, Simona Tabasco, and Beatrice Granno were up to this season. Play and bring to life the local characters surrounded by this group of American tourist heroes.
Impacciatore, who plays Valentina, a strict resort manager, says, “About Valentina — I didn’t understand Mike’s direction at first. [White] I wanted to study with me because I had to be very strict and very direct. So, on a vacation in Europe, he talked about how Americans treated him that way because they were always kind and gentle. So, I’m a little embarrassed to represent Italy in such a crude way, but that’s the nature of the character. I felt a responsibility to represent my country in some way and I still do.”
“Well, I think there’s something about Italians,” says Granno, who plays aspiring singer Mia in the new season. Like they’re very straight and very loud. If someone doesn’t understand Italian, they will repeat it louder. That’s how we are. I tried to bring that kind of comedy to my character – someone wants to be understood.”
Tabasco plays Mia’s best friend, Lucia, who causes quite a bit of trouble for the American visitors. Speaking about representing her native Italy in her performance, she said, “Lucia, when I read her role, I was a little afraid of how it would turn out because I thought she had so much to portray and so much to portray. go, but then I trusted Mike [White] the script, everything flows, and I think it’s very Italian. Very honest.”
compliments of White lotus Writer Mike White rounded out the second season’s cast even more, including Megan Fahey as Daphne, a sweet, wealthy American tourist. Fahy tells me all about it White lotus The experience was unlike any other production he had worked on before and gave White a lot of credit.
“I’ve never worked with someone who wrote every episode and directed every episode,” Fahey continued. “It’s a unique experience, in my opinion, in that regard. Also, the words are so powerful that the flow is so clear that it just feels good to do the scenes, and because he knows exactly what he wants, it creates a really cool environment that makes you feel like he’s in control. play work – a lot of freedom. He has a lot of faith in his actors, and I think that’s really cool.”
Actor Theo James portrays Fahey’s on-screen husband Cameron, a rich and selfish American playboy businessman who woos the local Italian ladies. When I asked James if Mike White approached the cast and crew early on White lotus “No, he’s never been that specific because he’s very confident in the stories he’s telling,” he said, noting that season two can’t compare to the success and story of season one. He doesn’t worry about how things will be perceived or not understood. I think he has a very clear idea. It’s his social satire — his balls to play with social and sexual politics. He is very clear about what he wants to do – he doesn’t worry about being compared in any way. Because we were in Italy, it felt different and the subject matter was different, so that shadow never hung over us.”
Another newcomer this season is Aubrey Plaza, who plays Harper, who is old college friends with her husband Ethan (played by Will Sharpe), Cameron. It comes from the popular comedy TV series Parks and Recreation etc. movies Ingrid went WestI asked Plaza how she was doing White lotus The character is different from the previous characters that many of us have come to know from him.
Plaza said, “The first thing is, they’ve got a lot of money, Harper and Ethan, so I’m going to wear fancy clothes. I’m going to wear fancy jewelry. It’s been really fun because I usually play roles that I can’t afford. I play a lawyer, a woman who’s been married for a long time – seven or eight years – no kids, just an adult. So that was definitely interesting.”
I asked Plaza and Sharpe if they had a favorite part of filming in Sicily. Sharp responded, “I think my favorite part would be just being near the ocean. I love the ocean.” Plaza continued. “Me, too. Will and I are definitely over the ocean. It’s so magical to go out every morning and see the vast blue ocean, and also the food. Food! Wine! There aren’t that many options, just “Well, I’m going to eat pasta today, twice a day, every day. I don’t care!’ It’s just a different mindset.”
Two of the youngest cast additions this season are Adam DiMarco and Haley Lou Richardson. DiMarco stars as Albie, the youngest of three generations of Italian-Americans who travel together to Sicily to learn more about their family history. Richardson stars as Portia, who travels with Coolidge’s character, Tanya, as an unhappy sidekick. Playing these twenty-something Gen Z characters looking for young love (or lust) while in Italy, I asked DiMarco and Richardson what makes their story unique in season two.
DiMarco said of Albie and Portia, “It’s great that our heroes are introduced to the old-fashioned way. Not on an app or anything – just sitting there so I might talk to you! That’s what they used to do, or that’s what they say. I think it’s cute and romantic in a way.”
I was interested to see how Richardson viewed him, as he was the actor with the most appearances next to Coolidge in season two. White lotus Experience filming while playing with Coolidge.
Richardson responded, “It was amazing. It was literally what you hoped for and expected. He’s like crazy, crazy in every way! It’s just a sight to see him so free. The way he and Mike would do it – he’d start touching and I’d be like just trying to keep up, and then Mike would be with him from a distance, taking turns shooting lines, and Jennifer would get it, or I don’t understand. It reminded me of a part of a play that’s so fun to watch, so unique, and so important to the acting process.”
In this Sicilian adventure, DiMarco’s character Albie is accompanied by his father, Dominic (of the famous Soprano actor Michael Imperioli) and their family’s elderly patriarch Bert (played by longtime Hollywood actor F. Murray Abraham). These two actors have such an admired legacy in Hollywood that I wondered what this was all about White lotus The scripts for Season 2 wanted them on board.
At first, Imperioli said, “I didn’t know the script. They didn’t give the whole script, so I’ll be honest with you. I had a few small scenes, but when I knew there was interest, I watched the first episode, which I hadn’t been to. I’ve heard great things from people who respect their opinions and like them. heard. I knew why when I watched the first season. Shooting in Sicily wouldn’t have been a hindrance either.”
Abraham continued about writing the second season, “It’s just good work. They don’t come around very often. It’s a lot of humor and a lot of humanity. There’s more than just the average thing you should see. I think it’s rewarding to watch, don’t you think? Because I felt this way as an actor.
Imperioli concludes our conversation by breaking down Mike White’s extension White lotus As we get to these seven episodes of the second season, the vision. “He used very common and timeless themes with it. Generational things, family things, roles – men, women, men, women. I think they have a lot of resonance. There is a lot about sex and feelings. There’s a bigger canvas this season because they couldn’t leave their hotel while filming season one. It was the Covid bubble and we are in Sicily [for season two] and there are other really amazingly beautiful cities and towns that we should visit. Therefore, I think it’s a bit different from the first season and has a good side.”