Actress Jennifer Coolidge won her first-ever Golden Globe for the comedy series White Lotus in 2022, and her speech at the ceremony instantly went viral on social media. The actress admitted that she always worked hard, but she felt like an outsider, a stranger in Hollywood, and only a few directors who believed in her talent helped her stay afloat.
Coolidge lived in a small town near Boston before moving to Los Angeles to start her career in the late 80s. In the city of opportunities and overpriced coffee, she was a member of the Groundlings Main Company comedy troupe. Coolidge came to Hollywood at 23, but she only got her first television role seven years later. In interviews, she mentioned that her journey was not easy and that she was often mistreated, including being told by one casting agent that she was not good enough to ever appear in a serious film.
Those of us who survived the early 2000s remember Jennifer Coolidge from the American Pie series. In 1999, the first “American Pie” caused a whole lot of controversy and started an entire genre of cheesy teen comedies. 38-year-old Coolidge played by far the most memorable role in the film — Stifler’s hot mom. Since then, Coolidge was typecast as a sexy, eccentric middle-aged blonde with curvaceous forms more times than you could imagine.
Even though, in hindsight, it feels like that role played a cruel joke on her, American Pie opened quite a few industry doors for Jennifer, including the iconic Legally Blonde, Friends, and many parodies popular in the 2000s. At the same time, she managed to play serious roles as well. For example, in the 2008 drama series The Secret Life of the American Teenager, Coolidge played the role of an ex-escort without a hint of comedy.
The 2010s could have been better for the actress. She was a regular on Two Broke Girls and appeared in the rather mediocre comedy Like a Boss with Salma Hayek. But after 2020, Coolidge’s IMDb page has been blowing up. In September 2021, she won an Emmy Award for her role as the dramatic heiress Tanya McQuoid in the comedy series White Lotus.
White Lotus is a social satire that makes fun of the most pressing issues of today — from gender equality to racial issues, and Jennifer Coolidge, who fits perfectly in the genre of satire, is a real gem of this series. Director Mike White gave Jennifer the complicated role of Tanya, which was a real gift and a breath of fresh air for the actress. A challenge was accepted and overcome. Looking at season 2 of White Lotus, it’s clear that things will only get better from now on for Jennifer Coolidge, as Tanya and her husband were the only two characters to appear in both seasons.
In 2023, Coolidge was called up on stage to get her second Golden Globe for The White Lotus. And just like the year prior, the actress’s speech was tearful and sincere. One can only imagine what the future holds for Jennifer, but we’ll be here to witness her well-deserved revival.