Jennifer Coolidge was once most recognizable for her work as Stifler’s mom in the American Pie franchise, which she credits for sleeping with 200 people.
On Monday evening, the iconic actress accepted the award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her playing the ill-fated Tanya McQuoid on HBO’s The White Lotus.
What a difference a few years makes.
No one can command a room quite like Coolidge, and boy, she brought out the wit and emotion in her acceptance speech.
“Mike White, thank you… for giving me this opportunity to play this incredible character,” Coolidge said of the hit drama’s (and Survivor alum!) creator while accepting the prestigious award.
“He said [Tanya’s] definitely dead, so I’m going along with it,” the Watcher alum affirmed.
Killing Tanya off was one of TV’s biggest twists
While The White Lotus has featured some out-there twists, saying goodbye to Tanya in the December 2022 White Lotus Season 2 finale was a conclusion fans didn’t even consider.
With her beloved role kicking off in the Hawaii-set freshman season one year earlier, many thought Tanya would be a part of every vacation.
All good vacations need a Tanya. She’s the life of the party, offering unfiltered thoughts on what people are wearing, the decor, and anything else.
No topic was ever really off the table with her, and Coolidge was captivating every step of the way.
But the strength of a good series is when it can subvert expectations, and The White Lotus did so in brutal fashion when Tanya realized a little too late that the men she had been fawning over during her Sicily vacation were plotting her demise.
The worst part? All signs point to her husband, Greg, being in on the plan and bailing on the vacation early so he didn’t have to be around to plot her demise… or in the frame for putting the plan in motion.
While fans put the pieces of the puzzle several steps ahead of her, Tanya was enamored with the friendliness of this group of men who didn’t seem interested in her money… or so she thought.
When Tanya realized death was staring her in the face, she shut her eyes and opened fire on everyone on the beautiful yacht, clearing a path to safety.
Just when it seemed like a happier fate awaited her, she died while trying to escape by falling and hitting her head before plunging into the depths of the ocean.
It was a hard goodbye for fans, but it was so wonderfully played by Coolidge, who got to utter plenty of iconic lines in her final episode, including “These gays, they’re trying to murder me.”
Coolidge, who credits Ariana Grande for saving her career, gave a shoutout to “all the evil gays” in her speech.
We’ve come to expect that anything she touches turns to gold, and we’re just happy producers are beginning to take note after another scene-stealing stint on the resort-set drama.
Coolidge beat out strong competition in the category from four White Lotus co-stars: Meghann Fahy, Sabrina Impacciatore, Aubrey Plaza, and Simona Tabasco.
The category also included Elizabeth Debicki for her awe-inspiring portrayal of Princess Diana on The Crown, Rhea Seehorn (Better Call Saul), and J. Smith-Cameron (Succession).
The White Lotus Season 3: Who’s on the cast?
After strike-related delays, production of The White Lotus Season 3 is set to get underway very soon.
The only confirmed returning cast member is Natasha Rothwell as Belinda Lindsey.
Belinda struck up quite the bond with Tanya during The White Lotus Season 1, so can we expect her to cross paths with Greg and crack the case of her fallen friend’s mysterious death?
It’s a possibility.
Never one to miss a beat when it comes to A-list talent, the Thailand-set next offering has also confirmed Leslie Bibb, Dom Hetrakul, Jason Isaacs, Michelle Monaghan, Parker Posey, Tayme Thapthimthong, and Carrie Coon will be along for the next mystery.
The White Lotus is currently on hiatus and is expected to return to HBO in 2025.