Jennifer Coolidge talks fame, fortune and sudden death in Sydney

Beloved Hollywood star Jennifer Coolidge was in Australia this weekend to spread some joy to fans and to offer a little wisdom.

Awarded ‘icon’ status in this year’s Time’s 100 Most Influential People issue, The White Lotus star was open about the fact that often she has struggled with her personal demons, including a period of depression that led her to nearly declining the life-changing role of Tanya McQuoid.

“I want everyone to know all my depressing stories because I think it will help people,” she said.

“I do think that there is one thing that can keep you forever young and keep you forever sexy. And that is pure denial,” she told the crowd.

“Just ageing or any of that, if you just like, dismiss, you know? And that’s what it is. I think I have better denial than anyone on this planet. And it helps me function on every level.”

Jennifer Coolidge was in Sydney for Vivid with long-time friend Mike White. Photo: AAP

Coolidge was in Sydney with show creator and long-time friend Mike White as part of the Vivid festival, and credited the series writer and director with giving her the role that changed everything.

“Mike was the only one that thought to give me … a role that was funny and dramatic at the same time,” Coolidge said.

“If it wasn’t for Mike White, this moment wouldn’t be happening and I wouldn’t be having this incredible life right now.”

Although she has always played memorable characters, the global TV sensation has catapulted her back into the public mindset.

However, she said finding renewed fame in her early 60s came with some pitfalls.

She told media in Sydney on Saturday it also had her questioning the motives of some who showed up afterwards.

“People have been very friendly and I think it’s more they’re interested in White Lotus. And I don’t blame them,” she said.

After season two ended, Coolidge said she got calls from friends asking if she could get them a role in the show’s next season.

“The body wasn’t even cold. It was so unfair,” she said.

Arriving in Australia from Thailand where The White Lotus season three is rumoured to be in early development, White summed up the appeal of his acclaimed show, which is shot on location in luxurious global holiday destinations, with understated brevity.

“It’s about some people on vacation and they have breakfast, and then they have lunch and then they have dinner and between those sequences there’s a lot of stressful music,” he said.

“And then at the end someone dies.”

While the demise of Tanya McQuoid in season two seemed to rule out Coolidge’s involvement in future seasons, White certainly didn’t rule it out when asked if he would consider including Coolidge in a prequel.

“I absolutely think that’s possible. We were just talking about that as a funny idea and making Jennifer 20 years younger. That would be fun too,” he said.

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