Actress Jennifer Coolidge's amazing performance in the HBO show The White Lotus has kept her busy. After collecting awards at the 2022 Emmys, the 2023 Golden Globes, and the 2023 Critics' Choice Television Awards, she received more well-deserved recognition at the 2023 SAG Awards on Sunday, February 26. She honored the significance of winning Best Female Actor in a Drama Series with an emotional speech dedicated to the series' showrunner, Mike White, and her parents.
Coolidge accepted the trophy from presenters Ariana DeBose and Diego Luna to rousing applause. She began her speech by emphasizing what a special year it has been because of her role as Tanya in The White Lotus. “I want you all to know that I am just so grateful,” she said, “So grateful. Because you know, this could be it.” Coolidge went on to say that Mike White changed her perspective and helped her “view life in a different way” by selecting her for a role that went on for two seasons.
After thanking the cast members of The White Lotus and HBO, Coolidge became more emotional by bringing up her parents. “What I really want to say is…I had these amazing parents, and they had this incredible gift,” she began. “It was impossible for them to lie. They just couldn't do it.” The only instance where she recalled her father lying was when Coolidge was still in first grade and she was called out of school early because her father told the principal that she was sick.
“I got into the car with my dad, and he was driving, and he said, ‘I'm never going to tell a lie again, but we're going somewhere really cool,'” she said. “And he drove me to this place, and it was this flukey thing in Massachusetts, it was the Charlie Chaplin film festival.” Coolidge explained that the experience of seeing Charlie Chaplin inspired her love of film and made her want to become an actress—an experience she owed to her father's spur-of-the-moment excursion one day. The speech left Coolidge nearly in tears, but she wasn't the only one as many members of the audience appeared very touched by her story as well. Although her role in The White Lotus is over, we look forward to seeing Coolidge in many more shows and films to come.
You can watch the full speech, below.