It’s about damn time! Jennifer Coolidge‘s Hollywood career transformed “in the blink of an eye” as The White Lotus launched her to “superstar” success – and she’s still adapting.
“She’s still the same person she always was, but the fame and recognition have made things different,” a source reveals exclusively in the new issue of Us weekly, adding that the Legally blonde actress, 61, “lives much more comfortably now” thanks to her breakout HBO role. “She’s getting a lot more opportunities coming her way and her days are a lot busier than they used to be.”
Coolidge has received continuous praise for her performance as Tanya McQuoid on the Mike Whitewritten anthology series, which premiered in July 2021. She was the only season 1 cast member to return for the second episode set in Italy. Coolidge has won multiple trophies for her starring role, including the 2022 Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Anthology Series or Motion Picture and the 2023 Golden Globe for Outstanding Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film.
According to the insider, the show’s success has “been a huge blessing” to the American pie star, who wanted to “challenge herself” with the more dramatic role. “Being so well received and celebrated has been life-changing,” the source says Us. “For her, it’s like all the hard work paid off and then some. She’s still pinching herself that it’s really happening.”
The Massachusetts native has been a beloved character actress for decades, appearing in cult comedies Best in show (2000) and For your consideration (2006) and pursuing guest roles The secret life of the American teenager And 2 broke Girls. Before joining The White Lotus cast starred Coolidge opposite Carey Mulligan in the Oscar-winning drama Promising young woman.
“Jennifer was ambitious from a young age,” the source tells me Us, noting that Coolidge’s “phenomenal talent” was always celebrated by her fellow entertainers. “She always wanted to be a serious actress and was willing to work hard [work] and wait for her chance to come.
Earlier this year, Coolidge received a standing ovation from her peers as she accepted her Golden Globes win. “I had such big dreams and hopes as a younger person, but what happened is they kind of fizzle through life. I thought I was going to be Queen of Monaco even if someone else did,” she said at the ceremony in January. “And then you get older and you think, ‘Oh, what the hell is going to happen?’ And Mike White, you’ve given me hope. You have given me a new beginning. … You have changed my life in a million different ways.
The Single star continued, “If you don’t know Mike White, you should know this: he’s worried about the world, he’s worried about people, he’s worried about friends of his that aren’t doing well. He is concerned about animals. … You make people want to live longer – and I didn’t. Mike, I love you dearly.’
While Coolidge is thriving in her career, her love life has yet to take off in the same way. “Her friends would love to see her settle down and meet a nice guy,” the source says Usadding that the A Cinderella story star is “wide open” to find The One.
For now, the SAG Award nominee is focusing on her next career move, which may include the highly anticipated third Legally blonde movie. “Ries [Witherspoon] adores her. They are determined to get Legally blonde 3 off the ground and they see each other a lot and have become good friends,” says the insider. “She’s very much at peace and so excited about this next chapter.”
For more on Coolidge’s career success, watch the video above and grab the latest issue of Us weekly — now in newsstands.