The ‘Jennaissance’: Jennifer Coolidge Reaches New Heights in her Career


AP Images

Jennifer Coolidge poses with her Golden Globe on Jan. 10.

Maddox Karnes, Arts and Entertainment editor

You may recognize her from her bending and snapping in “Legally Blonde” or maybe as the woman being murdered by the gays in “The White Lotus.” Either way, with over 30 years in the industry, Jennifer Coolidge has become one of the most famous women in Hollywood.

But, is it possible her incredible career is reaching brand new heights – or even a renaissance? 

The past two years have been stand-outs amid Coolidge’s career. In the summer of 2021, she starred as Tanya McQuoid in the series premiere of Mike White’s “The White Lotus” – a role that would serve as a catalyst for the Jennifer Coolidge Renaissance.

Her performance as the kooky rich woman provided a layer of lovable camp comedy. Coolidge ensured any second she was in the frame wouldn’t be a boring one, and it had major pay-off.

What followed was a Golden Globe nomination, a Critics Choice Award and an Emmy, all of which were firsts for Coolidge. The actress had previous fame, but nothing can compare to the attention she garnered over her performance as Tanya McQuoid.

“I don’t think until we really started filming did I realize just what an extravagant part I got,” said Coolidge in an interview with The Ringer. 

The part was extravagant enough to land her many jobs shortly after “The White Lotus.” Coolidge made her way to Netflix with its Christmas movie “Single All the Way,” to Adult Swim with a guest appearance on “Rick and Morty” and even an Old Navy ad.

It was evident that Coolidge was popping up everywhere; people were seeing her through all different mediums. 

She rode the string of roles up until her next breakthrough moment in late 2022 where her career would take another rise.

On Oct. 13, 2022, “The Watcher” premiered on Netflix starring, you guessed it, Jennifer Coolidge. The Ryan Murphy film on a major streaming platform pushed Coolidge’s name one last time before the ultimate moment of her career – “The White Lotus” season two.

Coolidge was one of two actors to return from the first season of the show and the only one to be in the entirety of the season. It was evident how strong Tanya McQuoid’s grasp on pop culture was, and Coolidge’s grasp was even stronger.

The character’s success brought her back to the show and she delivered another phenomenal performance. Regardless if Coolidge is on screen for 10 minutes or 10 hours, she has the power to charm an audience and demand the attention of whatever scene she’s in, and “The White Lotus” season two was no exception.

Her interpretation of the eccentric older woman was just as, if not wildly more, delightful the second time. 

Season two bequeathed even more commercial success to Coolidge. The following year she was nominated for two Screen Actors Guild Awards and she won a Golden Globe and a Critics Choice Award.

“Being in ‘White Lotus’ really changed it all up for me,” Coolidge said in an interview with Gold Derby. “I’m reaping the benefits of getting a killer part.”

The most recent installment in Coolidge’s ‘Jennaissance’ is her performance in Jason Moore’s action-comedy, “Shotgun Wedding.” She works alongside powerhouse actors such as Lenny Kravitz and Jennifer Lopez; however, Coolidge is still the standout among the cast.

The movie is proof that her steamrolling of the industry is just getting started, and it won’t be slowing down for a while.

“People that I could never get in the door – all of a sudden they’re asking me to be part of their things,” Coolidge told Variety in an interview. “[referring to her role as Tanya] I think we all want that opportunity.”