Jennifer Coolidge Credits Ariana Grande For Getting Her Out Of Professional Limbo

If you caught HBO's whip-smart satire "The White Lotus" this past summer, you know that Jennifer Coolidge is having a moment. The actress is beloved for her scene-stealing roles in "American Pie," "Legally Blonde," and the comedies of Christopher Guest. But in a recent interview, she credited someone unexpected with kicking off the latest phase of her career.

Coolidge visited "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" this week, where she referenced a moment in the show that involved Ariana Grande. The singer, who later invited Coolidge to reprise her "Legally Blonde" role for the "Thank U, Next" music video, was prompted by Fallon to share her own Jennifer Coolidge impression when she stopped by the show back in 2018. Grande slipped into an uncanny Coolidge impression that had the audience in stitches before she even got to the punchline. In Coolidge's recent visit to the show, Fallon played the clip for Coolidge, who then got introspective.

A Strong Impression

Speaking on "The Tonight Show," Coolidge shared that she was "going through a dead zone" when the Grande appearance happened, but a friend encouraged her to reach out to the singer about it. "You should know that it was sort of the beginning of a lot of cool things that happened for me," she told Fallon. She explained that she was initially certain that Grande's massive follower count meant she'd never actually see the DM. Grande did see her message, though, and according to Coolidge, "The next thing you know, I was going to her house, getting fit for a wardrobe fitting for 'Thank U, Next.'"

Coolidge was still appearing often in films and shows before the "Thank U, Next" video, but she's done some of her most memorable work since. Among other roles, she appeared in Mike White's "The White Lotus" as the grieving but selfish Tanya McQuoid, and in "Promising Young Woman" as Susan, the mother of the destructive main character, Cassie (Carey Mulligan). She's also set to appear in Ryan Murphy's series "The Watcher" and will reportedly reprise her role in "The White Lotus" season 2.

While audiences shouldn't have needed "Thank U, Next" to remember how great Coolidge is, the epic rom-com homage is a high point of her career, too. In it, she reprises the role of Paulette the nail technician from "Legally Blonde." The whole video is funny, but nothing tops her confessional conversation with Grande about going out with a guy with a real big one –front tooth, that is. Apparently, we can thank Grande and Fallon's penchant for impressions for that moment, which the actress says got the ball rolling on new opportunities.