HBO Confirms Jennifer Coolidge Will Lead White Lotus Season 2

Last October, we reported that Jennifer Coolidge would be returning for season 2 of "The White Lotus." Several industry sources indicated that this would be the case, but HBO itself held off on making any official announcement to confirm Coolidge's return ... until now. The day after the Screen Actors Guild Awards, in which Coolidge lost the award for "Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Limited Series" to Kate Winslet, HBO has confirmed (via Variety) that Coolidge is returning for "The White Lotus" season 2.

Podcast chatter prior to the awards had speculated that the reason HBO was taking so long to confirm Coolidge's return is that it did not want to disqualify her from the "Limited Series" award. Winslet won for "Mare of Easttown," and there's also been some speculation that show could return for a second season. However, HBO has already given "The White Lotus" an official season 2 order, with the action moving to a different location and focusing on a different set of characters. This is in keeping with the show's conceit of a chain of resort hotels called The White Lotus.

The series is going the anthology route, with the seven-episode second season relocating from Hawaii to Italy, where "The White Lotus" has now begun production in Sicily with a new cast that includes (in alphabetical order) F. Murray Abraham, Adam DiMarco, Meghann Fahy, Tom Hollander, Michael Imperioli, Theo James, Aubrey Plaza, Haley Lu Richardson, Will Sharpe, and Leo Woodall.

Other characters could return in the future

The resort-chain anthology format of "The White Lotus" would seemingly allow for other characters like Coolidge's Tanya McQuoid to pop up again in a different season on a different vacation. Series creator Mike White teased the approach he might take to TV Line last August, saying:

"I don't think you can credibly have [all the season 1 guests] on the same vacation again. But maybe it could be a Marvel Universe type thing, where some of them would come back. We only made one-year deals with the actors, so we'd have to find out who is even available."

It looks like Coolidge was indeed available to reprise her role, which has also earned her Golden Globe and Critics' Choice Television Award nominations.

Though she worked for a few years in Hollywood before that, Coolidge rose to more attention as Stifler's mom in "American Pie," a role that she described to Variety as "the original MILF." She went on to play Paulette Bonafonté opposite Reese Witherspoon in the "Legally Blonde" films and was more recently seen opposite Carey Mulligan in "Promising Young Woman." Now, you'll be able to see her in Sicily in HBO's "The White Lotus" season 2, which is currently in production.