Meet the entitled guests and the long-suffering staff at The White Lotus
Have you been watching HBO’s The White Lotus on Showmax and wondering where you’ve seen the stars before? There are a number of familiar faces in the cast, and plenty more places to find them on Showmax, Netflix and Prime Video in South Africa.
If you haven’t seen the six-episode series about a fateful week at a luxury resort in Hawaii, which the New Yorker described as, “an examination of what happens when the veneer of conventional sociability dissolves and the power struggles stoked by race, class, and gender erupt from beneath the surface of everyday life”, and Vulture as “a piña colada spiked with arsenic, or maybe a Bloody Mary with a generous dash of actual blood”, start streaming now. You won’t regret it.
Jennifer Coolidge as Tanya McQuoid
Tanya is a grieving hot-mess alcoholic, who’s travelled solo to The White Lotus, with her mother’s ashes and a deep-seated loneliness.
The New Yorker calls Jennifer’s performance as Tanya, “one of the great TV performances of recent memory, and almost certainly the greatest of Coolidge’s career.”
But Jennifer nearly passed on the role. As she told The Guardian, “I was really affected by the pandemic. It was an incredibly sad time. I was reading tragic news stories on a daily basis, had a fatalistic approach and assumed the virus was going to win. I knew people who lost their lives and was convinced we wouldn’t make it through. I wasn’t thinking about work, because I didn’t think we’d be alive. But then Mike White called…”
“I’d been gorging and self-destructing at home for months, eating pizza all day,” she continues. “There was no way I wanted to be on film unless they shot me from the neck up. I’m sort of vain, so there was no f***ing way. I can’t tell you how close I came to ruining this whole thing for myself. It’s such a great lesson in life. I’d never have forgiven myself. I would’ve sat down to watch The White Lotus and said: ‘What the hell was I thinking? I’m an insane person.’ A lot of us actors are so insecure and scared of failure, we blow our own chances.”
You’ll also find Jennifer in:
- Rick and Morty S5: the voice of Daphne – Showmax
- Glee: as Whitney S Pierce – Netflix
- Legally Blonde: as Paulette – Showmax and Netflix
- Legally Blonde 2: as Paulette – Showmax and Netflix
Connie Britton as Nicole Mossbacher
Nicole is a married mother of two, who’s brought her family to The White Lotus on vacation. She’s the family breadwinner, and works hard at her corporate job. She realises she’s become her family’s punching bag when she finds herself blamed for everything that’s gone wrong on holiday. She’s not without fault, it must be said – but she always tries her best.
Nicole is one of the characters that the London Evening Standard had in mind when they wrote, “Dreadful rich people make for brilliant TV, but it is rare to see their privileges and prejudices skewered with such relentless precision. White’s characters can be monstrous, but they are so carefully wrought that they also feel painfully human.”
You’ll also find Connie in:
- This Is Where I Leave You: as Tracy Sullivan – Netflix
- American Ultra: as Victoria Lassetter – Showmax
- Nashville: as Rayna James – not currently available on streaming platforms in SA
Sydney Sweeney as Olivia Mossbacher
Olivia is a college student who wants to appear to be different to her wealthy family – more aware of social issues, less spoiled, more worldly. And she’ll do whatever it takes to uphold her image.
You’ll also find Sydney in:
- Euphoria: as Cassie – Showmax
- Sharp Objects: as Alice – Showmax
- The Handmaid’s Tale: as Eden – Showmax
- Everything Sucks!: as Emaline – Netflix
- The Voyeurs: as Pippa – Prime Video (from 10 September)
Natasha Rothwell as Belinda
Belinda works in The White Lotus spa. She’s got big hopes and dreams for her future, which include running her own holistic wellness spa. Could Tanya be the key to her achieving her goals?
Refinery29 calls Natasha the best thing about The White Lotus: ”I already know that Connie Britton, Murray Bartlett and Jennifer Coolidge will probably get the award season love for their roles in The White Lotus but it’s Natasha Rothwell who took the series from another prestige drama about messy rich white people and turned it into a seething exposition of privilege, whiteness and what Black women have to put up with in a world that prioritizes both.”
You’ll also find Natasha in:
Steve Zahn as Mark Mossbacher
Mark is hoping to connect with his son on vacation after hearing something unexpected about his father following a health scare of his own.
You’ll also find Steve in:
- The Good Lord Bird: as Chase – Showmax
- Tall Girl: as Richie – Netflix
- Uncle Frank: as Mike – Prime Video
- Dallas Buyers Club: as Tucker – Netflix
Murray Bartlett as Armond
Armond is a consummate professional in the service industry – he gives his guests exactly what they want, when they want it. Except when he doesn’t, and a certain guest takes things too far.
You’ll also find Murray in:
Alexandra Daddario as Rachel
Rachel is a newlywed who finds herself the wife of a very wealthy man. She’s a journalist who hasn’t reached her career goals yet, and she starts to doubt whether she ever will.
You’ll also find Alexandra in:
Jake Lacy as Shane
Shane was born into a wealthy family, which wasn’t his fault – he’s just playing the hand he’s been dealt. He’s very much in love with his new wife, Rachel, and he’s determined to enjoy their honeymoon at The White Lotus. He needs everything to be perfect, and if that means roping his mother in to help him fight his battles, so be it.
You’ll also find Shane in:
Brittany O’Grady as Paula
Paula joins Olivia and the Mossbachers at The White Lotus as Olivia’s plus-one. It’s fun and games at first, until Paula starts realising that Olivia is not as different to all the other privileged people Paula sees all around her. How long will their friendship last after their vacation together?
Brittany’s career is on the up and up and we wouldn’t be surprised if this is the big role that catapulted her to fame.
Molly Shannon as Kitty Patton
Kitty is Shane’s mother. She booked The White Lotus for her son and new daughter-in-law for their honeymoon because it’s the most romantic hotel in Hawaii – because her son, who’s also probably her best friend, deserves only the very best.
You’ll also find Molly in:
- Divorce: as Diane – Showmax
- Wet Hot American Summer: First Day at Camp: as Gail – Netflix
- Enlightened: as Eileen – Showmax