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Jennifer Coolidge thought she was too fat to star in ‘The White Lotus.’
The 60-year-old actress stars as Tanya McQuoid on the HBO comedy series about a group of holidaymakers at a vacation resort in Hawaii but had gained so much weight during the COVID-19 lockdowns that she almost turned down the part.
She said: “It was COVID, [I was] locked up with this very nice girl that I knew in New Orleans. She was sort of a friend [and] my house sitter. It was just very lonely times … and so she and I got obsessed with these vegan pizzas and we were eating a lot of them each day. The number kept increasing. You can sort of numb out any worry you have in the world if you just eat another pizza. … And not that I was 110 pounds before, but somehow it led to my demise.”
The ‘American Pie’ star went on to explain that when show creator Mike White presented her with the project, she didn’t feel as if she was in “fighting shape” and only changed her mind when a friend told her she would be “out of her mind” to reject the part.
She told PEOPLE: “I was like, ‘I just don’t think I can do that.’ I had no time, I can’t work out!’
It was sort of weird, it was not that big a difference from what I usually looked like, but somehow it became my excuse not to do it. For whatever reason, I didn’t feel like I was in fighting shape.
“A girlfriend just gave me this [pep talk and said], ‘You are out of your mind. I don’t even think you know what this is. This is self-sabotage. I’ve been your friend all these years, this is incredible opportunity for you. Are you really going to f*** this up? Are you really going to f*** this up, Jennifer? This is the worst thing you could do to yourself. Just go, just f****** do it. So, for once in my life, I listened.”