Buongiorno, awards season! The White Lotus star Jennifer Coolidge was one of the first presenters of the night at the 80th Golden Globe Awards, but her appearance nearly did not happen.
“You know, somebody called Cara Bishop called me and said, ‘Jennifer, we would like you to present at the Golden Globes this year.’ And I said, ‘Oh, my God, that is such an honor, thank you, I would love to,’ and I hung up on her,” Coolidge, 61, said during the Tuesday, January 10, broadcast. “And then, I thought about it for a little bit and I had a complete anxiety attack.”
Explaining that she got “very, very nervous” about speaking in front of a room full of her Hollywood peers, the A Cinderella Story star called Bishop again to change her mind. “‘There’s no way I’m going to make it from behind the curtain to the podium without breaking my skull,’” she recalled, thinking about walking in high heels. “I just can’t do it.”
Bishop, for her part, then offered the helpful suggestion to “just wear a pair of Crocs.” Coolidge — who took the stage in a black Dolce & Gabbana gown — was not convinced, explaining that she was also nervous about matching her speaking pace to a teleprompter.
“I think my biggest nightmare is just the pronunciation of people’s names,” the Emmy Award winner added on Tuesday, name-dropping past instances where she struggled with Billy Nighy and Kaley Cuoco‘s last names. “I said, ‘I can’t do it. Once I say someone’s name the wrong way, I’m screwed.’”
Coolidge ultimately got over her fears and noted that she “hasn’t screwed up yet” while she presented the Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role — Musical or Comedy. She jokingly announced, “And the Oscar goes to,” as she opened up the category envelope but corrected herself to say Golden Globes before revealing that Abbott Elementary’s Tyler James Williams won the honor.
Along with her duties as a presenter, Coolidge also scored a Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series — Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television for her role as Tanya in The White Lotus.
The White Lotus — which aired its season 2 finale last month — earned five Golden Globes nominations, including Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television, Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series — Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television and Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series — Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television. Aubrey Plaza and F. Murray Abraham also scored individual acting nods.
The anthology series, created by Mike White, chronicles the lavish vacations of the rich and famous as they stay at a ritzy White Lotus resort. Season 1, which aired in July 2021, was set in Hawaii while season 2 saw a new group of vacationers jet off to Sicily. The latest batch of episodes saw an array of surprising hookups, travel misadventures and even a shocking death. By the season finale, fans saw Coolidge’s Tanya tragically die after her husband, Greg (Jon Gries), hired a group of men to murder her in order to inherit her money despite a prenuptial agreement.
Golden Globes host Jerrod Carmichael joked on Tuesday that he was particularly distraught over Tanya’s demise in the season 2 finale.
“Your next presenter is one of my favorite actresses on what is, I think, the best show on television [in a] limited series,” the Rothanial comedian, 35, said while introducing Coolidge. “I wanted, as a gay man, to apologize to her on behalf of all the gays for what we tried to do to her on that boat.”
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