Jennifer Coolidge is a comedic gift. She has spent the last three decades stealing scenes in major films—whether it’s in American Pie, Legally Blonde, a host of Christopher Guest films, or even A Cinderella Story. And most recently, walked away with one of the breakout performances in HBO’s bonkers comedy-drama The White Lotus. Her character Tanya McQuoid is the latest in a string of Coolidge characters that possess a well-meaning but very chaotic energy. (Although, as A Cinderella Story fans know, there are exceptions to this character type.) And, of course, there’s her very distinct voice. One ripe for impressions, as celebrities, from Ariana Grande to Saturday Night Live‘s Chloe Fineman, have demonstrated. Coolidge has seen them. And she’s pretty impressed.
The actress recently stopped by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, where the host noted that while it was Coolidge’s first time on the show, several previous guests have debuted their Jennifer Coolidge’s impressions while sitting in the same chair. After watching Fineman and Grande’s impressions, Coolidge shared a really interesting story about the latter.
She revealed that after seeing the video of Grande in 2o18, at the behest of a friend, Coolidge reached out to the Sweetener singer to commend the impression. That quickly parlayed into Coolidge appearing in Grande’s frankly iconic “Thank U, Next” music video. (Coolidge reprises her role as Paulette Bonafonté from Legally Blonde.) This all occurred during a quieter period in Coolidge’s career so she credits the Tonight Show moment for helping to lead to some exciting things.
But while Coolidge is a favorite subject of impressionists, her own impressions lane is a little more niche. Specifically, she does impressions of people who you’ve never heard talk—but whose names certainly lend a lot of credibility. Like the model agency executive Eileen Ford or a Muffin Hemingway, a made-up daughter of that Hemingway family.
Muffin is certainly a notable precursor to The White Lotus‘s unpredictable grieving heiress, Tanya. So it’s safe to say she’s been putting in the work for this sort of role for years. She didn’t confirm her return for The White Lotus season two during her visit to Fallon. However, she is heavily rumored to return for the Sicily-set second installment. From more impressions to excellent prestige roles, we’re excited to see a Jennifer Coolidge renaissance.