White Lotus star Jennifer Coolidge has one of the most iconic voices in Hollywood. It’s the voice that launched a thousand ships, from American Pie (Stifler’s mom forever), to Legally Blonde, Best In Show, Two Broke Girls, and even a memorable guest appearance on Friends. But as Jennifer tells it, her career stalled for a period, and it was none other than pop star Ariana Grande who reignighted it.
On The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon Thursday night, Jennifer explained how Ari’s appearance on the show back in 2018 led to her iconic role on White Lotus today (stream now on Crave).
“You should know, it was sort of the beginning of a lot of cool things that happened for me,” she began after Jimmy showed her clips of past guests Chloe Fineman and Ari imitating her voice during their Tonight Show appearances. “I was going through a dead zone, not much was going on. Then Ariana did this imitation on your show and you encouraged her. And then this ball got rolling.”
She explained further, “My friend who is her age, Theresa, she was like, ‘You should DM Ariana.’ I thought it was such a good imitation and I was like, ‘No, she’s got like 260 million followers. Those are robots. The robots answer the DMs! We will never, ever get to her.’”
“And I did it anyway and then this response came back,” she continued. “Next thing you know, I was going to her house getting fit for wardrobe for ‘thank u next.’ That was all because of Jimmy Fallon.”
Of course, the music video for "thank u next" was Ari’s take on some of the most popular movies of the last 25 years featuring strong women leads. She spoofed Legally Blonde, Bring It On, Mean Girls, and more.
Back in 2018, as a guest on The Tonight Show, Ari gave her spot-on impression of Jennifer, wowing the crowd and eliciting a huge response.
“Best In Show is one of my favourite movies,” Ariana explained at the time, “and Legally Blonde, as you know.” She then did a spot-on impression of Jennifer’s character Paulette from Legally Blonde.
While talking to Allure in 2019, Grande revealed how much fun she had working with Jennifer, calling the experience “the biggest honour” of her life. “I worship her,” she exclaimed at the time.
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