In a scene that Jennifer Coolidge calls “crucial” during an interview with Variety in season one, her character Tanya goes on a private boat to finally distribute her mother’s ashes. As she secures the ship, she warns resort manager Armond (Murray Bartlett) that she will be a heartbroken mess during this excursion. As a small revenge on troublesome guest Shane (Jake Lacy), Armond books newlyweds Shane and Rachel (Alexandra Daddario) for a honeymoon dinner on the same boat at the same time as Tanya. Coolidge actually vomited due to seasickness while filming the scene.
Coolidge told Variety in the same interview, “The people who were stuck on that boat with me and the amount of vomit — it was just really scary.” Series creator Mike White refused to send the boat back to shore , and incorporated Coolidge’s illness into the performance. Coolidge didn’t want to abandon their director to improve the show. She said: “All I had was a bucket. And everyone had to know me in a different way.”
However, White is not a tyrannical director. In fact, he was often the biggest cheerleader in the cast on the set of The White Lotus. He told Variety about working with Coolidge on scenes that might make her uncomfortable: “One minute she’s fragile like everything is falling apart, and the next minute she’s resilient and doing hilarious riffs. Just when you think all hope is lost, she blows it out of the park.” Faced with a physical illness, Coolidge certainly blows it out of the park in The White Lotus, and now she has an Emmy to show for it According to E!Online, her character Tanya is the only recurring character in Season 2 of the series.