Hers has been a Hollywood success story for just 61 years. After countless career setbacks, cocaine and alcohol addiction, eating disorders, depression, many cosmetic surgeries and affairs with possibly hundreds of young men – Jennifer Coolidge seems to have finally made it.
Sliding onto the stage at Tuesday night’s Golden Globes brought the house down as she accepted her first major award: a gong for best supporting actress for her role in The White Lotus, HBO’s masterful black comedy series about rich hotel guests misbehaving, which has become a smash hit on both sides of the Atlantic.
‘My neighbors are talking to me!’ she said of her belated career success.
A curvaceous counterpoint to slim, toned Hollywood starlets — and, according to a younger ex-boyfriend, “a tall, messy, sexy, tough, charmingly badass Boston bombshell” — Coolidge received a standing ovation.
Jennifer Coolidge won Best Supporting Actress at the Golden Globes on Tuesday
Many of the viewers may not have had the first idea who she was.
But with her inimitable acting style — cross-eyed looks, breathy features, and glassy sighs — Coolidge has long been known in industry circles for scene-stealing comic cameos.
But while her rise to fame was a gradual climb, it wasn’t uneventful. Away from the screen, she’s battled substance abuse, anxiety attacks and binge eating: in fact, she was so insecure about making 3rd place during the pandemic that she almost turned down the role of neurotic heiress Tanya McQuoid in The White Lotus.
Coolidge said she’s been “depressed and massively overeating” during lockdown, sometimes eating five or six vegan pizzas a day.
It’s just a good thing she accepted the role. For decades, her roles were limited to small supporting roles as main characters’ girlfriends or rich, dipping women in films such as Legally Blonde and Best In Show.
By far her most famous role was as the busty “Stifler’s Mom” in the uncouth 1990s sex comedy series American Pie.
The 38-year-old played a cougar having sex with her teenage son’s boyfriend on a pool table. The role brought her fame that ‘came [her] much sexual act. . . If I hadn’t had this movie. . . Well, let’s just say it was a very boring decade.’
Coolidge once calculated that the American Pie roll alone was responsible for 200 notches on her bedpost — a number she’s since said might have exaggerated.
Jennifer recently starred in The White Lotus, HBO’s masterful black comedy series about misbehaving rich hotel guests that has become a smash hit on both sides of the Atlantic
Following their success in The White Lotus, a new generation of young male fans have discovered the spectacularly dull American Pie films.
“There’s always someone who’s seen this movie lately,” she said in a 2020 interview after the first series of The White Lotus. “So then you get a whole new group of young guys. I’m single so I’m really using it to my advantage.
Despite this, she balks at being called a “puma”. “It sounds more like someone’s looking for young men, and I just like it more when it’s their idea,” she said.
In an interview last year, Coolidge told pop star Ariana Grande about a date with a lover so young he actually asked his mother for advice.
He “was particularly young — legally, of course, it was all very legal,” she hastily pointed out. But the yawning age gap led to an “awkward” moment the next morning, when Coolidge announced she needed to get a blow dryer. Apparently at a loss as to what to propose for a woman of Coolidge’s advanced age, he called his mother to ask her.
One of her most famous roles was as “Stifler’s Mom” in the 1990s franchise American Pie
“It was very clear that we were in bed together,” she recalled. “She gave me a good recommendation at a local mall, so it all worked out.”
She has said: “I love being in love with someone. I love having someone to come home to.” But she also admitted, “For much of my life I’ve been chasing after unattainable men and it got me nowhere.”
Much of her tumultuous life is reflected in the messy role that has now earned her a Golden Globe. White Lotus creator Mike White, a close friend, wrote the role for her and she admits that parts of Tanya’s character are based on her.
Although their backgrounds are vastly different — Coolidge’s father worked in plastics manufacturing rather than as a real estate tycoon — both women are very strained.
Tanya, like Jennifer, seems to have a taste for younger men – she goes to bed with an Italian stud half her age in the second series.
While a grieving Tanya carries her mother’s ashes around in a box, Coolidge was equally saddened by her mother’s death. Her death from cancer in 1994 was a loss so devastating, says Coolidge, that she was “unable to function normally” for two years. Her father died in 2015.
White Lotus creator Mike White, a close friend, wrote the role for her and she admits that parts of Tanya’s character are based on her. Tanya, like Jennifer, seems to have a taste for younger men – she goes to bed with an Italian stud half her age in the second series
Raised in suburban Boston, Coolidge worried her parents about her mental state by endlessly staring out the window. They told her the television would ruin her life and blocked it every time they went out.
However, when her father saw her act in a school play, he said to her, “You’re supposed to do this.” But others disagreed. A friend in the industry told her, “I have a good eye for talent. I don’t see you as someone on camera.”
She persevered — not knowing what else to do — and studied acting in New York while working alongside Sandra Bullock as a cocktail waitress.
She also enjoyed a lavish party lifestyle. With little money, Coolidge pretended to be Ernest Hemingway’s granddaughter to get into clubs, where she overdid alcohol and cocaine and “ended up in the ER too many nights.”
After a stint in rehab, by the time she was 27, she had broken her habit.
After countless rejections, she gave up “serious” acting and joined an improv comedy group in Los Angeles.
She would have “full-on anxiety attacks” before auditions and never got a job — often, as she later confided, because she turned down “casting couch” offers from seedy producers and directors.
The star also played a troubled manicurist, Paulette Bonafonte, in Legally Blonde
At the age of 32, she made her television debut in a 1993 episode of the comedy series as Seinfeld’s masseuse friend.
After a series of cameos, she landed her breakthrough role in American Pie and reprized her role in the sequel two years later.
That year, she also played troubled manicurist Paulette Bonafonte in Legally Blonde.
But then her career stalled. She tried her hand at supporting roles, appearing in episodes of Friends, Sex And The City and Frasier.
Cosmetic Surgery May Not Have Helped Her Career: Coolidge admits she’s been under the knife more than a few times.
She has described a “really good surgery” as a “coincidence” and said she sometimes saw herself smiling after the surgery and felt horrified that “it wasn’t even human”.
She once complained, “I would say that 90 percent of the scripts that show up at my door are women who have had a lot of cosmetic surgery. . . I am also offered women who are physically altered or a woman with weight problems. It’s never the lead. It’s always a character part.’
But surely those times are over. Coolidge recently said that she “would love to continue playing troubled people,” but, always eccentric, also told another interviewer that she “always wanted to play a dolphin.”
It’s hard to imagine Hollywood going on saying no to the irrepressible Jennifer Coolidge — even as a dolphin.
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-11633779/Golden-Globe-winner-Jennifer-Coolidge-admits-used-eat-six-pizzas-day-slept-toyboys.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Golden Globe winner Jennifer Coolidge admits she used to eat six pizzas a day and slept with toyboys