Daniel D'Addario Chief TV Critic“No one else acts the way she acts,” says director Christopher Guest of his frequent collaborator Jennifer Coolidge. “I don’t mean acting as an actor.
I mean behaves the way she behaves.”Coolidge, currently a first-time Emmy nominee for HBO’s “The White Lotus,” is on the cover of this week’s edition of Variety; she first became known to many for her work with Guest, which includes roles in “Best in Show” (2000), “A Mighty Wind” (2003), “For Your Consideration” (2006), and “Mascots” (2016).
In those movies, Guest says in a rare interview, “It’s so striking to see her with other people, because she’s on a different plane of her own reality.”Guest’s movies are improvised by their actors, who come in armed with backstories and the plot but then, when the cameras roll, “people basically begin to talk,” he says. “It’s impossible to audition for that.
I’ve found that that isn’t really something that works.” After making his breakout comedy “Waiting for Guffman” (1996), Guest saw Coolidge performing at the Groundlings (at what Eugene Levy tells Variety was his suggestion, after the pair of performers worked together on 1999’s “American Pie”) and cast her. “When I met her,” Guest says, “I knew there was something going on that was special.Read more on variety.com