Rejected by Hollywood: Jennifer Coolidge Beats Depression and Makes a Powerful Comeback
It might seem like there are only ups and no downs in celebrities’ lives. Yet, as the saying goes, the higher you rise, the harder you fall. That’s what happened to Jennifer Coolidge, who was slowly drowning in depression until she got a life-changing call from a film director.
Bright Side shows that even famous people don’t have insurance against hitting rock bottom.
Jennifer Coolidge is more than just Stifler’s mom.
She’s most famous for her roles as Stifler’s mom in American Pie and Paulette in Legally Blonde. All the characters she played were alike, yet starring as Tanya McQuoid in the HBO series, The White Lotus, was a real challenge. She could finally show her full potential and surprise everyone with a role that was not typical of her to play.
Her life changed when she got a call from a film director.
Coolidge was gorging on food with her friend and didn’t think about limiting herself because she “felt like we were on a sinking ship, so it was better to enjoy things before the ship goes under.” Suddenly, she got a call from Mike White, who invited her to Hawaii to film The White Lotus.
She almost rejected the role that would be a total success.
Coolidge said she had been really affected by the recent health crisis. She couldn’t look on the bright side and had a fatalistic approach to life. She recollects, “I’d been gorging and self-destructing at home for months, eating pizza and ice cream sandwiches all day.”
She explained her decision by saying, “I’m fat right now.”
She openly stated that she didn’t want to be “on camera that fat” because of her uncontrollable eating habits. She was so depressed that she didn’t care about her diet, so she ate 5-6 pizzas a day. She was honest about the fact that she didn’t like the way she looked. She said to White, “I’m fat right now.”
When she was trying to come up with excuses, she got a text.
It was 2 a.m. and Coolidge was home in bed in New Orleans. Then, all of a sudden, she got a text from the film director, saying, “Are you afraid?” She said, “Maybe he felt through the airwaves I was trying to get out of it.”
Her friend encouraged her to try.
When Coolidge’s friend learned she was about to reject the role, she immediately said, “Jennifer this is all you have! These opportunities don’t come around!” Coolidge is grateful to her and says that we all need friends like this in our lives.
Jennifer Coolidge proved everyone wrong.
She recollects that rejection made her stronger. 10 years of auditioning didn’t add up to a single job. She also said, “If Mike wasn’t successful and we just did ’White Lotus’ as a play in a little theater where everyone paid $10 to see it, it would still be one of the greatest things that ever happened to me. It was a job that no one else thought I could do.”
Now she’s grateful for having accepted the offer.
Coolidge realized how close she was to ruining the whole opportunity for herself. It was a great life lesson for her and she definitely doesn’t regret the decision to star in the show. She said, “I’d never have forgiven myself. I would’ve sat down to watch The White Lotus and said, ‘What was I thinking? I’m an insane person.’”
What was the first movie you saw Jennifer Coolidge in? Do you have a similar story? How did you find the way out of a difficult situation?