Jennifer Coolidge Said "Thank U" to Ariana Grande for Reigniting Her Career

A music video cameo led to The White Lotus and a Golden Globe nomination.

What started out as a joke turned out to be a full-on career revival for Jennifer Coolidge. The actor expressed her gratitude to pop superstar Ariana Grande for reigniting her career, telling Jimmy Fallon that she felt like she was in a "dead zone" before Grande pulled her out of it. It all started with a joke, which snowballed into a cameo in Grande's "Thank U, Next" music video, roles in Promising Young Woman, HBO's The White Lotus, and Netflix's Single All the Way, and plenty more in 2022, including an appearance alongside Jennifer Lopez in Shotgun Wedding.

"It was the beginning of a lot of cool things that happened for me," Coolidge told Fallon on Thursday night's episode of The Tonight Show, recalling Grande's over-the-top caricature of her character, Paulette, from Legally Blonde. "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!"

Coolidge said that she reached out to Grande after the impression and they developed a friendship, which is what led to the music video cameo.

The chemistry was obvious, especially to "Thank U, Next" director Hannah Lux Davis, who told Entertainment Weekly that some of Coolidge's lines were improvised.

"When the time came for this moment, their relationship was already primed and ready for this," Davis said. "She was so fun and was such a blast, and she was really game ... Seeing her in the same hair and makeup and having her in the clothes that are so similar [to the clothes in Legally Blonde] it's crazy, she hasn't aged a day! She's still the same Paulette."

Related Articles