Jennifer Coolidge wowed the audience with her heartfelt acceptance speech at the 2023 Screen Actors Guild Awards on February 26. She won the prestigious Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series.
The White Lotus actress was up against Julia Garner, Elizabeth Debicki, Zendaya, and Laura Linney. It’s Jennifer’s first Actor trophy ever. She said tearfully, “I want you all to know that I am just so grateful, so grateful.”
She also dedicated a message to Mike White, the show’s creator. She said, “You know, you can give money to friends and do nice things for them—and people love money—and I do whatever I can when your friends are broke. The best gift you can give someone is to change someone’s perspective for the better and view life in a different way. And that’s what Mike White did for me.”
She went on to thank her “amazing parents” and for their inability to lie. She explained, “One day, the school principal came to my first grade class and said that I needed to be called to the office, and I went to the office.”
She continued, “She said ‘you know, your father’s here.’ And my father was sitting there and he goes, ‘Yeah, Jenny, we have to go.’ And the principal said, ‘Jennifer, get well.’ And I didn’t know what that meant.”
By the time they reached their car, her dad told her, “I’m never going to tell a lie again. But we’re going somewhere really cool.” It was none other than a Charlie Chaplin film festival.
“He got me out of my first grade class to do it,” she continued. “And I swear to god, that seeing Charlie Chaplin for the first time, and having that experience, it’s my love of film. It’s my love of actors. All that came from my first grade.”
The actress also accepted an award at the 2023 Golden Globes where she made the audience laugh with her speech, specifically when she said after putting her trophy down, “I don’t work out! I can’t hold it that long.”
She thanked Ryan Murphy for his support for her acting career and then focused on the White Lotus creator.
“I just want you all to know that I had such big dreams and expectations as a younger person but what happened is they get sort of fizzled by life,” she said, “and I thought I was going to be Queen of Monaco even though someone else did it.”
Jennifer thanked him for giving her a “new beginning” and went on to share how he changed her life though her character in the show died.
The actress said, “Even if this is the end, because you did kill me off, you changed my life in a million different ways. My neighbors are speaking to me—things like that!”