In the wider entertainment world, it’s been incredibly heartening to see the plaudits and tributes paid to actor Jennifer Coolidge – who has undoubtedly become an international icon thanks to her recent role in  HBO’s The White Lotus.

This has happened for her at 61, an age when Hollywood – and many other industries away from ‘showbiz’ – tends to dismiss women.

The White Lotus is a fabulous dark comedy drama, alternately hilarious and unsettling. It’s  set in liminal vacation locations and explores multiple dramas such as money and its ability to pervert intimate relationships and  the power dynamic of culture wars. Coolidge absolutely deserves the awards she’s received for her role as Tanya McQuoid a rich, lonely, damaged, middle-aged heiress.

And if you’ve watched her acceptance speech at the Golden Globes where she won the award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role (she also won a similar award at the Emmys late last year, but wasn’t allowed to finish what she wanted to say – despite pleading “this is a once in a lifetime thing!”), you’ll understand why social media has gone into overdrive.

In her speech, she talks of the gratitude she has for the smaller roles she’s had – “over the past year’s it’s the little jobs that have kept me going”. And jokes about playing Stifler’s mother in the American Pie movie franchise – “Five different sequels of American Pie. I’ve milked that to death”.

But she is also candid about where she felt her career was going, up until this point, whilst offering thanks to The White Lotus creator Mike White:

“I had such big dreams and expectations as a younger person, but what happened is they get sort of fizzled by life and whatever. I thought I was going to be Queen of Monaco even though someone else did it. But I had these giant ideas. And then you get older and, oh, shit’s going to happen.

“And, Mike White, you have given me hope. You’ve given me a new beginning… you changed my life in a million different ways. My neighbours are speaking to me and things like that. I was never invited to one party on my hill, and now everyone’s inviting me!”

A truly inspirational woman who has proven that later career success can be achieved. And hopefully providing proof to industry sectors and individual organisations that women over 45 years old should not be dismissed. They have life experiences, maturity and can adapt to new circumstances, as Coolidge’s latest foray into TikTok demonstrates!

Marie-Claire Isaaman,
CEO, Women in Games

Pic credit – Fabio Lovino/HBO
Main newsletter pic credit – Mario Perez/HBO