“The White Lotus” star Connie Britton has earned a fifth Emmy nomination, this time for her performance as Nicole Mossbacher, a wealthy hotel guest at the titular exclusive Hawaiian resort. Recently, she sat with The Hollywood Reporter to talk about reuniting and collaborating with the series creator, Mike White, and how they worked together to shape her character following her initial concerns upon reading the script.
Britton had previously starred — opposite Salma Hayek — in feature film “Beatriz at Dinner” which White also wrote, and so was more than eager to sign up for his HBO series. But as she explained, forefront in her mind was ensuring that her character had her own sense of drive across the series.
“I had a lot of conversations with Mike about this,” she said, “because women can be written as very reactive. In my initial reading of the script, I was concerned that she was sort of reacting to everybody else in her family having their own journey. We really focused in on making sure that Nicole was having her own journey.”
At the same time, Britton recognized the need for balance, acknowledging that in real life women do often end up addressing others’ needs over their own. “That actually is what happens with women I know,” she continued. “We do end up feeling like we’re just told we need to react to everybody else, and care about what’s important to everybody else, and our needs are subjugated in a way.” She continued, “It was interesting to take that effect and incorporate it into the character, who on paper seems like she has it all together. But she’s actually also trying to find her sense of self and dealing with this blind denial that she has of her own sense of entitlement and privilege.”
Production on the series took place during the pandemic, a circumstance that Britton says amplified the bonding process for her and her collaborators among the cast and crew. “This was during the height of COVID, so we hadn’t been around anybody. This suddenly became our family. And we were all working toward one intention. There was something about doing this in that particular time and place that made it feel like nothing else I’ve ever done before.”
Nominated in the Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie category, Britton is up for the same award as her “White Lotus” co-stars Jennifer Coolidge, Alexandra Daddario, Natasha Rothwell, and Sydney Sweeney. She previously earned Lead Actress nominations for her roles in “Nashville,” “American Horror Story,” and “Friday Night Lights.” Next, she is set to reunite with “Friday Night Lights” creator Jason Katims for Apple series “Dear Edward.”
“The White Lotus” Season 2 is due to premiere in October, though of the Season 1 series regulars, only Coolidge will return.