The White Lotus Season 2: Simona Tabasco & Beatrice Grannò Discuss HBO Series
They also talk about why they liked Mike White’s show and wanted to work with Este Haim.
The second episode of the HBO series The White Lotus, which was created, written, and directed by Mike White, takes place at a beautiful resort in Sicily, Italy. There, hotel manager Valentina (Sabrina Impacciatore) is ready to help different guests get everything they want out of their trip whether it’s with their families for business or for romance. Lucia (Simona Tabasco) and Mia (Beatrice Grann), two locals with big dreams of their own, go to the resort often to look for work, opportunities, and a chance to make it big among the wealthy guests.
During this interview with Collider, Impacciatore, Tabasco, and Grann talked about how much they connected with their characters, how much they trusted the scripts from White, how Grann gained confidence by working with her vocal coach Este Haim, and what they think happiness would look like for each of their characters.
I didn’t know about the series, Sabrina Impacciatore. I didn’t know anything about this project when I got the call for the self-tape. I was filming a movie in Italy and wasn’t ready to do a self-tape, but my agent said, “Just look at this series.” It took me one night to watch it. I couldn’t get enough of it.
I thought, “Oh, my God, I have to get this part!” So, I made the self-tape in the worst conditions because the people who were supposed to help me got COVID. I called my brother at the last minute and asked, “Can you please come home and give me some lines?” So, he came, and my neighbor taped the scenes. It was so stressful.
The next day, my agent sent the self-tape, and two days later, I got a call from Mike White saying that he wanted to meet me in person. I can’t tell you how many times I prayed over rituals I set up to seduce him without him realizing it. Then, when I met him, I thought I had to be a samurai in my audition to make him happy.
I had to wait 10 days after that audition before I got the call. This project is, in my opinion, one of the best things going on in the world right now. You can imagine how hard it was. You can imagine how important it was to me to have the chance to play this role and how stressed, scared, and terrified I was.
I tried to give everything I had, and Mike is such a great artist that he inspires me. He is one of the best directors I’ve ever had the chance to work with. He gave me ideas. I’m totally in love with him.
Beatrice Grannó: Yes. We shot those scenes at night, so it was 4 a.m. when we did them. I kept drinking ginger tea because I wanted to keep my voice. Everything was real. Este Haim really helped me and was there for me. We worked together while she was there. She taught me how to sing. I really owe her a lot of thanks because she helped me feel more confident.
I’m so weak when it comes to music because I can’t control what’s going on. So, I felt very weak, and I was so afraid. I can’t control what happens when you play and sing, so it was all very natural. Mike White also wanted that moment to really happen. He wanted me to sit down at the piano and give it my all. Sometimes I’d stop. It wasn’t always perfect, but it was a lot of fun.
Tabasco: The script helped a lot while we were filming because what Mike wrote was very clear. The story that Mike wrote made me feel very safe. I knew from the start that it was something that people would understand. What people will see is that I agreed with what Mike had in mind and what was on the page.
I think Lucia really wants to be free, Tabasco. She wants her dream to come true. She wants to know how old she is. During Lucia’s growth as a person, there were times when she didn’t feel her age. She feels like she should act more like an adult or act like she is older. But then she realizes she is in her 20s and wants to be free and act her age.
The most interesting thing about Valentina is that she doesn’t know what she wants at first because she doesn’t know who she is. She does the same things over and over again because that’s what she’s used to. She only cares about work. Work is a place where she lives for her. I don’t think Valentina has a life outside of this one. Her job makes her feel alone.
I thought it was really interesting that she finds out what she wants while she’s living that. I learned that by playing this character. It made me feel. She finds out something about herself that she didn’t know before. It’s like when you meet someone who makes you feel something. She is afraid to find out what she needs to know. I think that’s what makes this character unique and interesting.
Grannó: She seems to want to be seen, I think. She doesn’t want to be unable to be seen. She wants someone to tell her she’s doing a good job. She seems to be very determined, and all she ever says is, “I’m great.” I am a great musician.
I’m a great singer. Allow me to do it.” But I also think she’s not sure what to do. There are times when she really does ask herself, “Is what I’m doing a job?” I think she wants to be liked because of this. She doesn’t want to feel left out. She wants that to happen.
The White Lotus is shown on HBO on Sunday nights, and you can stream it at HBO Max.
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