‘The White Lotus’: Which Actor Was Another’s First Improv Teacher?

Filming for The White Lotus Season 2 has officially begun, but people are still talking about the first season of the HBO series. The comedy-drama was a hit in the Summer of 2021 and took fans on quite a wild ride. The show followed a group of high-status guests vacationing at a resort in Hawaii and the employees of the resort. The show was championed for its sharp writing as well as its talented and dynamic ensemble cast.

The White Lotus cast at the premire in Los Angeles
‘The White Lotus’ cast Jon Gries, Mike White, David Bernard, Fred Hechinger, Steve Zahn, Connie Britton, Jolene Purdy, Molly Shannon, Sydney Sweeney, Jennifer Coolidge, Brittany O’Grady, Natasha Rothwell, Murray Bartlett, and Alexandra Daddario | Kevin Winter/Getty Images

‘The White Lotus’ features a dynamic ensemble cast

Featuring actors like Molly Shannon, Connie Britton, and Jennifer Coolidge, the cast of The White Lotus was quite a talented bunch. Because the show was filmed in 2020, during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the cast was quarantined within the resort they filmed. This allowed the cast to develop close relationships with one another. They often had dinner together and hung out after a long day of filming.

Two actors met long before filming the HBO series

But two of the actors actually had a connection long before they joined The White Lotus cast. In an interview with The Nerds of Color, Fred Hechinger (who portrayed Quinn Mossbacher) revealed that he had personal history with fellow castmate Natasha Rothwell. Rothwell, of course, portrayed Belinda on the show and was one of the only characters with a good head on her shoulders.

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Though Rothwell and Hechinger didn’t interact much in The White Lotus, Hechinger found it quite special to work with the Insecure actor. It was a moment of kismet for him because Rothwell was actually the very first person that he learned improvisation from. Furthermore, Hechinger credits Rothwell for his decision to become an actor.

Fred Hechinger gushes about his former improv teacher Natasha Rothwell

“Natasha is a hero of mine,” Hechinger shared about Rothwell. “What’s wild is I would not be an actor if it wasn’t for her because she was my first improv teacher ever. So it was the most incredible full circle thing to be able to be on a set that she was on. It meant an enormous amount to me, but I really really agree with Brittany that I wish we had more scenes together because she taught me how to do improv truly.”

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Brittany O’Grady, who portrayed the formidable Paula in The White Lotus, was also quick to sing Rothwell’s praises. She also wished that she could’ve been in more scenes with the actor. “I feel like Natasha’s character, Belinda, was the only one with a level head,” O’Grady shared. “I just wanted to know her reaction to the family. Natasha is a brilliant actress and creator. So I think I wanted to see how her interactions with the family would have been, you know?”

It’s pretty serendipitous that Hechinger got to work with his old improv teacher on the same project. It’ll be interesting to see if the cast of The White Lotus Season 2 has any fun connections to one another also.

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