White Lotus: Here's The Scoop On The Cast Of Season 2

HBO series "The White Lotus" was a huge hit, racking up twenty Emmy nominations. Of those nominations, the show won half, which is quite the feat. Creator Mike White, who wrote the entire series himself, couldn't help but make a "Survivor" joke as he accepted his awards — after all, he once competed on the reality show. "On 'Survivor,' the way to stay in the game is you lower your threat level," he told the Emmy audience (via Entertainment Weekly). "And it's like, now I feel like I've raised my threat level. And I just want to stay in the game. Awards are great, I love writing ... Don't vote me off the island, please!"

Islands play an important part in "The White Lotus." While the first season was set in Maui, Hawaii, Season 2 sees the cast of characters checking into a White Lotus resort in Taormina — a hilltop town in Sicily. "The location's a little juicier," White told TV Insider. "There's a lot of yachting, palazzos ..." The revamp also made for another opportunity — a brand-new cast. The first outing of the show was a self-contained story, so with the exception of one returning fan-favorite character, the second season starts over with a new crop of guests. The cast is made up of familiar faces and some decently-big names, so if you're wondering why some of them look familiar, read on! Here's the scoop on the cast of Season 2 of "The White Lotus."

F. Murray Abraham plays Bert Di Grasso

On Season 2 of "The White Lotus," F. Murray Abraham plays Bert Di Grasso, the grand patriarch of his family. The character comes to Sicily with his son and grandson, hoping to travel to the town where their ancestors are from in order to meet some distant family members. Bert is a flirtatious older man, to put it mildly, to the point where his son cautions that he is harassing the hotel employees. "He really is a relic," Abraham told GQ. "He's completely out of step with the present day." Still, Abraham related to his character. "I come from Bert's era. I'm not proud of that whole era, of course," he said, acknowledging that there's one important difference between the two of them. "I'm a feminist, actually," he added. "And that's the last thing that Bert is."

Fans of "The White Lotus" may recognize Abraham for his roles in films like "Amadeus," "Mighty Aphrodite," and "The Grand Budapest Hotel," but he's no stranger to television. He starred in "Homeland," and he voiced the Egyptian god, Khonshu, in "Moon Knight." On the latter show, Abraham was particularly glad to add his voice to the genre. "It's positive, that in this poor old world that we're living in, finally there are truly Super Heroes," he told Marvel. "... These Super Heroes really are trying to accomplish good. That's so important. I can't tell you how important that is. It makes things a little more hopeful."

Jennifer Coolidge's Tanya McQuoid-Hunt is back

For the most part, the second season of "The White Lotus" boasts a new cast. However, one of the first season's breakout characters is back for more. Jennifer Coolidge won an Emmy for her role as Tanya on the first season of "The White Lotus," and she returns for Season 2. She told Vogue that she is grateful to creator Mike White for the complex part. "Mike gave me [Tanya] two years ago — someone who's complicated and f***ed up — and it was such a gift because sometimes I get things that are just very simple," she explained. "I'm not going to condemn any job that I was given, but Mike was that person in the world that you hope exists."

Coolidge is best known for her standout performances in "American Pie," "Legally Blonde," "A Cinderella Story," and "2 Broke Girls." More recently, viewers may recognize her from "The Watcher," a Netflix show by Ryan Murphy about a family who is stalked by a mysterious letter writer at their new home. She plays Karen, a realtor who sold the family their home ... and who might be more involved than she admits. The star told Buzzfeed that she never imagined being on two hit shows at once. "I mean, what are the odds of that?" she said. "You know, the way my life has gone and I could never have predicted it, but I do have to say this: I love surprises when they're good."

John Gries brought Greg back

Aside from Jennifer Coolidge, John Gries is the only other actor returning to "The White Lotus" from Season 1. During the show's first go-around, he played Greg, a charming man who wooed Tanya. By the time Season 2 begins, the two are married, but Greg seems a bit meaner than he used to. "I can't speculate how you're gonna feel, but Greg has his own complexities and we'll get to see and know those a little bit better," Gries teased to Collider. "He's also got his demons."

The actor been around Hollywood for a long time. He played Shawn on 54 episodes of Martin Lawrence's sitcom, "Martin," starred in "The Pretender," and perhaps most famously played Uncle Rico in "Napoleon Dynamite." Looking back at the role years later, he told Shock Ya! that his manager was surprised to find out he wanted to be in the film despite there being little financial reward for it. "This script spoke to me, I heard the voice, and called my manager back, and said 'yeah, we're doing this, absolutely," he recalled. "I'm going to drive myself there to Idaho to do this ... I don't care what they pay me, I want to do this."

In an interview with Newsweek, Gries said he's not sure how he's been able to sustain his career. "If I could package it and sell it, I might be rich, but I don't know," he said. "In a weird way, it requires luck."

Adam DiMarco had a crush on his coworkers

Adam DiMarco plays Albie Di Grasso in "The White Lotus" Season 2 — the grandson of F. Murray Abrahams' Bert. The character is accompanying his family to Sicily to return to their roots, but Haley Lu Richardson's Portia catches his eye at the resort. It sounds as though DiMarco had a wandering eye on set, just like his character. He told E! News, "Everyone is so hot on this show, right? I had a crush on everyone at some point during filming."

The star may seem familiar to fans because he appeared in numerous episodes of "The Magician," playing Todd. All the way back in 2012, he starred in "Radio Rebel," now best remembered as the movie where Debby Ryan made the most meme-worthy faces all the time. He was also on the Netflix werewolf hit, "The Order," playing Randall. "There's obviously lots of shows about magic right now. I think a lot of our generation grew up reading 'Harry Potter' and we're just fascinated with these kinds of stories," he told Hollywood News Source. Nevertheless, he said, "The Order" stood out. "I really like the horror element of our show, how much we can show blood," he said. "We can swear!"

DiMarco also releases music under the moniker Good One. "My goal is to make something that I would enjoy listening to at night," he told Pop Culturalist.

The Bold Type's Meghann Fahy plays Daphne

Meghann Fahy plays Daphne Sullivan in Season 2 of "The White Lotus." The character finds an unnamed body in the ocean during the season's opening scenes before the show flashes back to a week earlier.

While speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, the actor had nothing but good things to say about Mike White, the creator of the show. "Mike is so good because he casts a quality of a person. He knows that the actor shares something innate with the character, and then you spend the rest of the time wondering what it is in you — and that gives your acting vulnerability," she said. The star also teased the arc that her character will take over the course of the season, hinting, "You think she's the passive trophy wife but then realize that she and her husband both play these pretty psychotic games with each other."

Fahy has been working for a while and has put in appearances in "Gossip Girl" and "One Life to Live," but she is most recognizable for her role on the cult Freeform hit, "The Bold Type." Fahy played Sutton, one of a group of friends who work at a fashion magazine. "I just feel really lucky that we got to do it for as long as we did," she told Harper's Bazaar. "We're all older now and ready for the next thing. It just feels like this perfect little experience that I wouldn't change anything about it."

Michael Imperioli was Christopher on The Sopranos

Michael Imperioli plays Dominic Di Grasso, the son of F. Murray Abraham's character and the father to Adam DiMarco's Albie. In the first episode, it's established that Dominic has had a recent falling-out with his wife. She scolds him over the phone and begs him to leave her alone, leaving viewers wondering what he did (The voice on the call? Laura Dern!) Imperioli explained his character's mindset to GQ, teasing, "You have somebody who's achieved a lot of success in his career, worked hard for it, and felt that the fulfillment of that would bring him a certain amount of satisfaction or completeness. But the reality is that it's anything but that, and he's unraveling." 

In addition to roles on "Life on Mars," "Detroit 1-8-7," and "Californication," Imperioli is best known for playing Christopher Moltisanti in "The Sopranos." In 2001, the actor told The Guardian that he loved the character — even for his obvious flaws. "I like his loyalty. And I like his impulsiveness," he explained. "I mean, sometimes the results are pretty stupid but, you know, if something bothers him, he'll speak his mind."

Almost twenty years later, Imperioli launched "Talking Sopranos" with his former co-star, Steve Schirripa, a rewatch podcast that was turned into a book. Revisiting the show for the first time since it went off-air made him newly proud of his work. "I'm just really, really amazed at the level of quality and how good the show is, to be honest," he told Newsweek.

Theo James makes a big impression as Cameron

In "The White Lotus," Theo James plays Cameron Babcock, a rich guy with a seemingly sleazy agenda. In the first episode of the season, Cameron memorably changes into a swimsuit in front of his friend's wife, subjecting her to quite the eyeful. The scene caused enough of a stir that James' name instantly became a trending topic on Twitter, according to Film Updates. Speaking with Decider, James unpacked Cameron's motivation for the surprising act. "[Creator Mike White] plays that line between whether Cameron has done it deliberately, was it cunning, was it manipulative, or was it simply he's a kind of fairly bombastic, body confident person who is innocent," James pondered. "... It's kind of fairly aggressive. But then, what does it mean?"

Mostly, it means viewers want to know where they can see more of James. For starters, he played the lead role in HBO's 2022 television adaptation of "The Time Traveler's Wife," assuming the role played by Eric Bana in the 2009 film. However, James' biggest role was as Four in the "Divergent" series. As he told That Shelf, he tried not to think too deeply about the ramifications of getting involved with the major franchise. "I try and not be aware — or as much as you can be — of any wider implications of this being a big movie," he said. Instead, he simply hoped it would lead to more work in the future ... a wish that has come true.

Aubrey Plaza says Harper's story gets 'volcanic'

Aubrey Plaza plays Harper Spiller in Season 2 of "The White Lotus," the lawyer wife of Will Sharpe's character, Ethan. Harper seems to be unhappy to be on this vacation with her husband's friends, who she clearly doesn't like. The actor noted that the season's setting led to telling a different story than the first incarnation of the show, explaining to Entertainment Weekly that Sicily's famous Mount Etna gave them inspiration. "Of course, the stories and the characters are more volcanic because that was the energy in Sicily," she teased. "Italy has this kind of machismo culture that we're thrust into ... the Italians ... seem to be much more open and sexual, to be blunt."

Plaza is best known for her role as April Ludgate on "Parks & Recreation." As the show's creator, Michael Schur recalled to the AV Club, the character was written specifically for her after a particularly strange audition. He explained, "Aubrey came over to my office and made me feel really uncomfortable for like an hour, and immediately I wanted to put her in the show,"

Since "Parks & Rec" ended, the actor has branched out, winning acclaim for her performances in films like "Ingrid Goes West," and "Black Bear," and on shows like "Legion." She reflected on her audition experiences to NME, concluding, "I think I've always been very fueled by rejection. It only made me want it more."

Haley Lu Richardson relates to Portia

Haley Lu Richardson plays Tanya's hapless assistant Portia, who is told as soon as they get to Sicily that she must stay in her hotel room in case her boss needs her. However, Portia wants to meet men, and by the pool, she gets to know Albie Di Grasso. Richardson told The Cut that she can relate to her character's sense of frustration with the world. "Portia is a deeply unsatisfied person," she explained. "She's deeply searching for life to present something that will fulfill her." That rang true to the actor, who added, "I give so much of my life to what I do, to what I care about, to my relationships, and I do find myself being disappointed sometimes with what life gives me in return."

Richardson should be proud of what she has accomplished. Since the start of her career in 2012, she's steadily built an impressive resume for herself, including critical hits like "The Edge of Seventeen," "After Yang" and "Support the Girls." She's also been in box office hits like "Five Feet Apart" and M. Night Shyamalan's "Split." As she told The Daily Beast, she considers her role in "Columbus" to be her artistic peak. "I'm saying this in the least narcissistic, self-indulgent way possible, but it's actually one of my favorite movies I've ever seen," she gushed. "That was the first time I was ever like, 'Oh my god, I was invited to be a part of art.'"

Will Sharpe is a writer, director, and star

On "The White Lotus," Will Sharpe plays Ethan Spiller, a young man who recently sold his tech company and is newly rich. He's on vacation with his college roommate, Cameron, with their wives along for the ride. Sharpe told the Independent that during filming, he went on early-morning runs up a steep mountain, just like his character. "There is something inevitably existential about being high up in a beautiful place, and I can see how that could add fuel to a fire, or leave space for him to start simmering away," he teased. "There's definitely something going on internally with him — some looming crisis."

He told to Buzzfeed that his frequent scene partner, Aubrey Plaza, treated him like an equal, joking, "Not like some random guy from the UK that had been accidentally cast in the show." Still, he boasts some impressive credits from British television. He was the creator, writer, and star of "Flowers," alongside Olivia Colman, and he wrote and directed, "Landscapers," the HBO Max series that also starred the "Fleabag" star. In 2020, Sharpe won a BAFTA award for his performance in "Giri/Haji." "I use the analogy that if you're a musician or in a band, sometimes you write the music and perform it as well," he told the BBC about his multi-hyphenate status. "And if you like mixing and producing, then you could also do that." It seems like Sharpe is happy to do it all.

Sabrina Impacciatore's Valentina runs the resort

On the first season of "The White Lotus," Murray Bartlett played the resort manager at the Hawaiian location of the titular hotel. This time around, Valentina manages the White Lotus in Sicily, and the character is played by Italian actor, Sabrina Impacciatore. In the first episode of the season, her character is quite prickly. But as the star told Buzzfeed, her favorite scene of the season allowed her to go deeper. "It's not a scene where I'm so b**chy," Impacciatore said. "So because I was enjoying finally going in another direction that could really show the heart of this character. Because she's like a cactus. There is something inside that she's hiding."

The actor is perhaps best known to American audiences for having played Veronica in Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ." She told Italian Cinema Art Today that the experience was a surreal one. "Instead of acting, I felt like I was living that experience," she said. "I believed that he was Jesus Christ and I was Veronica. I know that sounds crazy. It is crazy! However, when I saw the movie and I saw my scenes, I realized that I was indeed living an experience, not just acting."

Pride & Prejudice's Tom Hollander plays Quentin

Tom Hollander isn't in the premiere of "The White Lotus," but his character soon joins the guests at the Sicilian resort. According to Newsweek, he plays Quentin, a Brit who is traveling to Italy with his nephew. When discussing his character in an episode of "Pop Culture Confidential," he explained that Quentin offers a different perspective on sexuality than the majority of the show's conflicts. "The straight world is full of anxiety, and the gay world that comes in with Quentin and his coterie is fun," he teased. "... There isn't any anxiety in it. They are ... free in their existence, apparently."

Hollander's two highest-profile roles have both been alongside Kiera Knightley. In the 2005 adaptation of "Pride & Prejudice," he played Mr. Collins, while in several "Pirates of the Caribbean" films, he depited Lord Cutler Beckett. The actor has been featured in movies as varied as "Gosford Park," "Muppets Most Wanted," "Bohemian Rhapsody," and "Bird Box."

At 14 the actor enjoyed his first acting job. As he cheekily told The Guardian, the experience messed up his expectations for the rest of his career. "That was me done for, really," he said. "Picked up in a car, given money, all the shallow stuff, at the age of 14. I've been trying to recreate the thrill as an actor. It's impossible. The first cut is the deepest and all that."

Jack is played by Leo Woodall

Leo Woodall plays Quentin's nephew Jack, along for the ride on the vacation to Sicily. Though he isn't in as many episodes of the show as most of his castmates, the actor seems to have gotten along well with them, with co-stars like Meghann Fahy and Adam DiMarco commenting on his Instagram posts. He also seems to have had a great working relationship with Mike White. Woodall told Pop Culture Confidential that he was impressed by how easygoing the show's creator was, even though he wears so many hats in the production. "It was kind of amazing to watch this thing unfold, with him at the front of it. He was just really cool about everything," Woodall said.

The actor is relatively new to Hollywood, but he has already been featured in a handful of high-profile projects. He starred opposite Tom Holland (not to be confused with "White Lotus" co-star, Tom Hollander) in "Cherry," the Apple TV+ film from The Russo Brothers. Meanwhile, in Peacock's "Vampire Academy" TV series, he took on the fan-favorite role of Adrian Ishkov.

Simona Tabasco enjoyed Lucia's journey

"The White Lotus" creator Mike White told Deadline, "[Season 2] is not about power dynamics, more men and women and sexual politics." One of the most overt representations of that theme is the character of Lucia, played by Simona Tabasco. She's a Sicilian sex worker who heads to the White Lotus resort after arranging a meetup online with an American man. At the end of the season premiere, her customer is revealed to be Michael Imperioli's character, Dominic.

"The best part of exploring the character was that as she goes through her own journey on screen, the audience watching her does the same, so it happens parallel between her story and people watching as she goes along," she told The Nerds of Color. Along those same lines, Tabasco told Variety that the second season is heaped with tension and has a dark, sexy allure to it, overall. 

The Italian star has been working consistently in her home country since 2014. In addition to a role on the hit show, "DOC – Nelle tue mani," she is best known for playing Nora in Netflix's "Luna Park." 

Beatrice Grannò remembers laughing on set

In the second season of "The White Lotus," Italian actor, Beatrice Grannò plays Mia, a girl who gets drawn in to her friend Lucia's exploits at the resort. The star particularly enjoyed scenes where she was able to let go while filming. "Me and Simona [Tabasco], we had lots of improv moments where we get drunk and then dance, and they're very free," she told The Nerds of Color. "I remember those moments where I laughed. I laughed so much, but I was actually laughing, 'cause it was hilarious when we were doing the improv with Theo [James] and Will [Sharpe]."

Grannò starred as Anna on the Italian Netflix superhero show "Zero," and she was also on the show "DOC – Nelle tue mani" with Tabasco, her "White Lotus" co-star. In addition to acting, she's a musician. She recalled to The Italian Rêve that her childhood nickname was "ballerina" because of how much she danced any time she heard music. "I used to randomly sing about things I saw in the streets, driving my brothers crazy, and I used to write love songs for my friends," she remembered.

Her character gets to sing on "The White Lotus," and she told Nerds of Color that it was all done live on set. "I was really scared because when it comes to music, I am very vulnerable. I have everything under control [when] I act, but when it comes to music, I lose it."