On Thursday, Jennifer Coolidge made an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and used her interview to shout out Ariana Grande for bringing her career a needed burst of energy. Coolidge is an incredible comedian, but her career in TV and films had become somewhat stagnant. Then, in 2018, Grande did a dead-on impression of Coolidge while appearing on Fallon’s show herself. Grande then featured the Party Down star in her music video for “thank u, next.”
In the music video, Coolidge brought back her character from Legally Blonde, the manicurist Paulette who Reese Witherspoon coaches in the infamous “bend and snap” pick-up move.
“It was the beginning of a lot of cool things that happened for me,” Coolidge told Fallon. “I was going through a dead zone — not much was going on. Then, Ariana did this imitation on your show, and you encouraged her, and then this ball got rolling!”
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In the past few years, Coolidge has been receiving a lot of wonderful roles, including her Golden Globe-nominated performance in White Lotus, plus parts in popular films Promising Young Woman, Swan Song, and Single All the Way.
Coolidge says she reached out to Grande on Instagram when she saw the impression Grande did of her, even though she didn’t entirely believe she’d get a response.
“I was like, ‘No! She’s got 260 million followers! Those are robots. The robots answer the DMs,’” she said. “I did it anyway and then this response came back and then the next thing you know, I was like going to her house getting a wardrobe fitting for ‘thank u, next.’”
Last year was the 20th anniversary of Legally Blonde, and Coolidge told the New York Times then that she had trouble with the film’s choreography when it was being made.
“One day I said to [the choreographer], ‘I’m not Elle, I’m the other character, Paulette, and I wouldn’t be really good at the ‘bend and snap.’ That’s not who I am,’” Coolidge said. “And [the choreographer] said, ‘Jennifer, you need to learn this dance number and do your very best, because even if you’re trying to do your very best, you will still be the worst dancer.’ It was a very sobering moment. But she was right.”
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