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Interview: Haley Lu Richardson on Finding the Positivity in Portia in ‘The White Lotus’

HBO’s The White Lotus boasts an entirely new cast for its second, Italy-set season, with two notable exceptions. Among its very worthwhile additions is Haley Lu Richardson, who plays Portia, assistant to returning character Tanya McQuoid (Jennifer Coolidge), who endures demeaning treatment from her boss but also doesn’t seem all that motivated to get the job done as she engages in potential romances with Albie (Adam DiMarco) and Jack (Leo Woodall).

Awards Radar had the chance to speak to Richardson about how her bubbly personality even just in the first few seconds of an interview set her far apart from the character she was portraying:

“I hope I’m just a smidge happier than Portia. She’s pretty miserable and pitiful, which I am sometimes as well! But, you know, that’s life. What I related to was this extreme desperation to be fulfilled and have the world give back to you in a way that you feel like you give to the world, and then just the disappointment and exhaustion of that not happening.”

On whether she’d want to come back if given the opportunity or if she’s satisfied with Portia’s arc:

“I would be thrilled with either. I feel like Portia went on a crazy journey in this season. She’s been through a lot, so it did feel like an end to me, and I’ve been putting her in her cute little box dressed in a bucket hat. I’ve put her in a little box. But I think Mike is so smart that, if he ever did have some idea for Portia moving forward, I know it would be amazing.”

Watch the full conversation below:

Seasons one and two of The White Lotus are streaming on HBO Max/Max.


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Written by Abe Friedtanzer

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