Jennifer Coolidge: ‘I waited my whole life to not give a f—. It’s the only time we have power’

There is no doubt that we are living through a Jennifer Coolidge Renaissance. Some of us Coolidolls (yes, I absolutely just made that up) would argue that she never went out of style. But in her Entertainment Weekly Entertainer of the Year interview, Jennifer said a few times that she had been stalled and things have ramped back up. What I didn’t know is that Jennifer credits Ariana Grande with her revival. So much so that she asked Ariana to do the interview. After Ariana did her Jennifer impression on Jimmy Fallon, she invited Jennifer to be in her Thank U Next video. According to Jennifer, her career had been dormant in the years prior and after that video, the phone started to ring again. She also said one of the great things about rocketing back to fame at the age of 61 is that she can truly enjoy it on her terms. Because, Jennifer said, she no longer “give(s) a f***.” She thinks women should look forward to aging because, “it’s the only time we have power.”

Her favorite roles: I think my favorite stuff is all of the recent stuff, just because I got to play more complicated people. But, I mean, [the 2000 comedy] Best in Show was a gift, and so much fun to make because [director and star] Christopher Guest lets you come up with everything. He gives you your name and a rough outline of who you are, but you get to come up with your look, you improv all the dialogue. And then Legally Blonde was really a gift from God. And American Pie was just — it helped my dating life in a way that I can’t ever explain. If I hadn’t had that movie, I don’t think… Well, let’s just say it would’ve been a very dull decade.

She thinks it’s a good time for women in comedy right now: I’ve been a fan of Catherine O’Hara’s forever. I started watching SNL the day I was born, and I was obsessed with Monty Python. Ab Fab is such a brilliant show… I’m very excited for women right now, because when I was in my 30s and trying to get going and doing these sketch comedy shows and stuff… I did Seinfeld, and then I got this sketch comedy show for women called She TV, and it didn’t survive. But it’s so weird how, 30 years later, it’s a whole new thing where it’s actually women who are considered to be funny, and valuable, and they get to be the leads in these big comedies and stuff. And I have to say, I’m so excited for someone your age. The sky’s the limit. It wasn’t as easy back when I was doing it. I love that Bridesmaids and things like that are being made.

Ariana’s Thank U Next inspired Jennifer to not give a f**k: I think this year I really realized I’m living that dream. I’m incredibly grateful for what has happened to me in the last year or two, but I’m trying to channel your “I don’t give a f—” thing. And I think it’s my favorite feeling I’ve ever had. I waited my whole life to not give a f—. It’s the only time we have power. I mean, I’m not saying I’m not insecure. I’m still insecure about all the basic stuff. I’m still insecure about appearance and all of that. But if someone calls me a D-bag or something… I really don’t think anyone can really penetrate me anymore. I don’t really care what people think of me.

Age taught her to believe in herself: It’s experience that has given me something I can pass along. I was really sort of lost in my 30s, and I wished I had stuck to my guns. For instance, I just feel like we always think “authority” has the last word. There were people that told me I didn’t have a chance in hell — and we can’t listen to all these people. I think girls are getting stronger now, and there’s all this sort of girl power cool stuff that’s happening. But there’s always going to be someone who wants to rain on your parade, and you just can’t take it. I do believe that I learned that from experience. Some people say with such authority, “I think you’re talented in this area, Jennifer, but you’re not very good in this.” And nobody really knows, it’s all a guessing game. I think, don’t listen to anybody, really.

Don’t give up hope: I know what I want to say is that it’s so hard to go through life and have hope when your life has been going a certain way that you don’t really approve of. I think of these jobs that you just can’t make it through the day and stuff, and I feel like this unexpected moment that happened to me can happen to anybody, where you’re going along in the car and you’ve been going the same speed all these years and then all of a sudden this cool thing happens. I think a lot of people think the possibility of a cool thing happening isn’t in the mix anymore. And I think I’m a great example of “What are the odds?” And this can happen to anybody.

[From Entertainment Weekly]

“I’m not saying I’m not insecure… (but) I really don’t think anyone can really penetrate me anymore.” This is it in a nutshell. We have all our life’s experiences fortifying us in our 40s and beyond to deflect the slings and arrows. It’s liberating to not wear the negativity of others as yolks anymore. Like Jennifer, at my age it’s more important to be honest about who I am with people than to adjust my personality to fit in with theirs. I don’t know much about who Jennifer was before her Jennaissance, she always seemed so cool and collected, but she seems very much in control of where she is now. What’s nice is, she gives Ariana credit for realizing that attitude at a younger age and for having it without being mean. It would be wonderful if we are empowering our younger generation of women to not wait on their power.

I also want to focus on Jennifer’s last answer, about giving up hope if you haven’t hit a milestone by a certain age. I needed to read this more than anything else today, this month, this year. So many outlets feed the idea that everything good is reserved for the young. If you haven’t made your mark by your 30s, it’s too late. You’re washed up. Granted we may not get a call from Ariana Grande, but there are cool things that can happen if we keep fighting for them and there is no expiration date for dreams. Maybe they need to be adjusted, but I really needed to be reminded not to give up simply because I’ve, “been going the same speed all these years.”

I know – I desperately want to discuss the finale of White Lotus but I honestly don’t know if enough time has passed. I would be furious if anyone had spoiled it for me. All I will say, as much as I am still mad and in shock, I loved it. I hate to say that but OMG, I was stunned, and I did not think I could be stunned. It was all so messy.

Photo credit: Cover Images and Instgaram

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32 Responses to “Jennifer Coolidge: ‘I waited my whole life to not give a f—. It’s the only time we have power’”

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  1. Lala11_7 says:

    Once I turned 50…I was full on the “Zero F—ks Given” train…and THANK GAWD…or I wouldn’t have SURVIVED the last 5 years❣️

    • Mcmmom says:

      I turned 51 last month and I *love* my 50s! Sure, there are aspects of aging that I don’t love (I can’t see for sh*t anymore and have readers scattered all around my house, in my car, and in all my purses), but overall, I’ve gained more than I’ve lost.

    • Purple Nina says:

      I was at a college reunion about 10 yrs ago [I’m 65] and said to my roomie, “Do you think we can park here?” and she said, “We can do anything we want – we’re the target demographic!” and I realized, F yeah, we ARE. And that was so very liberating. I realize I have privilege, and I work at using my “powers” for good, but until that moment I didn’t feel totally free to do so. The personal feeling of not GAF is so very sweet.

  2. Jenns says:

    I won’t spoil The White Lotus. But I do want to say how amazing she was in that final episode. Her physical comedy and her line delivery was just outstanding.

  3. teehee says:

    And when she stopped–

    Did the word stop turning?
    Did life as we know it end?


  4. Tessa says:

    Wonderful actress.i am a fan.

  5. AnneL says:

    The finale was perfect, IMO. She acted it brilliantly. I didn’t watch the first season but I might go back and do it now.

    The 50s is a good decade for women, I think. It has been for me, for the most part.

    • Normades says:

      I kept comparing this season to the last saying it’s not as good and then they hit it out of the park for the finale. Really goes a long way to expand the White Lotus universe.

      I will be turning 50 this year and am not looking forward to it. Working on giving no f&cks but am definitely not there yet.

      • tealily says:

        To me, this season took a little longer to ramp up, but surpassed the first season in the last couple of episodes. So good. And Jennifer Coolidge is an absolute gem.

  6. Nicegirl says:

    😻 amazing post truly. Gosh Jennifer, she’s a great serving of just too awesome, beautiful, talented and cool af wrapped up into one gal like how the f does the universe do this??!!

    Same page as you with this lady as an aging mama myself. But heck, beats the alternative. Wish I’d known my power back in my youth but that cool y’all this old gal is learning to f- shit up. From the younger ladies even!!! too cool. I love how so many use their knowledge.

    The part about no expiration date 🤞 🍀. Here’s hoping!!! Dream big celebitches!!!! you can do it y’all 💕 🖖

  7. Harper says:

    In our house, Jennifer is long famous for being Hilary Duff’s mean stepmom in A Cinderella Story and eating her salmon from Norwegia. I loved that she resurfaced in White Lotus. She deserves everything the universe is sending her right now.

  8. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    I really needed to hear this today. And although I have zero Fs to give, I have a problem hanging onto hope. How to remember it, where to find it, how to hang on to it.

  9. Mrs. Smith says:

    That finale — wow!! I rewatched it with Mr. Smith last night since he hadn’t seen it. It was so fun to see him react throughout that last episode. I hope we get a post about it when the time is right!

  10. Prairiegirl says:

    I LOVE being in my 50s. It’s like a switch flipped on and and I no longer GAF what people think. Best decade so far!

  11. Zazzoo says:

    I’m so inspired by her on White Lotus. Not her rich white lady who abuses staff persona but that her character is still considered sexually viable and has romantic intrigue and drama without a self conscious analysis of her being over 60. Her age is mentioned otherwise I wouldn’t have even realized it but she parties and has fun in a completely normal ageless way. And it’s about frickin time women over 60 have plotlines about themselves not as family matriarchs.

  12. K says:

    “We always think authority has the final word “. Omg omg omg. I did not realize until just now how much I have lived that.

  13. RMS says:

    I am here for women over 50 being/having the main character syndrome. Think about it like cooking: something without seasoning can be light, fresh and nice – but even perfect tomatoes without salt are a little flat and forgettable. By this age, we have been through some stuff – divorce, children, job changes, parents aging/dying, financial ups and downs, maybe tackled some godawful medical stuff. If it doesn’t totally crush you, it gives you the sort of resilience and humor and strength one would KILL for in their 20s. The people I want to hang with are like JC, or my older sister, or my girlfriends that have also aged with that seasoning. The laughs are deeper, the listening is better, the company memorable. The DGAF years aren’t necessarily picture perfect, but they have an umami and depth and memorability those younger ones can’t touch.

  14. Frippery says:

    Yessssssss to this. I hit my late 30’s and finally 40 and dipped out on an abusive marriage. The amount of fucks I have stopped giving is *astounding*. It is empowering.

  15. Elsa says:

    I will be 61 in about a week and I have a bit of a Jennifer vibe. I will tell you younger girls that it DOES get better with age. You may miss your younger body, but you can keep good skin with sunscreen.

    All my milestones happened later. At 40, I changed careers, at 50, I got a masters and became a school counselor. At close to 60, I became a therapist. I found my true love in my 40’s and just became a grandmother this year.

    I dress how I want and I do what I want. I’m looking forward to the next thing!

    • Zazzoo says:

      Sweeet! That’s been my experience so far. We keep getting better with age, and life gets more fun. I know for myself I never had a clear understanding of what I wanted from life and so I was scared of the future. Now that I’m living in that future, I’m much more relaxed and able to enjoy the present.

  16. paintergal says:

    “I also want to focus on Jennifer’s last answer, about giving up hope if you haven’t hit a milestone by a certain age.”

    This. I’m an artist. Got into my first prestigious galleries at 64. Having a solo show next year at 67. Never give up.

  17. ooshpick says:

    she is as good as it gets. i laugh just watching the contortions of her face. she also made me care about her character in white lotus. she is a keeper

  18. lucy2 says:

    Love her. I haven’t finished this season yet, but I love her in the show.
    A while back I heard someone say “My self worth does not come from anyone else’s opinion of me” and it really stuck with me. And it’s so true, at some point you really stop caring about that, and it’s so freeing. Growing up I was always so worried about what others thought, wanting to be popular, wanting to fit in, and I so wish I could go back in time and tell that girl that it doesn’t matter.

  19. KBeth says:

    I enjoy her so much! Talented, beautiful woman…I will watch her in anything!

  20. swiftcreekrising says:

    Jennaissance is going to be the theme of my 40th birthday. Best portmanteau ever. (Although I may be biased…)

    Also, I ADORE Jennifer Coolidge. Happy to see her shine!

  21. Escape says:

    60 and zero F’s here. I am at work today, five days into an acid peel, skin hanging off but, why care?

  22. Jaded says:

    Just turned 70 and gave up all my f*cks in my fifties. Left an emotionally abusive relationship, had some friends-with-benefits affairs, and found the love of my life (a second-time-around relationship from my late twenties) when I was 63. Moved across country to be with him despite some friends saying I was out of my mind, and 7 years later am loving my life with my new/old partner. I adore Jennifer Coolidge and totally get what her message is.

  23. Emily_C says:

    I’ve had power throughout my life. Don’t sell yourself short. I do like my 40s a lot, but I wasn’t some completely powerless nothing when I was younger.

  24. NeoCleo says:

    I LOVED her in Best in Show, especially the interview she gives with her very rich, very old husband. It was sardonically funny, and her performance was perfection.

    Also–just getting in line with the rest of the old ladies who no longer GIVE A F*CK!!.

  25. Nicegirl says:

    Yes to powerful women!!

  26. Myeh says:

    I stopped giving f***s at so many points in my life in my teens, twenties and thirties. I got lulled into a false sense of comfort and started caring enough to get hurt or attempt to please others. I’m pleased to report the more discomfort I have experienced it has promoted a phase of growth, adaptation and learning. It sucks but everytime I have come out of it caring less and understanding more. I wish I could’ve spared myself the trauma and heeded some elder’s advice or learned from someone else’s experience. The power comes from knowing yourself well enough and understanding how the world actually works as well as recognizing others for who and what they truly are right off the bat so one can sidestep all the unnecessary bs. I loved her bend and snap in legally blonde and only just realized she was stifler’s mom in American pie!