Enlightened creator Mike White tests the limits of paradise in his new limited series The White Lotus, a social satire set at an exclusive Hawaiian resort. One of the buzziest new shows of the year, The White Lotus boasts an impressive ensemble, including Connie Britton, Natasha Rothwell, Murray Bartlett, and Steve Zahn, each of whom bring their own unique talents to the upstairs-downstairs-style dark comedy. These are the main players at The White Lotus Resort and Spa, and where you’ve seen them before:
The White Lotus would be nothing without Armond, the fastidious resort manager who begins a dramatic downward spiral after a sudden trauma. Armond is played by Murray Bartlett, best known for his role as Dominic “Dom” Basaluzzo in HBO’s LGBTQ+ dramedy Looking .Bartlett slso headlined Netflix’s Tales of the City revival as Michael “Mouse” Tolliver, and has appeared in Nashville, Marvel’s Iron Fist, and CBS daytime soap Guiding Light.
As Armond manages the front desk, down-to-earth spa manager Belinda, played by Natasha Rothwell, oversees all things relaxation, but she’s put to the test when a needy guest attempts to monopolize her time. Fans will recognize Rothwell from Insecure, in which she frequently steals the show as Issa’s friend Kelly, and from roles in Love, Simon, Like a Boss, and Wonder Woman 1984. In April Rothwell inked a multi-year overall deal with ABC Signature, so expect to see more of her on the small screen in the years ahead.
Connie Britton brings her fabulous hair to The White Lotus in the role of Nicole Mossbacher, a successful, type-A exec with a habit of treating her family like disobedient employees. Britton is no stranger to the world of prestige TV: she famously played Tami Taylor, Coach Eric Taylor’s (Kyle Chandler) wife, in Friday Night Lights, she headlined the first season of American Horror Story, she went country as Nashville’s Rayna James, and she executive produced and starred in Dirty John on Bravo. Britton has also appeared in the films This Is Where I Leave You, Bombshell, and Promising Young Woman.
Steve Zahn plays Nicole’s husband Mark, an inferiority complex-riddled father who arrives at the resort amid an embarrassing health crisis. Like Britton, Zahn has had a lengthy Hollywood career, with key roles in That Thing You Do!, Stuart Little, Happy, Texas (for which he won an Independent Spirit Award), Dallas Buyers Club, War for the Planet of the Apes, and HBO drama Treme. Zahn can next be seen in HBO Max’s 8-Bit Christmas opposite Neil Patrick Harris, and Netflix’s Tall Girl sequel, which recently wrapped production.
Nicole and Mark’s son Quinn is a socially-awkward gamer who is pushed out of his comfort zone as he explores the wonders of nature for the first time. Quinn is played by Fred Hechinger, a 23-year-old actor who’s had quite year. His most notable role came as creepy, cat-allergic teen Ethan Russell in The Woman in the Window, but he's also turned heads in Eighth Grade, News of the World, Steven Soderbergh’s Let Them All Talk, and anthology series The Underground Railroad. Looking for more of this young star? Hechinger can be found in the three-part Fear Street film series, streaming throughout July on Netflix.
Euphoria star Sydney Sweeney returns to HBO as The White Lotus’ Olivia Mossbacher, a college sophomore who casts a cynical eye on the privileged world around her. Since breaking out in Netflix’s Everything Sucks!, Sweeney has appeared in a string of high-profile films and TV shows, including The Handmaid’s Tale, Sharp Objects, and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. In the coming months she’s set to appear in the thriller Night Teeth, Amazon’s The Voyeurs, and The Players Table on HBO Max.
Joining the Mossbacher family trip is Paula, Olivia’s best friend. Paula is played by Brittany O’Grady, who comes to Mike White’s HBO drama after star turns in Lee Daniels’ Star and Apple TV+ romantic comedy Little Voice. O’Grady also appeared in crime thriller Above Suspicion, slasher remake Black Christmas, and supernatural mystery The Messengers.
Jake Lacy attempts to shed his “nice guy” image as Shane Patton, a handsome, entitled newlywed who travels to The White Lotus for his honeymoon. Fans will recognize his signature mop from TV appearances in The Office (he played Pete Miller, AKA “Plop” in Season 9), Girls, stand-up comedy I’m Dying Up Here, and High Fidelity. Lacy has also appeared in a long list of films, including Obvious Child, Carol, Love the Coopers, and Miss Sloane, as well as Aaron Sorkin’s upcoming Lucille Ball biography Being the Ricardos, in which he’ll play Bob Carroll Jr.
Shane’s beautiful new wife, Rachel (played by Alexandra Daddario), embarks upon her honeymoon expecting marital bliss, but clouds of doubt soon appear as the two get to know each other in the resort’s intimate environment. Daddario has been acting for nearly 20 years: she made her TV debut at the age of 16 in All My Children, which led to appearances on Law & Order, The Sopranos, and White Collar. In 2010 she broke out as Annabeth Chase in the first Percy Jackson film (she later reprised the role in the sequel), before transitioning into more adult fare like Baywatch, American Horror Story, Why Women Kill, and Songbird. Later this month Daddario will star opposite Diego Boneta in Die in a Gunfight, an updated take on Romeo and Juliet.
Shane and Rachel’s honeymoon is already on the verge of unraveling, but things only get worse when his intrusive mother Kitty surprises them at the resort. Kitty is played by comedy legend Molly Shannon, who cut her teeth on Saturday Night Live from 1995 to 2001. She's since appeared in dozens of projects, from Wet Hot American Summer to Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby to Scary Movie 5. More recently, Shannon appeared as matriarch Pat Dubek in The Other Two, Promising Young Woman, and as the voice of Wanda in the Hotel Transylvania franchise.
Legendary character actress Jennifer Coolidge steps into the caftan of Tanya McQuoid In The White Lotus, a wealthy, unstable woman who travels alone to the hotel after the death of her mother. Coolidge is probably best known for playing Jeanine Stifler (Stifler’s infamous mom) in the American Pie movies and for participating in Elle Woods’ “bend and snap” lesson in Legally Blonde, but she's logged memorable roles in many other films and TV shows, including Best in Show, Click, The Secret Life of the American Teenager, 2 Broke Girls, Like a Boss, and Promising Young Woman, to name just a few.
The White Lotus premieres on HBO Sunday July 11 at 9:00 PM ET, with new episodes airing weekly through August.
Claire Spellberg Lustig is the TV Editor at Primetimer and a scholar of The View. Follow her on Twitter at @c_spellberg.