As we often talk about on Collider Ladies Night, every path in this business is different and those paths often evolve along the way. That’s exactly what happened to The White Lotus’ Haley Lu Richardson.
Richardson plays Portia on Season 2 of the hit HBO show. This time around, creator, writer and director Mike White takes the luxury, overindulgence, and often awful behavior to a White Lotus resort in Taormina, Sicily. The only main character from Season 1 to bounce from one getaway to the next is Jennifer Coolidge’s Tanya McQuoid, and this time around, she’s bringing her assistant, Richardson’s Portia, along for the ride.
With The White Lotus well into its Season 2 run, Richardson joined us for an episode of Collider Ladies Night to revisit her early Disney and Nickelodeon ambitions and to discuss how she went on to build a filmography packed with bold genre movies, touching romantic dramas, independent gems, and spicy satire with The White Lotus.
The White Lotus Star Haley Lu Richardson Is Over Being Dismissed as ‘Cute’
After 11 years in Hollywood, the 27-year-old actor is learning how to speak up for herself—including on the set of The White Lotus season 2.
Haley Lu Richardson understands that being labeled “cute” can be a double-edged sword. Name-calling is one of the oldest power-plays in the book: It’s just as cutting in the boardroom as it was on the playground, but since it never causes physical harm, it’s easily dismissed. And while we all know the “sticks and stones” rhyme, anyone who’s been called a bitch or a slut (or stuck with any label she doesn’t identify with) understands just how damaging name-calling can be. In Mislabeled, Glamour talks to some of the most interesting women we know about the role name-calling or labels played in their pasts—and how it’s shaped the women they are today.
Why Haley Lu Richardson Is Embracing a Season of Being Alone
Plus her favorite foundation and skincare.
No sooner do Haley Lu Richardson, and I begin chatting than our conversation is interrupted by a very special guest. “Here’s my little boy,” she announces, scooping up her cat—his name is Darbin—and holding him up to the screen. He’s long-haired, with the kind of flat face that makes cats look permanently grumpy. “He looks like a little curmudgeon,” Richardson agrees. “When I got him a year ago, when he was a few months old, he looked like a grown man. Even when he’s cute and gentle, he has this permanent Ron Swanson face.”
Darbin has been a key source of companionship for the Richardson as she’s been adjusting to living independently for the first time in years. “I had always had my parents or a boyfriend, a life partner,” she says. “But the last couple years, I haven’t had my parents [living with me], and then I’ve been a single woman, so I’m getting used to that. It’s a big adjustment in life.” Darbin’s companionship has been key to easing that adjustment, but there have been other simple pleasures: reality TV (Richardson considers herself a dating-show connoisseur), matcha, and crochet. “I guess my life’s a little boring,” she says with a laugh.
‘I kind of become possessed when my cat Darbin is around’: Haley Lu Richardson on The White Lotus, narcissism and her precious pet
Between ecstatic, breath-sucking squeezes of her cat, the 27-year-old talks to Ellie Harrison
Haley Lu Richardson is issuing me with a warning. “I’m looking rough!” cries the actor, as she turns her camera on. What appears on the screen is actually very sweet: a rosy-cheeked 27-year-old covered in stickers. There’s a purple star stuck to the right of her nose, and a green one on her forehead. She’s nestled in the centre of a white fluffy beanbag and surrounded by houseplants – standing, hanging, trailing – in various wicker containers. Her screen name reads “h poopie”.
When I ask about the stars, Richardson is dumbfounded. “You don’t know zit stickers?!” she squeals. “Oh my gosh, they’re honestly the coolest thing since sliced bread. You can also get flowers with little rhinestones, Hello Kitty ones, SpongeBob ones, rainbow ones… it’s just amazing because it makes having acne fun!!!” It’s half past eight in the morning for Richardson, who’s in her apartment in California, and she is in a very good mood indeed. She laughs a lot, and every time she does her eyes fill with tears. “I had a lot of wine last night – ha!” she erupts. “I didn’t even go out; I went to see one of my friends and he made me this amazing dinner but it was so garlicky, like, my pores reek of garlic. I washed my face last night and this morning. Twice this morning. And brushed my teeth, already. And I still reek of garlic!” Continue reading
In the hotly anticipated second season of HBO’s anthology series The White Lotus, Haley Lu Richardson plays Portia, the fledgling millennial assistant to Jennifer Coolidge’s demanding, mommy-issue-afflicted Tanya McQuoid-Hunt, the sole character from the show’s award-winning first season to return for the second, set this time at the White Lotus resort in Sicily. Aubrey Plaza, meanwhile, plays Harper Spiller, a brusque, well-meaning employment lawyer whose status anxiety comes to a boil on vacation with her husband and his crude, financier friend Cameron. Though Richardson and Plaza didn’t share a single scene in the show’s season season, which premiered last Sunday, the pair became fast friends on set, one of the many topics of discussion in a hilarious and wide-ranging conversation that touches on stalking, mothering their respective pets, and why no one’s really a “normie.”
Stars Aubrey Plaza, F. Murray Abraham, Haley Lu Richardson, Sabrina Impacciatore, Beatrice Grannò, Will Sharpe, and Michael Imperioli share why they would or wouldn’t want to take a trip with their own characters. Then Jennifer Coolidge, Jon Gries, Theo James, Meghann Fahy, Adam DiMarco, and Simona Tabasco reveal their acting superstitions, including who among them wore a lucky pair of underwear to their audition.