The White Lotus Season 2 Stars Tom Hollander and Leo Woodall on That Episode 5 Cliffhanger

The stars, who play Quentin and his bold nephew Jack, talk about the game-changing fifth-episode scene in the HBO series.

by | November 28, 2022 | Comments

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The White Lotus Season 2 episode 4

(Photo by HBO)

Spoiler alert: The following reveals plot points from the fifth episode, “That’s Amore,” of HBO’s The White Lotus season 2.

In the second season of HBO’s The White Lotus, creator Mike White’s Emmy-winning satire of rich people on vacation, heiress Tanya McQuoid (Jennifer Coolidge) hits it off with a cavalcade of middle-aged gay men led by British ex-pat Quentin (Tom Hollander), and her assistant, Portia (Haley Lu Richardson), really hits it off with Jack (Leo Woodall), Quentin’s nephew/errand boy. So, of course, the ladies happily take the gentlemen up on their offer to abscond away from their Sicilian luxury hotel to explore Quentin’s manse in another part of Italy.

But the fifth episode, entitled “That’s Amore,” brings up several red flags about the story Quentin and Jack have told them. First, there’s the fact that Jack “forgot his wallet” at dinner and forces Portia to dine-and-dash (in heels). And then there’s Tanya’s discovery: while walking around the complex at night, she stumbles upon a (ahem) romantic encounter between Jack and Quentin that makes her (and the viewers) question what they’ve told them about their relationship.

Rotten Tomatoes asked Hollander and Woodall about that infamous scene, this season’s parallels to the previous one, and if they know who ends up dead at the end of this season.

Tom Hollander in The White Lotus Season 2 - Episode 4

(Photo by Fabio Lovino/HBO)

Whitney Friedlander for Rotten Tomatoes: So, are they uncle and nephew?

Tom Hollander: Yeah, they don’t seem to be at that point.

What did you both think when you saw that episode 5 final scene in the script?

Leo Woodall: I found out before I read the script. So, I was prepared for it; however, I didn’t know what led to it. So, even reading it, it was still kind of shocking and wildly brilliant.

Hollander: I just thought, This is exciting. I wonder what’s going to happen next. Oh, it’s the end of the episode. How annoying.

The White Lotus Season 2

(Photo by Fabio Lovino/HBO)

How much can we trust these people now that they’ve left us with this cliffhanger?

Hollander: Good question.

Woodall: Probably not a lot.

Hollander: You can’t trust them entirely, but it doesn’t mean that they’re bad people.

Woodall: You can’t really trust anyone.

The White Lotus Season 2

(Photo by Fabio Lovino/HBO)

Can you talk about what went into filming the scene? I’m assuming there was an intimacy coordinator, but also there had to be a conversation about lighting and how the cameras would follow Jennifer’s face to get her reaction.

Woodall: First, we tried on our modesty pouches and decided what which ones work best. We rehearsed it a lot with robes on. And then, by the time [we were] sort of ready to shoot, that was when we de-robed.

Hollander: There were lots of conversations before with the intimacy coordinator, Miriam Lucia, and Mike about what we were comfortable doing and not doing, so we’re not at any stage made to feel pressured. But I do remember feeling slightly competitive with season 1 and thinking that I want this to be as good as those scenes.

Murray Bartlett in The White Lotus season 1

(Photo by Mario Perez/HBO)

The first season also had a sex scene between an older, openly queer, man (Murray Bartlett’s Armond, pictured above) and a younger man (Lukas Gage’s Dillon). Did you have any conversations with Mike on if your characters were supposed to mirror those characters at all?

Hollander: No.

Your characters aren’t introduced until part of the way through the season. Was that harder for you, as actors, to come on after so many people have already been established?

Hollander: It’s not any harder because you’re not aware that you’re playing the third episode when you’re playing the scene. But, obviously you hope that the audience still has the bandwidth to absorb some completely new characters. You hope that they’ve got that uptake for them.

The White Lotus Season 2 - Episode 4

(Photo by Stefano Delia/HBO)

Leo, you have a scene in an earlier episode that involves you dancing in your underwear. How was that to perform? What were the costume discussions like?

Woodall: It was my first day on set; it was my first shooting day. But we’d obviously tried out some different threads. There were some very loud ones. I think there was kind of legless one as well, if I remember correctly. But it was you know it was very funny to work out what pants I’m going to model.

Did you have to have a choreographer?

Woodall: No, but I remember practicing in my room different things that I would maybe do, different dances. And then when we actually got on set, it was a lot more rehearsal than that.

Related: Jennifer Coolidge and The White Lotus Season 2 Cast on Reinventing the Series in Italy

Tom, you’ve spoken before about whether there’s a perception that you, yourself, might be gay or not based on the roles you take. There’s a conversation happening now as to whether openly gay actors are the only ones who should be playing characters who are queer. How do you feel about that?

Hollander: I asked Mike how he felt about it when he offered the job. He said that he, as a gay man, felt that his creative choices were his to make and that he was comfortable with it. So my job as an actor is to represent whatever that character is in a way that’s authentic. And my first reference is the creator-director. I have played quite a lot of gay characters over the years. An actor’s job is, by definition, often playing things that you are not. But my own sexuality is my own.

Haley Lu Richardson, Leo Woodall in The White Lotus Season 2 - Episode 5

(Photo by HBO)

Leo, do you have any thoughts on this? Especially since you’re coming at it from a different generation?

Woodall: Yeah, so it’s what Tom said: An actor’s job is to fulfill a role, and often the nature of the job is not just playing yourself. And this goes for any any part that you play with any circumstance, if it’s done with care, with respect and research and honesty, then it’s a performance.

Like the first season, this season will end in death — more than one, apparently. Do you know who the bodies are?

Woodall: Yes.

Hollander: Leo knows but he’s not going to tell you. And I can’t remember.

94% The White Lotus: Season 2 (2022) airs Sundays on HBO.

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