INTERVIEW: ‘The White Lotus’ Star Jon Gries Gave Us Hints About Greg’s Shadiness
Oh Greg. Jon Gries, who has played Greg in both seasons of the hit HBO series The White Lotus, understands everyone’s concerns for Jennifer Coolidge as Tanya. And while the Mike White series focuses on the problems of the rich, elite guests of the White Lotus resort, we still have come to care about Tanya throughout her journey of understanding herself.
That does pain fans as we have watched Greg seem to disrespect and hate spending time with Tanya in season 2 (as opposed to their budding romance in season 1). In talking to Gries about Greg’s turn, it is clear that he’s not playing Greg as a bad guy.
Gries told me, “The interesting thing about Greg and Tanya is that it is subjective to the viewer. There are some people who actually have said to me, he’s over it. He’s over it, isn’t he? He’s just over her like constant drama, you know? There’s definitely that element. You know, spoke to a very good friend of mine yesterday who is a critic and he said, ‘It’s interesting. I feel like Greg is being painted as a really, really kind of bad guy because we all love Jennifer Coolidge so much.”
He went on further to talk about his thought process for Greg in this season: “In fact, if we knew anybody who was as needy and as demanding and neurotic as she is, we might totally sympathize with someone who’s with her for being like ‘Look, I’m done. I’m done I can’t mollycoddle you anymore. I can’t, I’m not gonna baby you. I’m your husband now. I’m gonna just like call it like it is, which is you need to calm down.’ You know what I mean?”
He also talked about how it plays into our own love of Coolidge: “And so he seems, because we all love her so much, he seems worse than he actually might be. I’m not saying he’s not bad, you know, but, that’s the typical Mike White thing. Give you what you know, you think is what you’re seeing and what you’re hearing you think is what you’re hearing. I mean, we all kind of fill in the blanks and there’s a mystery to Greg. There’s no question. And, but at the same time, I mean, he could easily be talking to his daughter. When he says, I love you, I’ll be home tomorrow. I’ll see you then. You know, because he has kids. He said in season one, he’s got two kids. So, that’s pretty much how I was approaching it, from that point of view. Although the idea is it’s certainly not to underplay because it very well could be something more devious.”
And to that point, he’s kind of right. When you break down Tanya, who has been through a lot but also has consistently been bad to those around her, giving false promises and demanding that people be at her beck and call, she’s a lot to deal with. And for someone like Greg, who is her husband and her rock, it would make sense why he’d be brought down by her.
That’s not to say Greg is innocent. If anything, he’s very wrong for the way he talks about her weight and micromanages her eating, but also for seemingly cheating on her (we don’t know yet who he was calling in episode 2 or left for in episode 3). But Gries went on to talk about his own justification for the shift in Greg and Tanya from season 1 to season 2 of the series.
“There’s a reason why people come together. And it’s not just all kismet or happenstance. These two people found each other. There’s definitely a reason,” Gries said, “and I just think that for me as an actor, and I think I would imagine I could speak for Jennifer, the most important thing is that we show that there’s something in that relationship that’s grounded in such a way that our chemistry is there. And I believe it is, I believe it is there now.”
The White Lotus airs every Sunday on HBO and boy is it going to be a journey trying to figure out what Greg is up to.
(featured image: HBO)
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]