Jennifer Coolidge Will Remain in Supporting Drama Actress for ‘The White Lotus,’ Cementing Frontrunner Status (EXCLUSIVE)

“These leads! They’re trying to murder me.”

Emmy winner Jennifer Coolidge has her sights on her second consecutive statuette for her turn as Tanya in HBO’s hit black-comedy series “The White Lotus.” Coolidge has chosen to submit herself into the supporting drama actress category for this year’s Primetime Emmy Awards, Variety has learned exclusively.

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Confirmed by HBO and Coolidge’s reps, the news comes after Variety reported Coolidge and her team were mulling a switch to the lead actress category where Sarah Snook has declared her change for “Succession,” another HBO Emmy hopeful, which was followed by her co-star Brian Cox.

Read: Variety’s Awards Circuit for the latest Emmy predictions in all categories.

With this lingering question cleared up, Coolidge cements her front-runner status in the supporting drama actress race, putting her in a prime position to nab her second Emmy nomination and possible second win for her turn as the needy, self-absorbed Tanya in the HBO anthology series.

The versatile actress also has two bids for supporting actress (limited, anthology or TV movie) — one for her turn as Karen Calhoun in Netflix’s mystery series “The Watcher” and the other as Carol, the future mother-in-law of Jennifer Lopez’s character in Prime Video’s TV movie “Shotgun Wedding.”

She picked up her first career Emmy for supporting actress (limited) for her standout turn in the first season, which netted 20 nominations, winning 10, including outstanding limited series. Although initially marketed as a limited series, the show was renewed for a second season which saw Tanya returning to a new location, Sicily. This triggered the Television Academy to no longer allow the “Lotus” to submit as a limited show, with HBO and creators opting for the drama races.

Her star has exploded over the past two years, even bringing her an exciting invitation to host “Saturday Night Live,” before it was canceled due to the writers’ strike.

There’s precedent for performances initially winning in limited categories before having to vie for recognition in a drama race following the sophomore season. For example, when the PBS drama competed in the limited races, Maggie Smith’s revered work as Violet Crawley in “Downton Abbey” steamrolled in 2011. However, Smith would win easily the following season when competing as supporting drama actress for the second season and then once more for the sixth and final season in 2016.

Like the first season, the ensemble cast will all be submitted into the supporting acting categories. The ensemble includes F. Murray Abraham, Adam DiMarco, Jon Gries, Tom Hollander, Michael Imperioli, Theo James, Will Sharpe and Leo Woodall in supporting actor and Meghann Fahy, Beatrice Grannò, Sabrina Impacciatore, Aubrey Plaza, Haley Lu Richardson, Simona Tabasco, as well as Coolidge in supporting actress.

HBO has its Emmy hands full with multiple series and acting contenders in the forms of drama series like “Succession,” “The Last of Us” and “House of the Dragon,” comedies such as “Barry,” “Somebody Somewhere” and “The Other Two” and limited runners like “Love & Death” and “White House Plumbers.” Mike White’s “White Lotus,” which he created, wrote and directed, is one of the cable/streaming platform’s key players for this awards season.

The “Sicily” season has already proven highly competitive during the past guild season, where it picked up key noms from DGA and walked away with the top prizes at the PGA and SAG Awards ceremonies. SAG is where Coolidge won the female actor in a drama series prize over Zendaya, Laura Linney and Julia Garner, all of which are not eligible this season.

Emmy submissions are due on Tuesday, May 9, with nomination voting opening on June 15.

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