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Sabrina Impacciatore Recalls Messy Audition for ‘The White Lotus’

The White Lotus star Sabrina Impacciatore dropped a major bomb in a recent interview: she initially said “no” to her audition for the hit Mike White series.

Impacciatore is not new to the limelight; the Italian actor has credits dating back to 1997 when she was in the main cast of the Italian sitcom Disokkupati before making her film debut in Francesco Maselli’s Il compagno in 1999.

She revealed to The Hollywood Reporter that she was uninterested in interviewing for her “bitchy” hotel manager role because she hadn’t “seen the first season” and she was in production for a different project.

“I was called by my agent who said, ‘This is an important audition; they’ve been looking for an actress for four months now, and they can’t find her.’ I was already shooting a different film at the time, so initially, I said no,” Impacciatore said.

The actor continued to share that her agent pushed her to explore the opportunity further.

Impacciatore told THR, “[My agent] suggested I watch Season 1 of The White Lotus so, that night, I didn’t sleep: I binge-watched all the episodes. I swear, it was love at first sight. I thought, ‘This is my sort of thing.’”

The actor quickly changed her mind and decided to pursue the audition; however, when it came to shooting day, her experience was rather messy. Impacciatore said the “actor friends” she asked to help her record her audition tape both tested positive for COVID on the day of shooting.

“So, I recorded my audition with my brother reading the other lines. And while my brother does speak English, he’s not an actor. For the audition, I had to film five scenes, all featuring many characters,” she explained.

Impacciatore recruited a gaggle of people to help her film the various scenes, including her neighbors, Alessandro Riceci and Marit Nissen, both actors. As for the final product, she said, “I couldn’t watch it. I was very tense; I was crying from anxiety. I called another friend, actress Dodi Conti, and she came over. We were up until 3 in the morning deciding what takes to send over.”

Thankfully, The White Lotus production team didn’t leave her waiting. Impacciatore’s agent called two days later saying “everyone was in awe” of her tapes. At the time, the actor expressed that she “still wasn’t sure,” and the movie she was shooting, Dolomites, wouldn’t give her time to meet with White. “We needed to wrap up. In the end, because I kept insisting, they let me. So I finally met Mike,” she said in the interview.

But Impacciatore explained that meeting White is what eventually convinced her to sign on. “When I decide to join a project, I do it because I fall in love with the character or the people working on it,” she said.

And we’re all grateful that she did as Valentina immediately became a fan-favorite for viewers of the show, especially when it came to her striking chemistry with local sex workers Mia (Beatrice Grannò) and Lucia (Simona Tabasco).

The White Lotus is currently streaming on HBO Max.

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