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Homeentertainment'White Lotus' Star Will Sharp Builds 'In Brewing' Restraint, Lands Role Surprise

'White Lotus' Star Will Sharp Builds 'In Brewing' Restraint, Lands Role Surprise

To everyone who waits patiently every week White Lotus episode 2 next episode*) Seasons go down and get their decadence, deceit and discontent among the filthy rich vacationers, Will Sharpe is Ethan, a subdued newly minted millionaire rich man.

and his funny wife Harper (

Aubrey Plaza in an awkward quartet A Luxury Vacation), morally dubious and arrogant college friend Cameron (Theo James), and Cameron’s seemingly superficial sidekick Daphne (Megan Fahy), Ethan is a cool and collected character who seems the more It’s looking more and more like it’s about to explode in dramatic fashion.

Five-star luxury in

Mike White’s multi-Emmy award-winning creation Beyond White Lotus However, the British actor/writer/director is best known for his work behind the camera, most notably three comedies with a quirky twist drama (coincidentally, starring Olivia Colman). After breaking out with the BAFTA-winning dark comedy series Flowers, he also starred in the film before going on to direct Benedict Benedict Cumberbatch and Claire Foy ‘sLouis Wayne’s Electronic Life, StudioCanal and Amazon -a period biopic about the famed wide-eyed cat painter (Coleman is the narrator). Most recently, he directed HBO’s critically acclaimed true crime miniseries Landscapes , about a pair of suave murderers.

Talk to The Hollywood Reporter before the climactic finale of White Lotus

(and no, he won’t say who the body in the first episode belongs to), Sharpe discusses his nervousness about being just a “random Brit” when he went to Sicily to film multiple big-name American stars , cooperating with Plaza to create behind-the-scenes footage of the character’s unhappy marriage, and the surprise of being cast: “When I watched the first season, I never dared to imagine that I would have a role in the second season.”

Are you a fan of the first season?

Yes, I really like it, I also like Enlightened, so I’m excited to work with Mike [White]. It’s interesting how season two sits relative to season one, and how he finds a way to make it, but also feel new.

You have an excellent American accent with Ethan. Did it take a long time to get it right?

Anyway, it’s an accent I’m more comfortable with. I spent most of my childhood in Tokyo and went to a international school – my dad’s English and My mother’s Japanese. So there are a lot of American teachers, American kids, Japanese American kids. When I arrived in the UK, my accent was a bit disjointed. But I do work with a very good dialect coach just to make sure everything is in order.

Apparently your foursome played a lot of manipulation and mind games on the show. When you were together, did you get stuck in roles, or kept certain things in your heart?

We all know the long game, so I guess we’ll probably all be paying attention in our own ways to where it’s headed . But Aubrey and I would talk a lot about Ethan and Harper’s hinterland, wanting to give people a sense of where they came from and how they met, just to bring some stake to the relationship. Because by the time you meet them, even if they don’t realize it, it’s hit the rocks. When you first meet them, they are arguing and things gradually get worse. So we did think about where they came from, why it was important to them, and where they wanted to go back to. And talking to Mike [about Ethan and Cameron] like they were never soul mates. They just share a room and bond in a way that you might invite each other to their wedding. One of the things I love about the way Mike writes is that sometimes you sit down and it feels like some people are talking, but in reality, there are so many different tensions and dynamics across the table.

From Left to Right: White Lotus . Courtesy of HBO’s David Thewlis and Olivia Colman in HBO's Landscapers

Now that you have all the scripts ready, how does knowing the ending help you with Ethan’s evolution?

We do have all the scripts, I think I was right in saying that before reading them all in all, They introduced me to the general shape of the series by giving everyone, including Ethan’s arc. That’s what got me so excited about playing him. For much of the series, he’s very restrained. He’s kind of mysterious, and you’re really not sure where it’s going. Is he a horrible person? Who is he? You paid off in the last episode, so it was an interesting challenge to keep track and build a sense of simmering for something he was holding that was going to boil over somehow.

White Lotus follows different groups while You’re mostly with your foursome. But did you get a chance to hang out with the rest of the cast on set?

Intersect so much on set, only when we’re in the dinner scene and behind other people’s cameras will actually happen. But socially, we have a lot of opportunities to hang out and be a unit. There are often cast dinners and there is a small bar around the corner from the hotel, which is a bit like a local.

Where did the character Ethan come from? Your last project, Landscapes, was directed by you, did they see you elsewhere?

I just received an email requesting a recording. I’m a little surprised. Obviously, I’ve done everything I can, but I really don’t think anything is going to happen. Our second child was only recently born, so my head is kind of on it. I think the casting director and one of the producers had separate ideas instead of sending it my way at the same time. I did a few rounds of tape, got some feedback, then did a Zoom with Mike and the others, and then suddenly I was on my way to Sicily.

It’s been a while since we’ve seen you on screen. I think the last time was Giri/Haji. How does it feel to be back in front of the camera?

I love acting. I feel so lucky to be able to do it in such a way, with such a great cast and my ever-fan Mike… Also, it’s in a really beautiful part of the world. It’s all part of storytelling. I think all the different disciplines can be integrated with each other.

I really enjoyed your last film as a director, Louis We Eun’s Electric Life , remember wondering how you managed to put together such a stellar cast, including starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Claire Foy. This was your first major work when you were best known for the TV series Flowers. But that cast is off the charts.

The honest answer is: I don’t know. I was also surprised. We’d think about who we’d most like to play the role, and then I’d send the script and write a little note explaining why I thought they’d be a good fit for the role. So it really blew my mind, not just to have the opportunity to be with Benedict and Claire, who are both phenomenal, but also the supporting cast, who are also a lot of people, and I have a lot of admiration for it. I just find it surreal at times.

Look at the projects you directed, such as Flowers, Louis Wain and Landscapes, seem to have a quirk of serial subject protagonists. Is this something you’re actively looking for in your story?

I’m probably not the best person to analyze my stuff. But as far as Flowers is concerned, it’s a world informed by children’s book authors, fairy tales, and I guess to some extent the psychology of mental illness, whether it’s depression Or bipolar disorder. As such, this informs the show’s aesthetic and tonal choices. Then there’s the electrical life of Louis Wain , and again, our biggest influence on it is Louis Wain himself, with his quippy tone, hidden vulnerability and his little notes d in Some of his photos are scribbled underneath, and there’s that playfulness and use of color and pattern. Again, that’s a pretty psychological movie. I think it’s a movie about love and grief. ThenLandscapes is a show about truth. This is a show about the unknowability of certain truths, and how that affects your perception of it, depending on who tells you the truth and how you accept it. It revolves around two characters playing each other’s roles, both obsessed with classic movies and old westerns. So in each case, I’m just trying to create a world for the piece that feels aligned with the character’s emotional landscape to help you get inside their heads.


David Thewlis and Olivia Colman in HBO’s Landscapes . Stefania Rosini/HBO

Landscapes landed on HBO to great effect. After such a high-profile show, the obvious next step was for you to direct something else. Is that what’s happening, and the White Lotus interrupting anything else you’ve lined up?

White Lotus was definitely a surprise. After watching the first season, I never imagined that I would be in the second season. I’m not even sure I knew there would be a second season. But our second child was born soon after we finished post-production on Landscapes, so I wasn’t really making any serious plans. I was just at home. But I do have ideas for projects.

I ended up writing some for Landscapes and Louis Wain, but they Not a project I initiated. So I feel ready to create something and build something from scratch. So I think if it wasn’t for The White Lotus, I would have seriously approached those people earlier.

One of the perks of being a part-time director is that I also get to be on other people’s sets and learn from those experiences. I’ve been writing a feature film project since we ended, which is a love story set in a piece of American history that I don’t think has been adequately examined and that I’ve wanted to write for a long time. The other is a pilot episode of a series that we’re about to start running. It’s a bit hard to explain, maybe closer in tone to Flowers, but it’s kind of set in a post-Chekhov sci-fi world. Two very different projects. But that’s what I’ve been doing.

With this season’s white lotus getting more and more The better the response, do you find that suddenly people are interested in you, especially the US projects? Is your agency getting more inquiries?

Yes, it’s starting to happen, I’m just trying to be careful and make the right decisions. But yes, no one knows who I am! Like you said, I haven’t done any shows since Giri/Haji and I haven’t really done a big US show as an actor, so head to Sicily, Part of me was nervous because I looked like this Brit who did three random things. But I really feel like everyone treats me equally, so it’s easy to feel at home with the cast and build a sense of trust.



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