'The White Lotus' Season 2: Beatrice Grannò on How Mia and Lucia Won in the End (Exclusive)
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Season 2 of The White Lotus has officially come to a close -- but not before wrapping things up for the many visitors to the Sicilian resort, where two best friends, Mia (Beatrice Grannò) and Lucia (Simona Tabasco), added to the chaos that unfolded on creator Mike White's social satire.
As Mia, a cheery-yet-determined local intent on performing at the hotel's piano bar, Grannò became one of the Emmy-winning HBO series' breakout stars. Over the course of the seven episodes, she brought a wit and charm to the role that easily could have been overshadowed by the ensemble's other, more showy roles as the character found herself mixed up with hotel employees Giuseppe (Federico Scribani) and Valentina (Sabrina Impacciatore).
Adding to her performance -- and making Lucia and Mia's dynamic pop on screen -- was the fact that Grannò and Tabasco were friends prior to working together on the series. In fact, they even helped each other with their audition. "I think we used a lot of our friendship in the show," Grannò says, explaining that "that was incredible because I think The White Lotus experience really brought us closer."
With all the dead bodies accounted for and the remaining guests headed back to America, Grannò looks back on Mia's journey and her character's happy ending, especially compared to others who didn't fare as well this season.
ET: How would you describe where Mia ended up at the end of season 2?
Beatrice Grannò: I mean, she got what she wanted. She had to change a little bit to get there; she kind of transformed into something different. But I'm very proud of her. And also, I think the biggest dream for a musician is not really to be famous and to be the best singer in the world but to just be able to get money out of doing what one loves. So, she's managing to actually play piano and sing and get money out of it, which is amazing for a musician. I hope, for her, that one day she will sing on a bigger stage but I think she's happy where she is right now. So, I'm proud.
You said that she had to change to get what she wanted. Can you describe what the biggest change was for your character?
I think there was a very specific moment in the show where Mia and Lucia face each other -- they're sitting by the pool and Lucia is having a moment of vulnerability. She starts saying, "What are we doing? This is not good for us. We're gonna get punished." And it's kind of like she's taking Mia's romantic energy from her in order to kind of get Albie [Adam DiMarco]. And at the same time, I'm taking Lucia's in order to get what I want. So, it's kind of that moment when they kind of switch.
Mia, she starts going, "I need to f**k the pianist. I need to do this." And Lucia, she's like, "What are you doing? Don't do this. This is bad." But at the same time, she's also managing to get Albie using, you know, a much more romantic way of getting him. So, I feel like they kind of used each other to get what they wanted.
Fans really loved the final scene of her and Lucia walking away together, arm in arm. What did you make of that shot when you were filming it? What was going through their minds at the end of the season?
I think that's a moment of freedom. I mean, of course, it's not a competition but they definitely won at the end. They kind of got what they wanted. And I think it's just very beautiful the way we're dressed in red. It's the color of passion. There's some love happening between them and it's like their friendship kind of made it through all this. They never broke apart; they always supported each other.
And that day, for us, was also the last day we were filming in Taormina. So, for me and Simona, it was a great moment. We were there, Taormina, walking around and really celebrating this ending.I remember Mike White being very emotional at the end. He was so emotional and it was just fun. I think we were just thinking, "We did it."
I like the idea of them winning the season because it seems like they were the only ones to get a proper happy ending, is that fair to say?
Yes, I think so… And I think at the end, they were the most lucky ones.
When you first signed on, was there any fear at the beginning of the season that you might be one of the dead bodies in the water?
It's so crazy because, to be honest, I never thought Mia was gonna be the victim. Even as I was reading, I had no clue. Like, had no idea. But I was reading all the theories that have been up on the internet over these past few days and everybody thought that Mia and Lucia were gonna die. And I remember me and Simona texted each other a lot and Simona was asking me, "Why does everybody think that we're gonna die?" And I thought it was because, for some reason, we are celebrated so much during the show. So, maybe the audience was thinking the reason why they're celebrating us in this kind of pure way is because maybe they're gonna go die. But we made it, we survived.
Speaking of theories, did you have a favorite or did any of them jump out at you?
I mean, there was one theory that said that Lucia was gonna kill me. She was gonna kill Mia because they haven't haven't spent so much time together in this last episode. So, maybe they're gonna have an argument.
Going back, all season long Mia wanted to be the hotel's piano singer. With that in mind, is it possible she drugged Giuseppe on purpose? Or are we supposed to believe that whole moment with the viagra and molly was an accident?
I don't think she did that on purpose. She wasn't thinking it through, and she just needed to get that job done. She was so, like, inexperienced with the drugs and stuff. She just made a big mistake.
Later, after he's been sent to the hospital, she seduces Valentina. While Mia makes it clear that she's not a lesbian, was all of that for the job? Or do you think Mia had some inkling of interest or compassion for her?
That was kind of tricky because when I was in Italy and I did the audition with Mike White, one of the scenes that he wanted to see was this one between me and Valentina. And I remember before starting the scene, I asked Mike White if she was manipulating her here. Like, what is she doing? Is she seducing her and manipulating her? And then Mike was like, "Yes, but she's also being nice to her. It's like a little bit of both. It's not just that she's that mean. She wants to do something nice." So, in that moment, I really felt connected with Italianity in a way because it's very common in Italian culture to get what you want… but in the meantime I coddle you a little bit. And I think that's what was happening. She was actually wanting to do something nice for her but in return she was gonna get something. It's like an equal exchange of interest.
After she landed the job at the hotel, Mia hugs Bert [F. Murray Abraham]. Why does she thank him in the end? What was the connection between the two of them?
There was a scene before that that [was cut from] the show, unfortunately, where, Bert listens to "You Belong to Me" and says, "You're really good." And then Mia says, "Oh, I have one fan." And then she sees Valentina and she asks him, "Can you tell her what you just said to me?" …So, that's why she thanks him. But that scene is not there anymore because I think they wanted to highlight more of the conversation between me and Valentina.
But at the same, she thanks him because he was the only one to listen to her and to kind of support her music. And I think it's also nice because throughout the series, you see this old character being very creepy to women, to young women, always wanting to flirt. But then in that moment, she's really grateful that he supported her in that sense.
Are there any other moments that stand out to you from your time on set, or working on the series as a whole?
We had so much fun with Will [Sharpe] and Theo [James], who play Ethan and Cameron. Because we had that scene where we had to improvise taking drugs and drinking by the pool. And that was so fun because those moments were totally improvised. You know, Mike White gave us a line and then we had to go crazy. And I had moments where I kind of snapped out of it and I'm like, "What?" Like, this is a real party; we were actually partying. And then it was so much fun also because it was so messy and chaotic. We kept falling down, throwing and spilling drinks on each other. And then it was just madness. I remember that night after that we all went out 'cause we all felt that adrenaline.
To wrap us up, since we know Mia is alive, is there any chance she will pop up on the series again?
I don't know… The thing is, what's great about The White Lotus is that every season tells a different story of a different culture. So, for me to be there, it would be a dream. It would be amazing. But, we just have to wait and see what Mike White will do and where it's gonna be. But I will definitely go on set and say hi. That's for sure.
The White Lotus season 2 is now streaming on HBO Max.
The interview has been edited and condensed for clarity and length.
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