Jake Lacy Says Aloha to ‘The White Lotus’

Jake Lacy Says Aloha to ‘The White Lotus’

If it were a white woman trying to get Armond fired, we’d have a name for her: Karen. I don’t know if we have a male equivalent of that name, but here it seems like “Shane” might work.

I hope it does! The Karen thing is like, “I won’t stand for this,” as if they’re taking the side of justice. And Shane’s thing is, “Don’t make me make this ugly.” There is this aggression there, like, “I won’t be treated this way!” It’s the same in Shane as it is in a Karen.

At the same time, Armond gave him the wrong room. I mean, these rooms cost $26,000 a night. It’s as if you bought a car, and they were like, “Oh, we just know this is the one you wanted,” and you’re like, “This is definitely not the car I paid for.” He booked a room, and he feels they should give him that room. Even if his behavior is increasingly inappropriate, and the way he treats people is terrible, what he wants seems pretty fair: “I want what I paid for.” Not that that excuses his behavior. In a perfect world, he would chill out and let it go.

Who do you think was the worst?

I feel like people are going to say Shane, but that’s my guy! I still have a little empathy for him. I feel like most of these characters are pretty unpalatable. In actions alone, Shane is the worst, for sure. No one else kills a guy. But Paula [Brittany O’Grady], as honest and progressive as she claims to be, is an accomplice to a felony, and when the rubber meets the road, she gets back on a plane. She doesn’t say anything. And Rachel will put up with Shane if it means she gets the nice dinners.

To me, a lot of the show is saying is, “How clean are you? How innocent are you? How free of guilt are you?” Whether it’s the opportunities you’ve had that others haven’t, or your privilege, or money, or the way you look, or the color of your skin — if you’re in a transactional world, how clean are you?

The hope is that all this gets reflected back to the audience: “You probably do some of the same things, don’t you? On some level?” Whether it’s at the Four Seasons, the carwash, in line at McDonald’s or at Starbucks, how much expectation do you have for what the world owes you and how you deserve to be treated?

That is the part of the show that most intrigues me. It’s less about who’s worse, and more about who’s kidding themselves the most.

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