‘White Lotus’ Star Sabrina Impacciatore on Being a Gay Icon and Why Her Audition Left Mike White in Tears (Video)

“UnWrapped” Podcast: “The White Lotus” star also opens up about meeting Sir Elton John, “He hugged me… I was like a child”

Before Sabrina Impacciatore stole America’s heart in “The White Lotus” season 2, she was an already well-known comedy actress and gay icon in Italy. “Since I was 18, they decided that I was a queer icon,” Impacciatore shared during WrapWomen’s “UnWrapped” Podcast. They called me for every gay pride. I was the godmother, a Greek bride for every manifestation queer festival. I was always called, and I loved that.”

In the second season of the award-winning Mike White series, which is set in Sicily, Impacciatore plays Valentina, an uptight hotel manager who explores a sexual awakening.  

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Impacciatore revealed that even before reading the script, as soon as she found out Valentina was queer, the actress felt a “responsibility” as a storyteller. “The LGBTQ community in Italy, is struggling so much… this government is even more strict and has a vision that is very squared,” said Impacciatore. “They really have to struggle and to fight in order to feel respected and to get the rights, the same rights.”

Because of this, Impacciatore vowed to make sure that Valentina would “be understood by everybody,” even those outside the queer community. During her live audition she performed a scene with Isabella (Eleonora Romandini), which Impacciatore poured extra emotion into. “I will never forget that Mike had tears,” she said. “He told me, ‘Oh, Sabrina, I didn’t expect Valentina to be so sweet. And, and he said, I would like to, to explore this direction with you.’”

This direction paid off because major Hollywood stars, including fellow gay icon Sir Elton John, were eager to meet Impacciatore in person. According to the actress, the two superstars were at an event together. “Someone came and said, ‘Sir Elton John would like to meet you.’ Then they took me in front of him. He was seated. He was eating so I thought, ‘Oh my god, this is the worst moment ever to meet him. He’s literally having a fantastic mouthful…’ And he turned and he stood up and he hugged me like this. And he kept these hugs so long that I couldn’t believe it. That was Oh my god. Yeah, I was like a child.”

Impacciatore also reveals…

  • Murray Bartlett from “The White Lotus” season one originally slid into her DMs
  • She doesn’t think Valentina will return for season 3 of “The White Lotus”
  • Her best career advice: “Your tool is your talent”

About “UnWrapped”

“UnWrapped” is a podcast produced by WrapWomen, dedicated to empowering the next generation of women in media and entertainment. Each episode “unwraps” topics from entertainment news and industry trends to career advice, Hollywood headlines and more. You can listen on TheWrap.comWrapWomen.comSpotifyApple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsAmazon Music or wherever you get your podcasts.