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‘Truly powerful’: The White Lotus star Sabrina Impacciatore reveals impact of show on her life and career

Sabrina Impacciatore has spoken out on the impact that starring in The White Lotus has had on her life.

The Italian actor became internationally recognisable in late 2022 as she starred in the second season of Mike White’s comedic drama, set in Sicily.

As hotel manager Valentina, Impacciatore was a central part of the action and quickly became one of the show’s most cherished characters.

Though she has been a household name in Italy since the mid-2000s, Impacciatore had been virtually unknown outside of her country until The White Lotus.

With the popularity of the show’s second season, the actor has received more global praise than she’d ever felt previously – and she’s admitted to revelling in the opportunities it has brought her.

“What I’ve experienced in the past few months has been truly powerful, powerful as well as spiritual. The support I’ve received has been incredible,” she told The Hollywood Reporter.

“I’m keeping my feet on the ground, [but] I’ve overcome countless challenges and faced many closed doors, I’ve suffered through many disappointments. Now that I have this chance, I want to make the best of it. And I intend to enjoy it.”

Ahead of her appearance on the show, however, she admitted to feeling nervous about stepping into the hotel manager role, a position originated by Murray Bartlett’s Armond in season one.

“He’s one of the series’ most beloved characters,” she noted. “I felt like the super unpopular substitute teacher that has to sub for the super popular teacher. I didn’t sleep at all for five weeks.”

Sabrina Impacciatore in ‘The White Lotus' (HBO)
Sabrina Impacciatore in ‘The White Lotus' (HBO)

Since the second season has aired, it has received widespread acclaim with some concluding that it surpasses the entertainment value of season one.

One of the most memorable comedic moments came during an exchange between Impacciatore’s Valentina, and resort guest Tanya (Jennifer Coolidge), in which Valentina said she resembled the animated children’s character Peppa Pig.

Speaking about the improvised moment on set, Impacciatore shared her shock that her off-the-cuff remark was so well received.

She explained: “Jennifer was all in pink, and the first thing I said was: ‘You’re so pink.’ When she asked: ‘Who do I remind you of?,’ I replied: ‘Peppa Pig.’ The whole set froze. Then Jennifer broke out laughing.

“[I was surprised] to see that scene made the final cut. And even more surprised when it went viral worldwide.”

The White Lotus is available on NOW and Sky Go.